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Catchment area - Rightmove school checked

(31 Posts)
FirstTimeMummy25 Mon 08-May-17 20:52:53

Can someone help me with what may be such a stupid question but I need to answer to... so on rightmove on the school checker- if a school is number 9 for example on the list but says inside admissions area in 2016 does that mean that if we moved there for example that specific school would be in the catchment area? I understand each year they can change but you catch my drift, would be really helpful if anyone could help me?

Trb17 Mon 08-May-17 20:59:31

I tested it for schools in my area. It was very inaccurate for the distances that got in to the 2 nearest schools to me. I wouldn't trust it at all tbh.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Mon 08-May-17 21:05:12

The others thing it doesn't clearly explain is that most schools have sibling priority. So children with siblings already in the school who live in the catchment area will automatically be placed before children with no siblings who may live closer to the school.

Rightmove makes the admission area just look like one big pool when it isn't

purplecollar Mon 08-May-17 21:10:08

I think it's wrong for our area too. I would check on the council website to be sure.

FirstTimeMummy25 Mon 08-May-17 21:13:10

Thank you everyone! I will check the council website as suggested. I think it's really bad that it's inaccurate as I wouldn't buy a house with a rubbish catchment area for schools so if it's misleading it shouldn't be on there!

TalkinPeece Mon 08-May-17 21:20:02

it fails to spot the county boundary near my house - its useless

PieceOfTheMoon Mon 08-May-17 21:21:25

If you want a specific school the best thing to do is ask the LEA for both the catchment area and the last distance offered for the most recent year. Last year at our local school there we're 13 children in catchment who didn't get a place due to bring over subscribed.

FirstTimeMummy25 Mon 08-May-17 21:22:06

So, I'm putting in the postcode of a house we could be interested in and on the council website it is just coming up with one school? Does that mean there is only 1 school that DS could go to that he would get into? I want to be able to put the postcode somewhere and have a list of potential schools or is that not possible?

Etak15 Mon 08-May-17 21:24:46

I have found it inaccurate too - the only way to check for sure is to ring your local admissions team and give the the address.

TalkinPeece Mon 08-May-17 21:26:47

If you have a catchment school, that is what the council site will list.
Its the one you'll deff get a place at.

PieceOfTheMoon Mon 08-May-17 21:28:51

That is the catchment school, but you are not guaranteed a place (in England anyway). You should check admissions criteria and last distance offered to assess your chances. You can also apply for other non-catchment schools.

FirstTimeMummy25 Mon 08-May-17 21:39:00

It's not straight forward is it? This is all new to me and not a worry for a couple of years yet but if we are moving for our 'forever' home this is really important to me and I don't feel confident I'm getting the right answer online or maybe I am I just want it in black and white!

PieceOfTheMoon Mon 08-May-17 21:54:09

I know, it all seems really confusing! I had the same concerns when we moved for schools a couple of years ago. The problem is in England there are no guarantees.

In the end we found a couple of houses we liked and then emailed the LEA to ask about catchments. They we're really helpful and told us how over subscribed the schools were and how close we would have had to be in the previous year to get in, plus the official distance from school for the houses we were interested in (there are different ways of measuring, so you need the official distance).

We ended up moving about 150m from the school we wanted, but I was still nervous about getting a place because siblings took priority. In that year over half the places went to siblings, so not many places left for other catchment children and many missed out on a place, despite living quite close to the school.

Hopefully the school you like won't be so ridiculously over subscribed, it was really stressful!

TalkinPeece Mon 08-May-17 22:02:38

which county / LEA ?
just that they vary so much, but the data is out there :-)

Chewbecca Mon 08-May-17 22:06:03

It is inaccurate for my area too, I would totally ignore it and use the council info only.

FirstTimeMummy25 Mon 08-May-17 22:52:51

@TalkinPeece we are in Hampshire

FirstTimeMummy25 Mon 08-May-17 22:53:35

Thank you@PieceOfTheMoon for the advice and sharing your experience I think that's the only way forward!

meditrina Tue 09-May-17 07:08:59

There is a difference between catchment (a defined priority area) and the actual distance within which people receive offers (which may be bigger or larger than the catchment - assuming there is one at all, many places in England don't have them).

All councils publish information on school admissions. You need to look at both the information on the greatest distance offered, and also each school's admissions criteria. So that you know what oversubscriptiin category you would be likely to fall in to, and the greatest distance offered to pupils in that category.

CrazedZombie Tue 09-May-17 07:22:02

Choice is an illusion created by politicians to win votes. Some people would get into more than one school but it's common only to have one choice really. This is particularly true for secondary schools which tend to be larger than primaries so have a larger catchment.

meditrina Tue 09-May-17 07:33:44

'Choice' has never been offered by any political party, though commentators (confusingly) often refer to it as such.

CrazedZombie is right. All you get is a chance to list your preferences and, depending on where you live you'll have space for between 3-6 schools.

What this does is tell the LEA that if you qualify for more than one school place on your list, which of those schools you would prefer to be allocated. If you qualify for none of them, then the LEA will allocate you the nearest school with a vacancy.

Unless you live in an area where lottery is the tie breaker (where you just can't predict if you get a place), then it'll be distance, and if lots of other people live closer to the school to you in one direction (say there's a new housing development between you and it) then your only realistic choice may be the one in the other direction (even if you like it less)

If you don't put down the nearest thing you have to a safe-bet school (even if you don't like it much) then you could end up with one you dislike equally with a longer journey thrown in for good measure.

youarenotkiddingme Tue 09-May-17 07:37:14

There is only one catchment school. The boundaries all run alongside each other and sone long roads will have 2 different schools as catchment - so house Number makes a difference.

You can of course apply for any school in whatever prefer of preference you choose. You'll get offered the one you meet the criteria for that's highest on your list.

So if you have school a,b,c and d near you and a is catchment for example and b is the better one you have to decide what order to request c and d in.

You can say.

If you meet criteria for B you'll be offered a place.
If you don't have space at B you'll get offered C if they have a space.
If B and C don't have a place you'll be offered D.
If all those schools have people who meet the citeria higher than you and don't have space you'll be offered A. Usually A will always have a space for you as a back up - however (and this is where people come unstuck) your catchment school may also not have a space. So then you y offered school E which is usually a distance away or maybe one you would never request so didn't.

My advice has always been out your catchment school below your preferred schools but above the ones you like less than it!

So to answer your question! Look at all schools in the area as listed by distance on rightmove alongside the councils information of catchment and historic acceptance including distance and criteria.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 09-May-17 07:59:24

It varies depending on where you live. Here there are no catchment schools, it is simply done on distance. Half the spaces going to siblings is totally normal. On average there are 2 children per family - half are older half are younger. Logically therefore it is reasonable that half will get in on sibling rule and half will be first borns. This is assuming no prior bulge classes and that multiple births/ large families/ only children across the population cancel each other out. Obviously doesn't help if you live slightly further away than triplets with an older sibling!

purplecollar Tue 09-May-17 11:32:16

Also, just check how far away the first person on the waiting list lives (should be in the statistics under school admissions on website). Not everybody in catchment gets in here.

TalkinPeece Tue 09-May-17 16:52:49

I also live in Hampshire.

We have a clear catchment system and the county does its best to get kids into their catchment school
I've not heard of any Hampshire school turning away in catchment kids - they just make the school bigger, or build more (several are being built by the LEA at the moment)

The Hampshire form has three spaces.
Always put down your catchment school -then your next two options
in choice order

The admissions code kicks in as almost all the schools are non denominational
and none are academically selective

Distance from the school is not used alone - as the catchments are massive and not circular.
Its distance from catchment boundary for those of us who went for non catchment.
Measurements are in miles normally

Welcome to a lovely county.

carltonscroop Tue 09-May-17 17:02:01

Put your genuine preference school first if you would rather your DC went there than to the catchment school. Because you'll be offered the highest preference you qualify for. But do include it on your form, even if it's in last place, as your 'banker'

Schools do not know what position they were on the form, just that they was on the form (because the Admissions Code for England says that all preferences must be treated equally)

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