parkside federation(4 Posts)
Hi - we are new to Cambridge as well as the UK, so we don't understand all of the intricacies of the state system here. My DD is currently Year 7 in a prep school, but we are looking into possibly moving her into state secondary for Year 9 ( starting 2019).
Can someone please explain how the Parkside federation works? I presumed that since our house is closest to TrumpingtonCC, that would be our secondary school, but it looks like we are in catchment for Coleridge, which is further away...
How hard is it to get into Trumpington or even Parkside if you are not specifically in catchment? We would be applying for Year 9 which I do understand is not a main entry point.
Thanks much for any advice.
Ignore the 'federation' aspect. If you're new to the UK you may not realise that many secondary schools are operated as part of Multi Academy Chains. Parkside Federation is just the name of the overall chain that these schools are part of. You apply to the individual school, regardless of whether it's in a chain.
My DC1 is at Parkside Sixth... Can't comment on access to the secondaries I'm afraid.
There are exceptions, but for most schools you apply for a place via your Local Authority. You should be able to apply to for a place at whichever school(s) you prefer, but where you will be offered a place will depend on what places are available in the right year group in the school(s) you apply for. The usual advice is to accept whatever place you are offered and go on the waiting list for your preferred school.
Each school will have its own Admissions criteria, but typically it would have categories like:
1. Looked After children (i.e. Children in Care or being adopted)
2. Children with Special Educational Needs / an Education Health Care Plan
3. Children with siblings already in the school
4. Children living in catchment
5. Children living out of catchment
When a place becomes available it is offered to the child in the highest category who lives closest to the school, not the child who has been on the list for the longest time.
In this example, your child would be in category 4 for Coleridge and category 5 for Trumpington, so all other things being equal, you might expect to be offered a place at Coleridge sooner than Trumpington.
In the real world, schools' Admissions criteria will vary, there will be varying numbers of places available and waiting lists move at different speeds, depending on how many children leave. Contact the School Admissions team at Cambridgeshire Local Authority for advice on your situation.
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