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How do school admission areas work?

(20 Posts)
Paddingtonbearscoat Mon 29-May-17 09:37:53

I'm a bit confused.

All of the schools round here have the usual criteria for priority, children in LA care, children with siblings at the school, children living nearest in a straight line. Obvs faith schools take faith into account.

So what I don't understand is what the in/outside admission area means.

We live on a long street and we are soon to be moving to the other end of the street literally half a mile up the road to a bigger property, this will put us outside the admission area of ds chosen school. Last year we'd have been inside out they've changed the boundaries.

Does this mean that he definitely won't get a place? Does being inside the admission area mean you definitely do? We'd only be 1.5 miles from the school so not very far.

Don't really understand how admission areas tie in with admission criteria.

MrsKCastle Mon 29-May-17 09:49:40

There are two types.
1) Priority admissions area, or catchment, where each school in an town has their own area and children that live in this area get priority. This will be made clear on the admissions criteria.
2) There is no set area, children are admitted by the different categories and then distance. This sounds like the set up you have. It means that the admissions area can change year by year (often the area gets smaller as more places are taken by siblings if they have priority).

Living outside an admissions area does not mean that you definitely won't get a place- it depends on all sorts of factors e.g. If a new school opens, or a new housing estate or a school locally has a bulge class that year. However, it does make it less likely and you should plan for that by investigating other options. Was the new house in the admissions area for a different school last year? If so, make sure you name that one on your application, so if you don't get the preferred school you should at least get a local one rather than one miles away.

triedandrusted Mon 29-May-17 09:54:10

Where you talk about 'inside admissions area' do you mean within the catchment area?

It doesn't necessarily follow that living outside the catchment area precludes you from gaining a place - these things are very variable year by year.

You need to look up the data for your county, showing how places were allocated in previous years. So for example, a school with a PAN of 150 - in 2015, maybe 100 children who lived in catchment got places, and there were 25 sibling places offered, and then 25 children living out of catchment got places. But in 2016, 120 children in catchment, 27 siblings, so only 3 out of catchment places offered. You will also be able to see the 2017 allocations I should think.

I hope I'm explaining this properly. Anyway - you need to look for trends. If the places offered to out of catchment children have been steadily declining, then you might be taking a risk moving up the street. If, however, they have been increasing, then it might be a risk worth taking.

Paddingtonbearscoat Mon 29-May-17 10:10:22

Thanks, I wasn't too sure on the difference between catchment area and admission area, but looking on Rightmove it seems that some schools in other areas actually have certain streets.

Here it seems to be a circle drawn around the school. Our current house sits just inside the circle, the new house just outside and on rightmove says it's outside of admission area. However this seems to have changed as when we were looking over previous months the whole of our street fell under the admission area.

The school itself doesn't mention admission areas and simply says priority goes in order of those living closest.

Do you know where I could find info on previous years admissions?

anditwasallgoingsowell Mon 29-May-17 10:14:13

I would just phone the school and ask, am not convinced by that rightmove schools check

LIZS Mon 29-May-17 10:34:52

If it is a moveable feast year on year I doubt Rightmove is best indicator. Are you sure it is as defined as you think. For some schools admissions area may simply be where successful applicants in that particular entry live, so it could vary according to how many applications they receive and if distance is a deciding criteria.

mummytime Mon 29-May-17 10:38:23

Right move can be very misleading and even plain wrong. Talk to the he schools/LA itself first. Admissions area can mean: the area they admitted from last year which is better than Rightmove which assumes som how that the distance lasted admitted goes out in a nice circle. My LA gives preference to those applying to their closest school, and schools are not evenly spread.

Paddingtonbearscoat Mon 29-May-17 10:38:38

Wow, well this has opened my eyes.

I've found the document that has all the info on previous years. Seems that schools with 150 places are receiving 600-700 applications with the furthest offered less than a mile away.

Make me worried that we won't actually get any school place that we want

triedandrusted Mon 29-May-17 15:33:00

Where it shows that there were 600 - 700 applications, this does not mean that 600 - 700 people put that school as their first choice. It means that 600 - 700 people placed that school somewhere on their list. So don't worry too much about that.

The thing to study is where, and to whome, the places were actually allocated. If, as you've said, no-one who lived more than a mile away was offered a place last year, then it might be a good idea to buy a house that is no more than a mile away.... If however, it works on feeder schools, then you might find that a child who attends a feeder school still gets offered a place even though they live 5 or 10 miles away. I'd be surprised if there were 150 year 7 children living with one mile of any school. Can you copy and paste the admissions criteria here (take out any distinguishing features if necessary)?

Northgate Mon 29-May-17 15:44:44

Rightmove's school checker showed inaccurate admissions information for my street, so I'd be wary of trusting them.

My LA doesn't have catchment areas - it's closest walking distance - so admissions areas vary year on year depending on how many kids apply and how far out they live. Things like new housing developments built near schools can make a big difference to the previous year's admissions area.

RueDeWakening Mon 29-May-17 15:49:08

That Rightmove schools checker is rubbish imv. When I checked, it claimed we'd get a place at 4 local primary schools, when in fact we don't live close enough to any of them to qualify for a place.

Fortunately DS2 has older siblings in a local school already...

harderandharder2breathe Mon 29-May-17 17:40:48

Don't worry about the number of applications, everyone gets x number (varies by LA) of schools they apply to, so any over subscribed school and many that aren't will have more applications than places (an under subscribed school might be a banker school for lots of people who got their first, second or third choice).

Look at the criteria for the schools you want. They will tell you if there's a defined priority catchment area. If not then distance is used by most schools (after looked after children, statements naming the school and sometimes before sometimes after siblings).

2014newme Mon 29-May-17 18:45:29

A mile and a half away is a big distance! furthest distance offered for one of our local schools is 100 metres!
Wouldn't move in your case at this time

2014newme Mon 29-May-17 18:45:56

Do not trust rightmove

tiggytape Wed 31-May-17 10:14:51

You say the admissions criteria (after siblings etc) is children living nearest in a straight line

If so, that means there is no fixed catchment area. They simply offer places to all the priority people (siblings and looked after children and / or faith criteria people where that applies) and any spaces left over, they offer to people who live nearest to the school by straight line distance.
They keep offering places in an increasingly larger radius from the school until all places are full. That final distance is called the 'last distance offered'

Last Distance Offered will vary every year because some years there might be 10 siblings but in other years there might be 15 which means 5 fewer places to be offered on distance.
Some years there will be twins who live closer to the school than your house which means that they take up 2 places before the distance increases again.

Generally however, you can get an idea of a pattern if you ask the school or council. They won't be able to say you will definitely get a place but they might be able to tell you that people living 1 mile away generally get in whereas people living 2 miles away never have etc.

Borntoflyinfirst Wed 31-May-17 10:23:39

Being IN catchment area does not guarantee a space. If the school is over subscribed there is still a chance that those on the edge of catchment won't get a place. At our Infants school this year 10 children IN catchment didn't get a place - including those with siblings already at the sort-of attached Juniors.

MagicalMrsMistoffelees Wed 31-May-17 10:28:08

And presumably the 'furthest distance offered' that LAs list refers to is the furthest distance offered during initial offers. After that, chn who live further away may be offered places from the waiting list as places are turned down so become available to others.

I wonder what percentage of initial offers are accepted? Even if 95% are accepted that's still 5% of places that are available once more for other children living beyond that golden 'furthest distance offered'. In a school with 300 year sevens starting that amounts to another 15 places.

TestTubeTeen Fri 02-Jun-17 22:19:28

There is no such thing as an 'admissions area'. They don't 'work'. They are a spurious marketing tool developed by Rightmove, and are a crude, inaccurate tool at that.

Look at the LA Admissions booklet - which is where I assume you have fund the numbers of people applying. But bear in mind that the 'last distance given' is for places allocated on National Offer Day. As places are accepted and declined, and waiting lists move, the actual distance at the start if term can be smaller.

Someone needs to put a stop to this Rightmove bollocks. IMO.

mumsneedwine Fri 02-Jun-17 22:38:18

We have catchment areas. Priority given if you live in it. As County border is near school that can mean living much further away than other applicants but still getting priority. But then my nearest school is over 3.5 miles away

kyususpecs Sat 03-Jun-17 20:03:47

There have been a few threads recently about Rightmove admissions areas. In many cases the areas they're reporting a "successful" or "unsuccessful" are just plain wrong. Anyone who has evidence to prove it in their own area shouldn't just be writing about it on Mumsnet - they should be complaining to the Advertising Standards Agency ...

OP, bear in mind that RightMove only use cut-off distance data from the initial round of offers (March for secondaries, April for primaries), rather than the September data, so if you're in an area where waiting lists move a lot in between (e.g. because a lot of families going private) then distances can increase significantly.

The only way to be sure of 'successful admissions area' is to phone the school, tell them your address, and ask whether you would have got a place in the most recent admissions round. But even then it won't be a guarantee for the year that you apply - there could be a bulge year, or an increase in the number of siblings, or maybe a positive Ofsted report that increases the number of applications.

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