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Why do people do this?! It's not fair!

(6 Posts)
fairy Fri 06-Dec-02 09:59:20

Strange title I admit, but let me explain.

We have decided which primary school to apply for for our ds, and we are unlikely to get in, so already a bad start, but to make matters worse I found out yesterday that a number of parents are being a bit cheeky as far as I'm concerned.

The school in question is a small village school, about 140 pupils, very good reputation and an excellent enviroment, it admits 20 for its reception year, and so far the school know of 11 which will get places, either catchment or siblings.

We are about 5 miles from the school (not our catchment school) and there is a big village between us and the school, and there will probably be quite a few from this village applying to go there.
The problem I have is that a number of these children will only be at the school for a year before they go private, as from what I can gather most of the private schools round here do not admit until they are 5.

I personally feel that this is very unfair, they are using up a place that could be used by a child who is actually going to be there for their full primary education. I'm not being bitter, I just wish I could do something about it.

Has anyone had experience of this, either as the rejected parent, or the private parent (get your reasons ready!).

I need to know if I can do anything to help my ds get in, look forward to hearing from you all!

Marina Fri 06-Dec-02 11:31:05

I've seen it happen similarly at the excellent primary attached to the church we attend (we drive quite away to get there so we are not even applying for ds). There are now several prep schools in the vicinity and a lot of the children, especially boys, are pulled from the state primary after 2-3 years to be put into the private system. A couple of years ago, it was so bad that the top year of the school was effectively girls-only.
Ariel, you could play the system yourself. Apply, and you will at the very least be on the waiting list for when all these children disappear after a year. I know moving a child is not ideal, but at 5 it is not so disruptive.
I agree that it is extremely annoying but even if the school governors are aware of the problem (and they certainly are at our school), they are not able to weed out the miscreants on the basis that they know what they are up to.

Marina Fri 06-Dec-02 11:35:29

Doh, not Ariel, *Fairy* (although Ariel-the-character is a airy sprite...). Sorry, Fairy.

tigermoth Sat 07-Dec-02 09:33:06

fairy, I agree, it's annoying. My son has changed primary schools twice - once due to moving and once due to choice. It is not ideal but he was not that fazed by the change, especially since all his schools followed the national curriculam. The earlier you can move the better, though, ime.

If you put your son's name on the waiting list do keep phoning regularly - ime it really helps to keep registering your interest. I knew someone on a waiting list who nearly lost a place because the school had mislaid her ds's application form, and my youngest son was almost not given a nursery place we had been promised, until a chance phone call from me reminded the nursery teacher that we were still out there.

It does seem a pity this school accepts pupils who will move in a year - while I'm not in any way criticising you - it's going to have a knock on effect at the other local primary schools, too, as pupils leave in year 1 to accept vacant places at the oversubscribed school.

Hope it works out for you.

Batters Sat 07-Dec-02 10:37:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jac Sat 07-Dec-02 14:11:37

Oh Fairy, I really do feel for you. My daughter now goes to the oversubscribed school that we originally applied to but had to spend her first year in another school.

The annoying thing was that we have lived in the catchment all of her life and to then not get a place as expected was really upsetting.

I agree with Tigermoth, put yourself on the waiting list and keep in regular contact, which is exactly what I did. They finally called in my daughters last days before breaking up for summer holidays to say there was a space for her. I was heartbroken actually as I felt my daughter was really happy, but I always told her when we passed the school that she would be going there soon and she was brilliant and is IME very much happier now anyway.

I can't believe the private schools don't take them until they are 5, what do they expect them to do. I suppose it's only law that they attend school when 5? Although I think it really unfair that they are taking up school places just for 1 year when they are intending to go private after that. Also though, the fact that you are not catchment is another problem.

Do visit other schools quickly as spaces go very quickly after being refused at another, as I found out.

I hope everything works out ok.

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