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Please explain primary applications to me in words of one syllable....

(13 Posts)
theyoungvisiter Sun 25-Oct-09 07:25:28

Ok what I don't understand is, are you penalised for putting a school second on your application list?

Will children who put it first get offered a place before those who put it second, even if they are not as high in other criteria?

We live in London close to two schools, one very good and massively over subscribed (so a tossup whether we would get in, even though we're on the doorstep) and one pretty nice, but not as oversubscribed.

We had thought of putting the oversubscribed one first, but it's such a long shot, we don't want to do it if it might prejudice our chances with the other school as the remaining options are pretty scary.

Wheelybug Sun 25-Oct-09 07:31:38

I think it depends what your borough's policy is. In most around here (I am in Kingston) you do not get penalised for putting a school 2nd. You get considered for all your choices as if they were your first choice and then you get given your highest choice one (if that makes sense).

blametheparents Sun 25-Oct-09 08:19:09

have a look at your Borough's website. They ususally have a pdf download of the admissions information and oversubsciption criteria.
Ours also lists all the schools, the number of palces each school has, and the number of children who applied for those palces last year.

LadyOfTheFlowers Sun 25-Oct-09 08:36:40

If you are doing an online application, make sure you fill everything in TO THE LETTER. Fill all the boxes etc.

If you are doing a paper application, use block capitals - be sure it is easy to read, try not to make any mistakes at all. Get 2 forms if you can so you have another in case of cock-ups.

On ours we had to state 3 school and our reasons why we wanted them - I put as many reasons I could, even saying that even though the walk was 20 mins, DS would be fine with that as he would ride his bike and be fresh and alert when we arrived.

The school I applied to was oversubscribed by 69 places this year and just outside of my catchment area - DS got a place.

My friend who lives directly opposite me applied to the same school, but decided as she only wanted her son to attend this school she would put it on the form as 1st, 2nd and 3rd preference and only put reason - that she wanted him to go there.

She didn't get in.

I later found out, if when all the apps. are in a school is heavily oversubscribed, they will quickly whittle the pile down to the number they need - if you have filled the form in wrong, especially on purpose, it will go straight in the bin.

Hope some of this ramble was useful if you go for the more popular school.

Good luck.

carocaro Sun 25-Oct-09 08:54:43

Put your first choice first, then your 2nd,
then your 3rd etc

I only put two as there are only two schools near us, I then paniced as someone told me that I should have put a third, even though it's across the other side of town, 30 mins drive away.

It was like waiting for exam results. He got into 1st choice, but we are in leafy Cheshire and we are spoilt for choice with great state primary schools.

Get someone to check your application, because it's such an important process I think you can get too stresses about it and miss somthing important by mistake, easily done. And get it in on time, if not, you are buggered!

carocaro Sun 25-Oct-09 08:55:46

Up here, the criteria goes

1st - Catchment area
2nd - Siblings
3rd - not sure!

theyoungvisiter Sun 25-Oct-09 09:18:59

Thank you - I have looked on our borough website but it's crap tbh, the webpage information is pretty sketchy and the fineprint is all buried in huge 100-page pdfs.

There is very little info on how over subscribed they were - I think you have to physically visit the school and ask each one for their stats.

I didn't realise it varied so much from borough to borough, so thanks for the advice.

And thanks for the tip on putting down three choices - that's really useful as I only have two I want to consider, but in view of your friend's experience LOTF, I'll put down a third anyway! shock

Carocaro, the thing is, it's not really as simple as "first choice first" for us, as I am not sure if our first choice is realistic. If it affects our chances of getting into the second choice, I don't want to risk it.

I think we're like Kingston (thanks Wheelybug!) - at least I hope that's how it works - but have heard conflicting things from other parents so not sure. Perhaps I'll ask the headmistress's advice when we go for our visit.

BetsyBoop Sun 25-Oct-09 11:41:07

see schools admission code section 2.14 onwards. (All schools & LEAs HAVE to follow this)

Schools are NOT allowed to apply "first preference first" rules.

Put the schools down in your preferred order & you should get a place at highest choice where you make the "cut off" on their criteria. If they, in effect, penalise you for putting a school lower down the preferences & don't give you a place for that reason only, then it's grounds for appeal

theyoungvisiter Sun 25-Oct-09 12:13:11

Betsy that's BRILLIANT, thank you. Just what I needed to know.

Wheelybug Sun 25-Oct-09 16:09:59

Ah well if you're in Kingston I can give you fairly good info as we went through the process last year ! Do you want to say the school's name (or initials) and I may be able to help ?! If you don't want to I understand !

theyoungvisiter Sun 25-Oct-09 20:03:20

no we're not Kingston - far from it, Haringey in fact!

But thank you for the offer - and if you have any general tips that might apply to both boroughs then I'd love to hear them.

chickbean Sun 25-Oct-09 20:14:10

We're just outside the catchment for a really great school (DS1 goes to the pre-school) and inside the catchment for not quite such a good school. I know some people are worried about putting the second school in case the LEA just sends them there anyway. I'm happy for DS1 to go there if he can't go to the first school with his friends, but don't want the first choice to be ignored completely. From what people are saying, it looks as though this should not prejudice the first choice.

Wheelybug Sun 25-Oct-09 21:45:52

Doh ! Sorry theyounfvisiter I read it as 'I think we're in Kingston'. I thought it a bit strange you didn't know wink. I realise now that's not at all what you said.

I would say though, make sure you visit the 2 schools (you may have done, in which case ignore me !). We had the choice of a, on paper, better school and a 'good but not quite as good' school. We had decided to put the 'better' school first until we visited them both and both, without question, preferred the other one. Only a half term in, but so far seems like the right choice.

Good luck ! I remember many a sleepless night last year.

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