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Survival Guide for Parents camping out overnight for a place for their kids.....

(49 Posts)
KerryMum Sat 16-Aug-08 19:35:50


Mercy Sat 16-Aug-08 19:40:25

Can you give a few details Kerry., I'm confused

lilyloo Sat 16-Aug-08 19:41:29

not sure what your asking ?

BreeVanderCampLGJ Sat 16-Aug-08 19:42:00

To use the Dublin vernacular....... WHA ??

KerryMum Sat 16-Aug-08 19:44:43

sorry blush

There are two secondary schools in town. One is new with tons of classes, labs, etc. Very good. Other rather dire.

ds1's current primary is not a feeder school into good secondary school. Limited number of places for children who:

1. Don't have a sibling already in the school.
2. Aren't coming from a feeder school.

It is completely first come, first serve. I was talking to a woman in the shop today and she said her brother got there at 9 p.m. last year for his son and he was still 47th and unsure of whether or not he'd get a place.

So, I'm just looking for advice from others who have done this. Do you bring a chair? Sleeping bag? It will be first day back after xmas. What happens if you have to pee? Or want a cuppa?

What will I do if I have no one to mind the kids?


KerryMum Sat 16-Aug-08 20:19:28

come on, I know there's people out there who have done this!

lilyloo Sat 16-Aug-08 20:20:21

Sorry never done it do you really secure a place if you camp out ?

KerryMum Sat 16-Aug-08 20:22:40

if you're there early enough supposedly. You're given a number. First ones in in the morning and all that. fgs that could be 9

in the middle of winter?

lilyloo Sat 16-Aug-08 20:25:12

I have never heard this and am shock i work in secondary school and cannot comprehend parents having to camp out for a place!

wheresthehamster Sat 16-Aug-08 20:26:00

You're joking of course.

Places are available on the basis of who's camped out the longest?

The local authority or whoever sanctions this should be strung up

KerryMum Sat 16-Aug-08 20:26:29

not joking in the slightest.


lilyloo Sat 16-Aug-08 20:27:54

bloody hell shock

magentadreamer Sat 16-Aug-08 20:51:38

Jeeeeeeeez! That is outrageous! Having queued overnight many years ago for tickets to see a pop group I'd suggest a sleeping bag, something to sit on, a radio and a flask. I was with a mate so we took it in turns to go off to the loo. Hopefully you can get a friend to do a flask topping up/hot snack run for you as well as save your place in the queue. I just can't imagine people having to camp out in winter to get their child a school place! shock

twinsetandpearls Sat 16-Aug-08 21:03:06

Where is this. Another teacher here win has never heard of anything like this.

SqueakyPop Sat 16-Aug-08 21:03:47

Sounds like the Harrods sale and Wimbledon finals.

KerryMum Sat 16-Aug-08 21:06:40

This is in Kerry. I knew it was bad (it was in local papers last year) but not that bad.

I figured if I showed up at midnight I'd be early. Friend told me that's what her brother thought but then someone called him at 9 p.m. and told him to get his butt down there pronto as there was already a queue

KerryMum Sat 16-Aug-08 21:07:55

There's no hope of getting a place otherwise.

SqueakyPop Sat 16-Aug-08 21:10:04

I'm amazed that England doesn't have the worst selection system grin

ReallyTired Tue 19-Aug-08 18:31:26

That is a hideous system. What about siblings? Or children who need to attend a particular school for SEN reasons? Or do Ireland not care about kids in a wheelchair who need say a flat site school.

It makes things like the Brigton lottery relatively fair.

NL3 Tue 19-Aug-08 18:51:23

I am familiar with this, you park your car outside the school and sit in it, when the queue starts to form you get out of your car and wait in line, people bring deckchairs, coffee, sleeping bags etc. As you know it will be cold. Do you know anybody who lives near the school, maybe you could use their loo, the people next to you will keep your place. I think you will need to find a babysitter. Sometimes the school does give a ticket to the earlybirds and then you can go home. Awful system, they did it at my niece's school in Dublin for a while, now they simply draw lots...not sure which I prefer

NL3 Tue 19-Aug-08 18:53:10

oh just another thought, do you have a friend queuing? maybe you could do it in shifts?

Blu Tue 19-Aug-08 18:58:17

God, how awful!
Full-scale camping, I reckon.
Or - get a little pop-up tent, get established at the head of the queue, 48 hours before the doors open, sleeping bag, camping stove, the works.

But when night falls sneak home to look after boys, leaving tape recorder of light snoring / shivering playing inside tent and then get back just before dawn the next morning and slip into tent, to emerge victorious at front of queue.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Wed 20-Aug-08 16:06:35

I heard about this for a prep school on Kensington and assumed it was just hype - but in RL?????
If you really have to do it, second the idea about parking the car, go with DH and if you can rope in a couple of teenagers who want to earn a few bob you could do shifts. Hoevere, this is an utterly insame method of allocation of places - can't you call upo the local paper (and/or Daily Mail) and raise an unholy stink about it?

KerryMum Thu 21-Aug-08 18:13:38

oh the local papers wrote about it last year iirc. They thought it was funny I think hmm something about the lengths parents will go to....

Not realizing that some schools in town aren't guaranteed places at any of the secondary schools and one is SO much better than the other academically....

Blu Thu 21-Aug-08 23:04:14

It seems very, vey wrong - schoolplaces should not be allocated like china in Harrods sale....have you (and other parents) made your view known through councillors or whichever level of elected body is responsible for this?

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