Richmond Primary Schools Waiting Lists

(53 Posts)
HexGirl Tue 15-May-12 13:09:37

Has anyone had any luck getting through to the admissions team to find out where their child is on the waiting list yet? I've called twice now and keep getting the automated message that they anticipated the waiting lists would be available from the 10 May.

I know they must be up to their eyeballs but it would be quite nice to speak to a real person!

playgroup Tue 15-May-12 14:02:17

i would email
cannot get through either.i heard computers have crashed!!

HexGirl Tue 15-May-12 14:25:24

Thanks! Will do that this afternoon. It's so frustrating as we just want to be able to work what our options are!

playgroup Tue 15-May-12 14:33:36

I know what bloody options !

HexGirl Tue 15-May-12 14:46:11

Well, they aren't looking great at the moment!

HexGirl Tue 15-May-12 15:18:51

Had a call back - not looking good at the moment!

Teddersmum Tue 15-May-12 16:03:17

Hexgirl, what exactly did they say? Can they not find enough places still? Did they mention bulge classes?

HexGirl Tue 15-May-12 16:15:07

Sadly I missed their actual call but they left the message telling me our place on the waiting lists.

I am going to phone them tomorrow - have now got a number other than the one on the initial offer letter so I can find out a bit more on what is going on!

Basically, it sounds like we have no chance at all with three of the schools (we are 88th on the list with one!) and an outside chance with two (7th and 12th respectively).

Our problem is that we were offered a place just not at any of the schools we applied to in the first instance and having now had a chance to look at the school we've been offered, I am really not keen on it at all!

I am looking at the appeal route for one of the schools and whether we have a viable chance or not. I have heard that if you kick up a fuss then you have a better chance but that does sound a bit far fetched to me as presumably that makes a bit of a mockery of the whole admissions process but at the same time if shouting the loudest will make a difference, I'm going to do it! smile.

2008 seems to have been a bumper year with a large number of them being siblings!

Jenny70 Tue 15-May-12 21:45:14

For what it's worth, as I understand the Richmond admissions (and appeals) even though you have accepted a school your place on the waiting list at your preferred school won't change. So if you live closest to school, you're top of the list (medical/sibling factors excluded) whether you are already in another school or not.

Which is fine, to some degree, but those in "black spots" which lie just that bit too far from any school have no school place. And then when/if a spot becomes available, it goes to the closest person - who may already have a place. The place they vacate goes to the next closest person, but the person in the black spot still have nothing. Eventually, these people may get lucky that noone else closer wants a spot, but more often than not they are offered schools 2+ miles away, that noone else wants. It really is that they are being offered the dregs after everyone else has swapped the best spots between them.

It is such a bind - I've heard (not through official channels) that there are 170 kids with no place in Richmond - so juggling the odd place here or there isn't going to cut it. But adding bulge years isn't seeming to happen.

When these people are new to the educational system (if they weren't they'd presumably be siblings), it is such a stress that seems to be worsened by bad planning - surely this is no shock that there is a bumper year of children - many would be in nurseries etc, and they would know the overall numbers of kids to school places isn't matching up.

Teddersmum Wed 16-May-12 08:19:42

Jenny70, thank you for taking the time to write that, it has helped me understand the process a lot more.

We finally got an email reply yesterday,we are number 18 on collis list, they did not mention the other schools. My husband is going to email back today to ask why they are not putting in another bulge class, when one is clearly needed.
I feel so fed up of this mess now, dread to think the state of play in a few years from now! Makes me angry that the council give the go ahead for so many new builds, travelodged etc, when what we need is another soddin school. Grr.

Sorry for the rant sad

playgroup Wed 16-May-12 09:15:57

I sent my emails to Mathew Paul he is the guy in the borough who makes the final decision on everything for education ie bulge class he is the money man
M.paul@richmond.gov.uk
He will reply pretty prompt in my experience get ranting

HexGirl Wed 16-May-12 10:49:15

Thanks Jenny70, that's really helpful to know. as you say, it is amazing that they haven't planned for this better with adding in bulge classes etc.

We weren't in a black spot as such but our closest school is CofE and then the other two schools next closest were pretty much equidistant from us. The actual geographical for both our preferred schools shrank a lot because of high sibling intake and general bumper year. This meant that we got offered the school that pretty much nobody else wants. I have tried to be open minded about it and actually give it a chance but so far my first impressions aren't that great.

Do you think a lot of people are hedging their bets with private places/ state places and this might cause some movement closer to the start of the school year? If you haven't already rejected a private place you're already in most cases committed to the first term's fees so maybe people wait to the last minute to make a final decision about the private route depending on jobs/ financial security etc. Vice versa, maybe they're holding out for a state place at their preferred school.

I have this awful feeling that we'll not know for certain where DS is going until the week before!

HexGirl Wed 16-May-12 10:49:47

Playgroup - sorry meant to say thank you for the email details - I may have to do my own mini rant as well!

playgroup Wed 16-May-12 13:05:19

I think most movement if at all will hapen in the first week of September as some children do not turn up as they may have moved away or have gone private.however the borough cannot rely on that as it is uncertain and Will need to make provision before that anyway especially if there is 170 unplaced kids
The only person I know who is going private did not bother to apply for state place anyway.

playgroup Wed 16-May-12 13:06:17

It is a small m for Mathew in the email addresses computer gone mad

Teddersmum Wed 16-May-12 16:30:55

Email bunged off to Mr Paul, will wait and see what he comes back with....

internetjunkie Wed 16-May-12 16:43:33

Exactly as you all say - this many reception children can hardly be a surprise for the people supposed to be in charge!

We are in a black spot - the local primary school was closed down in the 1980s and the ones nearest to us now are all outstanding in ofsted ratings ... but we are not near enough to them to get in! We were offered a place somewhere just under 2 miles away which is satisfactory in the last ofsted report - way below all those closer to us. There is a lot of snobbery about it and I am trying really hard to avoid that (but it is hard when people choke on their coffee when I mention its name!); I'm mainly disappointed because it is so far away and not remotely in the community where I have brought up my DS for the first 4 years of his life.

It just seems crazy not to have enough spaces. We felt lucky to get a place anywhere so we accepted ... I couldn't find a feasible reason to appeal, but now I hear about people choosing to shout loudest and make a fuss I feel a bit of a fool to have just rolled over.

Can we appeal after accepting - presumably not - will we ever get through on a waiting list when there are so many children without any place at all?

playgroup Wed 16-May-12 18:01:56

Nobody has won an appeal in Richmond for the last 2 years and you cannot win virtually impossible if there are already 30 children in the class.So I think shouting loudly is over exaggerated.
Also the waiting list are held in order of the admissions criteria taking no account for those children who are unplaced they are not given higher priority.POOR THEM
Have you found out your wait list position for your higher preference schools I got mine via email

internetjunkie Wed 16-May-12 18:22:20

Just got mine via email - we are 45th on the list of the nearest school!! So we'll have to forget about that (it's only 1 form entry too) - not surprised as the catchment area is practically a few metres. We're 14th, 17th, 20th and 30th on the others, and 7th at the RC school almost next door (but we're not RC so that's a bit of a long shot).

Glad to hear that appealing would have been pointless - I thought so, and also felt too guilty when we had a least got a place somewhere - unlike so many - exactly - POOR THEM. In fact I just spoke to a nursery mum who's DD hasn't yet got a place (lives very close to us) and she said that she's in a worse position this week on the waiting lists than she was last week .... what a shambles.

What about you?

playgroup Wed 16-May-12 18:34:44

i think you must be in mortlake just a guess and am 30 ish for first choice in teddington

internetjunkie Wed 16-May-12 19:10:12

I am in Mortlake - very well guessed! Are you in a 'no-man's land' area as well?

My youngest is due to start reception in 2014. A primary 'free school' has been proposed for our area and they find out this summer whether they will get the go ahead from the government (to open 2013) - it would be madness if they get turned down - I think there are some others being proposed for the borough too. Not that this will help our 2012 reception children.

playgroup Wed 16-May-12 19:35:41

that free school looks great you can always move your eldest when you get the little one in .
i know the area well mortlake/east sheen as we were looking for house there before we decided on teddington

Jenny70 Wed 16-May-12 22:13:28

Personally, I would't believe many people are holding private places AND applying public - I think if money/circumstances permit private then people will have forked out the cash and made that decision by now.... around here many companies pay the private fees, but then the parents wouldn't apply public too (would they?).

In this economic climate I think private numbers must be down (although when my DD couldn't get a place anywhere close, even private had no places). My only experience to this is my neighbour, who had their son on private list, paid reasonable amount, but decided against going there when they had to pay the whole term in advance ... only to find they haven't been offered any place for reception by the LEA. Majorly kicking themselves now.

And I do feel very sorry for those with less confident children who have been offered no place (like my neighbour's boy), not knowing which school they will be going to, visiting it, driving past it, seeing kids in the uniform etc - just being landed there on day 1 of school possibly not knowing anyone, hard call for any kid, but some kids it would be completely overwhelming.

Bashfulblue Thu 17-May-12 08:12:47

Hi ladies - not in your position this time (thankfully), but we did have a similar situation with my DD1 so I know how you feel. Just wanted to offer reassurance that the lists do move, and also that people do leave primary schools in droves once they've started at them. By the time you get higher up the schools there will be less than 30 in almost every class. So my advice would be to put yourselves on the waiting lists of every school you want, stay in regular touch with the council, and if necessary start at another school with the intention of moving if a place comes up and you're not happy where you are. Lots of people do this, although some find the school they initially go to turns out fine.

What you do if they haven't offered you a place anywhere I'm not sure. Presumably given it's a legal requirement for children to start school, a place has to be provided somehow?

HexGirl Thu 17-May-12 12:53:27

Internetjunkie - I have a very strong feeling that we are talking about the
same school given your location and where we are!

It's interesting to hear about the appeals/ shouting the loudest etc. and the success rate (or lack of!). I don't want to be the one labelled as the pita parent but do have this worry about whether accepting and not doing anything else means that the "shouty" parents will succeed where I don't. I know that sounds completely irrational and illogical given that there is an actual process for admissions etc.

We are 7th on the list for our first choice and 11th for our second choice (which I wish we'd now put as first choice!) so I have no idea whether the
position will change before September. The next best we are 50th on the list so I don't think there is any chance there!

DS's nursery did mention that instead of him starting school in September, we could keep him at nursery until such time as a place came up at one of our waiting list preferences. I don't think this is a good idea as he would be without a lot of his friends (he's only just turned 4 so has a mixture of friends that will be in the same academic year and those that are next) and he is more than ready for school and I know he would feel the odd one out. Although kids are adaptable, I still think it would be pretty hard to start after everyone else even if this is only a matter of weeks.

Will be keeping fingers crossed for everyone who is negotiating this minefield at the moment!

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