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(36 Posts)
lea2810 Tue 12-Mar-13 22:11:29

I put my daughters name down for a reception place for September, I only put one preference down as I didn't know u had to put 3 down, today I found out I'm actually not in the parish where iv put her name down even tho that school is closer to me than the actual parish I'm under, iv got told today that if I don't get a place at the school iv put down that I will get placed anywhere and only be put on a waiting list incase someone doesn't take the place they are offered...have I just ruined my daughters education by only putting one choice down as I got told I will be placed in the nearest school that has a place surely that school is going to be a crap school if it has extra places, I'm absolutly scared to death she will end up in a rough crap school!

annh Tue 12-Mar-13 22:27:10

Well, it's not a great situation to be in, to be honest. Did you not read the booklet which came with the application form, which should have advised clearly against putting down only one choice?

Talking about a parish suggests that you have applied for a faith school. There will probably also have been a supplementary form for that school, did you complete that?

You need to check the admission criteria for the school you have chosen, work out whereabouts you come on that list and then ask the school how many, if any, people have been admitted to the school in past years from that category. Just because it is not your closest school does not mean that you will not get a place.

Once you have been allocated a school place in April when the offers are made, if you do not get your preferred school, you can go on the waiting list for any schools you wish your daughter to attend. Your are not restricted to only one waiting list, you should be able to put your name down on as many as you wish, although some LAs are a but difficult about that. There can be a lot of movement on admissions before the term starts in September so you may well get a place at your preferred school or another good one.

Do not panic yet, what's done is done and all you can do now if look at actions you can take after offers have been made.

annh Tue 12-Mar-13 22:44:39

Oh Lordy, typed without my glasses on. Now I have put them on I can see mistakes all over the place in my last post blush

tiggytape Tue 12-Mar-13 22:52:59

annh is right - there's no point fretting about it now. The advice is to always list as many preferences as allowed so you stand a better chance of getting one school you are happy with but you cannot change it now.

Instead, when you get your allocation - if it is bad news, make sure you are on the waiting list for your first choice school and, in addition, ask to be added to the lists of the other local schools that you would accept but did not list.

Waiting lists do move. The best lists to ask to be added to are the schools that perhaps have a larger intake (more scope for movement), are close to your home (you'll be higher up the list if you meet their distance criteria) and that aren't so stupidly popular that not even all siblings get a place (lists on mega-oversubscribed schools may not move much and may never reach you)

Also don't write off the school you are offered. Go and have a look. Talk to other parents. A 2009 Ofsted report won't tell you much - things can quickly change (for better and worse) in all schools so you need to visit for yourself and see what you think.

Fingers crossed though you will get lucky and meet the criteria for the school you listed.

KateShrub Tue 12-Mar-13 22:58:00

Assuming you don't meet the published admissions criteria for your 1st choice, you will be allocated the nearest school that is undersubscribed.

This might be:

(a) quite some distance a way
(b) not very good

But it's hard to talk about things in the abstract if you don't want to give detail on where you live.

(Although admissions stats are published by the council, in most cases, so you could figure out, based on previous years, which schools you are most likely to get.)

lea2810 Tue 12-Mar-13 23:14:24

I have spoken to the admissions today and give her 2 more preferences in the case I don't get in my preffered school, which she will add on after the offer date, so iv given her the actual school in my parish (further away from the one iv put her down for-so stupid how they work that out) and another catholic school out of my parish, so I will basically go on the waiting list for all 3 if I don't get in my preferred, I'm criterea 3,4 and 5 for those 3 schools! I'm absolutely bricking it, but like u say I can only wait until the offer date n keep my fingers crossed that I will get in the one iv put down! So stupid how I only put one down but it just said choose between 1 and 3 it didn't say I could get put anywhere if I didn't get my pref...wish I would have put 3 down in the first place now sad

KateShrub Tue 12-Mar-13 23:16:02

So why have you added 2 schools that you are not in catchment for?

You are aware that you may be allocated school 5 miles or more away? And it might be awful?

lea2810 Tue 12-Mar-13 23:51:37

I'm aware of that now yes, got told today! iv added 2 out of the catchment area as there is only 1 in the catchment area, when I first put the choice down I was told by the 2 schools I was in that parish found out today I'm actually in the other parish, even tho the walking distance is further.

annh Wed 13-Mar-13 08:06:38

Lea you keep talking about parishes which makes me think all of these schools are faith ones. There is almost always a supplementary form to be completed for faith schools, detailing your level of commitment to the church - baptism, attendance on Sundays etc. Have you filled in any of these forms? Do you meet the criteria to be able to get them signed?

annh Wed 13-Mar-13 08:10:49

Also, do you understand what the different level of criteria for the schools mean? Each may have different admission policies e.g. giving higher priority to siblings. You have to know what the different categories are and work out what kind of chance you have of getting a place from that category.

Definitely double check after offer day that you have been placed on the waiting lists for the other schools. I don't understand why the LA would agree to add you to a mythical waiting list at this point when you don't even know if you need to be on it!

Bunbaker Wed 13-Mar-13 08:14:09

Do you actually mean parish or LEA?

LIZS Wed 13-Mar-13 08:17:48

Do you still have the original application booklet or can you get a copy? That should set out the criteria for each school and show which had more applications than places last year, how many children were admitted under each criteria and how far the catchment went. If your 1st , and/or new 2nd and 3rd "choices" (not that they will come into play until later) were oversubscribed and you do live within the distance of last child admitted then it is less likely your dd will get a place unless you meet the specifics of religious criteria (ie practicing regularly at the parish church/es local to the school which would probably need to have been evidenced). Sorry you feel you have been so naïve and potentially lost out but all the details would have been in the paperwork.

tiggytape Wed 13-Mar-13 09:09:18

When you apply to schools, you put your first choice as the school you'd love in an ideal world.
One of your other choices should really be a school you qualify for even if you don't like it (on the basis that a rubbish school at the end of your road is better than being sent to a rubbish school 5 miles away by bus which is what can happen if the council cannot give you one of your choices)

The council have no discretion about who gets which place. It is entirely decided by how well you meet the admission criteria for each school. So if you are applying to a faith school outside your parish and don't have a sibling there you may have zero chance of a place if historically all places are allocated to siblings and to people who've attendeed a certain church for 2 years. It doesn't matter if it is your first choice - if you don't qualify, you can't go there.

The booklet LIZS talks about will tell you such information. You need to know if you have any chance of a place at the schools you have named and you will find this out by looking at how they allocated places last year (some super over-subscribed schools only give places to siblings so nobody else gets in. Some unpopular schools take all who apply even if they live miles away).

It is not clear from your post whether you have just named schools that you like or whether you have given consideration to naming at least one school that you will definitely qualify for even if you like it less.

Frankly criteria 3,4 and 5 may not be good enough for many schools. If they are popular schools with faith criteria and sibling priority, you're unlikely to qualify unless you meet the faith criteria.
Is there no very local school that has no faith criteria and just goes on siblings and distance? If so, you probably need that one on your list.

annh Wed 13-Mar-13 09:27:22

Tiggytape, the OP has already applied, this is for admissions in Sept this year. She has only named one school on the application form so unfortunately it's too late to talk of checking the criteria or putting down a "safe" choice on the form. What people are advising her to do now is minimise the potential of her dd ending up at a completely unsuitable school.

It's difficult to understand exactly what kind of school the OP has applied for, whether there is a confusion over the use of the word "parish" and what exactly the admissions person said yesterday. I think the OP may feel that she now has some additional chance of getting one of the two schools that she has identified as suitable alternatives when, in reality, she will just have to go on the waiting list with everyone else after offers are made.

tiggytape Wed 13-Mar-13 09:35:00

annh - sorry yes - I was talking about admissions generally but also OPs options for waiting lists since the council have allowed her to name 2 more schools for waiting list purposes.

She wants to be certain that at least one of these 2 additional schools will be a dead cert school that she will qualify for even if she doesn't like it much. There's no point her asking the admissions team to put her name down to be added to the list for 2 more schools where she is criteria number 5 and 4 as that indicates she is low priority for those schools and will therefore be right at the bottom of their waiting list and possibly never get an offer.

If she has a very local school and asks to be put on their waiting list, she will get one of the first vacanacies that arise from them and will at least have a local school offer even if it isn't her ideal choice.

annh Wed 13-Mar-13 09:39:02

Tiggytape no worries, I thought you might be providing general advice for others! smile As you seem to be a bit of an expert on admissions, can you tell me if the LA are already operating waiting lists for next Sept reception classes in advance of the offers being made? It just seems a bit odd to have a waiting list for classes before the offers.

lea2810 Wed 13-Mar-13 11:03:04

Sorry to confuse people basically I was told I was in st bredans parish (she currently attends this nursery, its also catholic I want her to go to) this is also the nearest catholic school in my area and that point I was criterea 3...1 being looked after catholic children, 2 being catholic children living in the parish with siblings at the school, me 3rd catholic and living in the parish but now I am in number 5 as I know have found out I don't live in the parish so number 4 is looked after catholic children out of the parish then me 5 catholic children out of the parish...I'm basically right on the boarder of this school and the one in my parish, so I have now given the council 2 more choices to be added to the waiting list if I don't get a place at this school, I am criterea 3 in that school its the sane criterea list as above school. There is no other application forms I have to fill in for being catholic.

tiggytape Wed 13-Mar-13 11:17:04

annh - no they won't have the waiting lists in operation yet. Allocations go out in April, then there will be a 2 week period when most of the acceptances or declines come back, parents will be automatically added to waiting lists of or request to go on them and then the reallocation process starts.
Admissions however will be very keen to help anyone who may have made unwise decisions with their original applications so rather than make OP ring in April to be added, they might be willing to list her for those schools now in anticipation of early movement on the lists next month. (If I were OP though, I would still ring after allocation day and check I'm on those lists and ask to go on others as well)

lea2810 - how does the school know you are Catholic then if there ar eno forms or checks?
How do they know that the people who get a place under criteria 3 are genuine Catholics and not just people who just happen to live in the parish and fancy that school?
Are you 100% certain there is no form for the priest to sign, no baptism certificate needed? Either that is the most lax admission criteria ever or there is some proof of faith required that has been overlooked.
Also, is there a non Catholic school closer to your home than any of the ones you have so far expressed interest in? You are Catholic and want a Catholic school but you are not very high on the admissions criteria for them. That may not be a problem if they don't get many applicants but, if they are vastly popular and most places are taken by Catholic siblings, you could find you qualify for none of them and need a place in a community school.

annh Wed 13-Mar-13 11:39:23

I agree with Tiggytape - how do the school know which criteria to place you in if they take everybody at their word about their faith? Are you sure that the criteria doesn't say something like the following:

Baptised Catholic children (baptismal certificate required) of practising families (i.e. at least one parent/guardian practising) from the parish of St X and whose application is supported by their parish priest or a priest known to them.

Are you prepared to say which school or parish this is, or perhaps send a PM (private message) to someone here with the information?

PatriciaHolm Wed 13-Mar-13 11:58:30

I've never come across a Catholic school that didn't need you to fill in another form to prove you are Catholic. Lea, you really need to double check that, or get someone here to do it if you prefer, otherwise you run the risk of being cat 5/6 instead. Just because your DD is already in the nursery doesn't mean you don't have to prove Catholicism again for reception.

BoysAreLikeDogs Wed 13-Mar-13 12:28:20

Sorry for a really stupid question - which country are you in eg wales, scotland, eire.

lea2810 Wed 13-Mar-13 18:03:09

Hi there is no form u just had to give them baptism cert which I did about a year ago, double checked they had it when I put name down, I can't get any higher than cat 3 as she isn't looked after and has no siblings. I live in bolton,manchester. The school I applied for is st bredans Harwood, (closest to my house) the schools iv given to be put on waiting lists are ss osmunds breightmet (this is my parish, even tho further away which is crazy) and the 3rd is st columbas bolton. I am thinking of changing st columbas to harwood meadows, this is the closest school to me but isn't catholic...I'm just in a pickle wish I would have pit 3 down but iv gone through all paperwork again and it doesn't say anywhere the consequences of only putting one and says choose between 1 and 3, I'm pretty annoyed and gutted if she gets put in a crap school what can I do? Could I like move schools after so long or are u not able to move schools?

denialandpanic Wed 13-Mar-13 18:26:22

op, do you know if the Catholic schools you listed are actually oversubscribed? down south lot of them are so people assume there will be a queue but it's not always the case! if local schools are not generally full you have very little to worry about.

lea2810 Wed 13-Mar-13 18:34:03

I don't know how you find out if they are oversubscribed...I know there is nothing I can do until 16th April...I'm just obviously really peed off with myself and nervous sad

tiggytape Wed 13-Mar-13 18:38:29

It is hard to find the figures for admissions because all of these schools are VA and therefore their own admission authority. However St Brendan's only has an intake of 30 children.
With the parish / sibling priority this means you aren't very likely to get a place unless it is a school not many would choose. I don't know the area so don't know how popular it is but, given that there are only 30 places, you may not stand a chance if you aren't a sibling or at least in parish.

Physical distance doesn't actually matter for St Brendan's or any of the schools you have listed because they give no priority to children for whom it is their closest school. I know for you distance will be a factor but since the schools don't look at that, it won't help that you are so close to St Brendans.

Saints Osmund And Andrew RC Primary looks more promising if you are sure you are in their parish because then you will be criteria 3 not 5 and they take 50 children not 30 so you have more of a chance after siblings have been allocated of getting in. Again though it depends how madly popular it is and how big your parish is as to how many others you are up against.

St Columbas - you are up against the same problems as St Brendan’s. Practically all other children get priority over you because they offer places to siblings and people in their own parish (Columbas) first. If you are outside that Parish you are way down the list of priorities which is fine if not many people want to go there but otherwise means you'll be hard pushed to get in.

If St Columbas is a popular school, I would seriously consider swapping it for the most local community school to your home. Wanting a Catholic school carries no weight in school admissions - the council aren't obliged to allocate you one and if you don't get any of the three RC schools you've picked, you could well end up with a community school a long way from home or with a poor reputation.

Why not ring St Columbas tomorrow and ask them if any out of parish Catholic children got allocated places in reception last year? If they say no, consider crossing them off your list and swapping to your local community school. If they say yes, you can decide whether you want to risk it or not.

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