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Local Authority don't read your "reasons" for school preference, do they?

(16 Posts)
UnquietDad Sun 18-Jan-09 14:43:42

Because that's what I have been telling people and I want to be sure it is true.

I can't imagine them reading every form and weighing up the reasons. They simply look at the hierarchy of criteria: in our LA I think it is SEN, siblings, catchment, distance, anything else.

tiggerlovestobounce Sun 18-Jan-09 14:45:08

If it isnt part of the criteria then I dont think they could take it into account.

ladyjuliafish Sun 18-Jan-09 14:45:49

I know someone who asked the LA and they said they didn't read them. They can hardly say to someone 'I know you're in catchment and have siblings at the school but the Jones wrote such a nice letter'

Tommy Sun 18-Jan-09 14:46:45

they don't read the letters unless they are over subscribed - then they have to start sorting them out according to the criteria

ForeverOptimistic Sun 18-Jan-09 14:49:49

Why do they ask for them if they don't take them into account?

In our area they don't ask.

nkf Sun 18-Jan-09 14:51:03

I think they just apply the criteria to each application.

UnquietDad Sun 18-Jan-09 14:53:28

I've always been pretty sure they don't bother, so I do wonder why they ask people to write anything. just to make parents feel better, I suppose hmm

ladyjuliafish Sun 18-Jan-09 14:55:17

I've no idea why they ask. I still wrote in the space though because I felt like a neglectful parent by leaving it blank.

MrsMattie Sun 18-Jan-09 14:56:22

Nah, pretty sure they don't.

ElfOnTheTopShelf Sun 18-Jan-09 14:58:40

Can I ask a question about primary schools? Are there still catchment areas? Do I have to apply to my nearest school or can I try a few near me in the hopes that one will be one my cm already picks up from?

tiggerlovestobounce Sun 18-Jan-09 15:00:43

There are catchment areas. Im in the catchment for 3 schools, so even with that there is an element of choice.

UnquietDad Sun 18-Jan-09 15:01:26

Depends on your LA, elf. Most do still have them, some don't. But you can apply in theory to any. It just depends on the criteria and the places available as to whether you will get in.

hippipotami Sun 18-Jan-09 15:05:23

I would like to think they would just go by criteria first of all. But if they are left with say 5 equally deserving (according to criteria) applicants and only one place, then perhaps if someone has put a good reason than they may just have the edge...

ElfOnTheTopShelf Sun 18-Jan-09 15:06:17

I am searching for our catchment areas; the issue is that I live down the road from my CM but on the journey you cross from the city council to the county council. One website tells you the catchment schools, the other (mine) doesn't!

RustyBear Sun 18-Jan-09 15:07:31

I think they only read them if it is being considered under the 'medical, physical or psychological grounds' (which is our LA's second criterion) and only to check there is supporting evidence.

roisin Sun 18-Jan-09 16:00:45

I can't imagine they do. I put on mine that I didn't want ds1 to attend the school where I work (which is our catchment area school). But that is not an admissions criteria.

If we had got in (which we did) and other people didn't who lived closer than we do, then I would have expected them to be able to legitimately complain.

The only rider I would give is priest/vicar supporting letters for religious schools. We have an RC school in the town, and their bottom criteria is students who have no connection to RC schools/churches, but do support the ethos of the school and have a connection with another christian denomination. Dh (as a Baptist Minister) is often requested to write letters to go with such applications, which he does. But he writes different letters:
1) for the child who has been in our church every Sunday since he was born, whose mum runs the youth club and whose dad runs the brownies, or whatever.
2) for the child who came for about 6 months to our cub pack and to our holiday club once for a week.

When the school is oversubscribed, I know the HT does read these letters carefully and does make judgements accordingly.

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