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Getting DD into non-catchment school (bit long?)

(9 Posts)
MollyCherry Tue 19-Aug-08 22:23:39

We will have to choose a school for our LO to start in 2009 over the next few months. We have always been quite happy for her to go to our catchment school, but that has changed recently and I have no clue as to the best way to go about trying to get her in the school we would like her to go to.
Basically, catchment primary is merging with middle school next door in September of this year so will be massive and still going through a lot of upheaval by the time DD starts. More importantly to us though is the fact that her nursery school is in a different catchment and we would like her to go to that local school as all her closest friends from nursery will be going there. I know people will think this a lousy reason to choose a school, but she took a good 3-4 months to even start settling at nursery when she started just after her 3rd birthday last year. She is also (and will remain) an only child, and as an only myself I am keen for her to build on the 2 or 3 close friendships she has made at nursery, particularly as she is already expressing quite a a bit of anxiety at the thought of going to 'big school'.
OFSTED wise the schools are pretty similar.
Any advice/thoughts much appreciated....

hercules1 Tue 19-Aug-08 22:24:52

Is the school you want her to go to undersubscribed?

Heated Tue 19-Aug-08 22:26:10

Is the other school oversubscribed?

Heated Tue 19-Aug-08 22:30:56

oops, cross post cos my computer is being slow to load.

If the school is oversubscribed then your dd will stand no chance of getting in, unless you are in catchment. In terms of appeal you would be very low down on the list. If there are spaces then speak to the headteacher about the likelihood of getting a place.

MollyCherry Tue 19-Aug-08 22:32:28

We're going to go and see the school as soon as we can in September and have a chat with the headteacher, see where we get. I think it is a pretty popular school. How would I find out if it is under/over subscribed?

hana Tue 19-Aug-08 22:43:07

I didn't think catchments existed anymore? The schools normally go out in a radius around the school and when they reach 30/60/90 or however many classes there are - they stop. So catchment one year might be a few streets wider than the next, or smaller, etc.

You're better off talking to admissions for that council - as headteachers have nothing to do with primary admissions

BigBadMousey Tue 19-Aug-08 22:47:47

My DD1 starts in September in her non-catchment school.

I did a tour of all the local schools very close together to get a feel for each. I found each school to be incredibly helpful in helping me make a choice for DD. It's funny how youcan just walk into a school and know it s the right one, or know there is no way you think it would be suitable for your DC (although it might be great for others)

The head of the school should be able to give you an idea of your chances of getting in.

Both our chosen school and our catchment school were near their limit for subscriptions but we got lucky and there was a place for DD at our first choice.

DD was very nervous about starting school and our nursery has a large catchment area. She could not go to the same schools as most of the children she goes to nursery with because they were in a different county. Our nursery has done a fantastic job of preparing the children for school in the past month and now she is quite happy about it. By the time your DD is due to go she will probably be fine about it all.

She will definitely pick up on your anxiety though so my best tip is to make sure you are happy with your choice and what is going to happen - she'll soon relax too.

Good luck.

BigBadMousey Tue 19-Aug-08 22:55:13

hana - that wasn't the case for us.

Headteachers have nothing to do with who gets in and who doesn't but they will be able to let you know what your chances are. At one school I visited the council list said there would be spare places but when I visited the head said there had been a baby boom in that village that year and that they would be oversubscribed - the head was right.

(IME) the heads were very pleased to have an idea of possible numbers of people interested in attending that year. When DDs name appeared on their admission list they knew who she was (school is in a small village so most of the other children were known to the Head) which helped.

hana Wed 20-Aug-08 11:41:28

meant that heads have no say in who gets admitted , ie they can't sway the council to take particular students over others

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