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Richmond Primary School Admission Advice Please!

(10 Posts)
ChocolateMama Sat 07-Nov-09 18:32:34

Hi, I am new to this board but was wondering if anyone could give me any advice/pointers as I am currently applying for my DS1 admission for schools next year. We have recently been told that we have not got a place for our son at our preferred church school nursery - and as nursery children automatically get a place in the reception class our chances of getting in are remote even though we are regular church goes and involved in the church community etc. I was wondering whether I should waste my first choice on this school or put as my first choice another secular school (very good) which is 400m from our house. It is our nearest school but heavily oversubscribed. Would putting it as my first choice give me an advantage over people putting it 2nd or 3rd or does it not work like this?????!!! It all seems very confusing - I just went to my local school back in the day... Hohum...

BetsyBoop Sat 07-Nov-09 19:15:57

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

Also check out para 2.66-7

KittyCorncrake Sun 08-Nov-09 08:12:04

depends where you are and what school you want - in Richmond the schools are so oversubscribed that realistically you will only get your nearest if you live within a few hundred yards, check with the school sec where the distance criteria cut off last year, and shrink that a bit sad. At our two nearest primaries in E. Sheen the cut off is usually about 250 meters max.
(btw the school sec usually has a pretty shrewd idea about distances and will be helpful in giving you a realistic appraisal. a freind recently enquired about a sought after primary and was told that the last time someone in her road got in was in 1999.. sad
If you are in Barnes - I seem to recall recent posts on threads about allocation by Friday's Child. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!

castlesintheair Mon 09-Nov-09 14:16:00

As others have said, your preference doesn't matter, it is done on distance. When I applied I deliberately put the school I knew I was least likely to get into first (probably the same one Kittycorncake is talking about) but it didn't make any difference, we were still offered the one nearest to us at the time (which is excellent). I'd still put the church school as your 1st choice as there is so much movement in the area and you could still be offered a place. Wherever you end up in RUT, it will probably be excellent.

mary21 Tue 10-Nov-09 10:30:23

Certainly in some of the nurseries in RUT not all the children proceed into the main school. So although you may be told all 50 children will go into the school leaving only 10 reception places which could be taken by siblings this isnt always the case. Some from the nursery will go private and others use it as a free nursery and are planning on one of the infant schools that doesnt have nursery places. Put the school you want first, assuming you are reasonably close and your local school second but get a vicars letter. Richmond operates an equal first choice policy

jackstarbright Tue 10-Nov-09 11:37:08

If you're absolutely sure all the nursery children automatically get a reception place (for many schools this is a rumour, not a reality) then I'm guessing you must have got the priests letter/ blessing when you applied to the nursery. So, now it's all about location (and siblings). It's certainly worth putting the church school down as it looks like you have a good back up in the bag!

fridayschild Tue 10-Nov-09 17:36:48

Unless the rules have changed recently, it makes no difference to the community schools where you put them in order of preference. So you should apply to them as many as possible (ie all 3). The faith schools have their own rules so read those carefully and follow them. I think that for some of those they do want to be first choice.

In Richmond the schools are so over-subscribed that there's not much choice, and you might try to train yourself to think about parental preference rather than parental choice. You get in based on distance to the school, almost regardless of what you put on the form. You can stay on as many waiting lists as you like though, and it's worth doing that. Places do get offered to waiting list children, but it is incredibly stressful being on a list, particularly if you have no place at all.

The council's education department are very helpful. I suggest you call them. They won't be able to predict what will happen this year, but they should be able to say whether your child would have got into the schools you'd like last year or the year before. Make sure you ask whether the place would have been offered initially, or whether it would have been a waiting list place. The school in question would also have a pretty good idea, if you are able to pop in and sweet talk the secretary.

The DSs school took a bulge class this year, so we could have had 60 in reception. But by the time the decision to accept a bulge class was made, and letters sent out it was June (!). Understandably many parents felt they could not hang on in limbo waiting for the council to get its act together, and went private. So we now have about 45 in two reception classes, which is great in terms of ratios, but has appalling funding implications for the school.

MrsGuyofGisbourne Wed 11-Nov-09 07:34:07

Bulge class creates problems down the line with an imbalance two/three years later with siblings sad. As a result of a bulge class two years before DS1, he was one of only 3 children in a class of thirty who were the eledest child, all the rest were younger siblings, and then two years later because of the dearth of siblings from Ds1's year, Ds2's was full of eldest children, ie pfbs and singletons, which made for a very different dynamic. Much better to have a mix of birth orders - bulge class skews this.

seeker Wed 11-Nov-09 07:41:06

I don't think that schools are allowed to automatically give places to children in their nursery. Have you looked at the school's admissions policy? I think that should be your first step.

You should also look at the admissions policy of your second choice. I would imagine that living 400m away will mean you're pretty sure of a place, unless there are lots of rising 5s living nearer than you. The order you put the schools shouldn't make a difference.

(there's no such thing as a secular school in the UK, by the way)

RatherBeOnThePiste Wed 11-Nov-09 08:01:51

I didn't think there were any schools left in Richmond that automatically gave you entry to reception if you got into their nursery class. Archdeacon was the last I thought but they have changed their criteria. I really would check it out.

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