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Waiting list for reception place - diff wording on admissions and supp info form

(10 Posts)
testbunny Wed 08-Jun-11 21:41:43

Hi there,

DD is on the waiting list for a reception place at a local catholic primary school under their category for other church goers.

The admissions criteria for the school states 'committed members of other Christian denominations' (Category 8). However, the supplementary form used to assess commitment says 'members of a faith community'. Our family are committed members of our local CofE church (we attend regularly and play an activie role in its activities). This isnt up for discussion.

However, a little girl is ahead of our daughter on the waiting list even though they dont go to church regularly ('a couple of times a year') or take part in any of the church activities, as the priest signed the form and they live closer. The priest knows the family but said that she would never have signed the form had it been explicit of any commitment to the church by the family (nb. the only other option to given to the priest was 'this family is not known to me' which wasn't true)

The school has said that the priest signed the form so it was her mistake. However, the form didnt have the word 'committed' at the beginning of 'member of the faith community' so didnt match with the wording in the admissions criteria.

My question is which takes precidence - the admissions criteria which stated 'committed member' or the supplementary form which simply says 'member'?

Any advice would be much appreciated! It just doesnt seem right that our daughter clearly fulfils the admissions criteria but is behind the other child who doesnt fulfil the criteria but got into the category because of wording.


prh47bridge Wed 08-Jun-11 22:04:04

The admissions criteria definitely take precedence but the problem is that the school has to act on the information it has. Personally I think the priest is wrong. I would not regard someone who goes to church a couple of times a year as a member of the faith community. However, it is equally true that the form should have been clearer.

If you raise the issue with the school they should check it with the priest. If they fail to do so and this other child gets in ahead of yours that could be grounds for a successful appeal.

testbunny Wed 08-Jun-11 23:37:50

Thanks for the reply. I have raised it with the school and they have said the priest should not have signed it but equally the form is 'open to interpretation'. I had hoped it could be sorted before any offers were made so could avoid an appeal in the future. However what we didn't point out to them is there is a clear omission of the word 'committed' from the form when it was clear in the admissions criteria. Surely they need to reword the form to include committed and send it out again? The priest said they thought it was ok to tick 'members of the faith community' as the family were known to them and the church is a community church (many families could fall under this bracket!). They would not have signed the form if it had said 'committed members' as per the admissions criteria. what do you think?

prh47bridge Wed 08-Jun-11 23:46:40

I think you need to tell the school what you have posted here about this family and see if they investigate. And I also think the school need to improve this form for next year.

testbunny Thu 09-Jun-11 13:22:51

i have told them already and they are not interested.

it seems then that i have a case but will need to wait until formal appeal i.e. when the child potentially gets offered a place. what a shame this can't be sorted without that. i would let it go but it is not like we have lots of other options, plus it just isnt right

admission Thu 09-Jun-11 18:06:40

I think that there is a clear need for the supplementary form to be reworded and for the appropriate people (priests) to be given some clear advice about the seriousness of the issue when they are scribbling their signature on these forms.
However having said that I do not believe that you can do anything about the situation. You might not like it but the priest has signed the form and the school has no alternative but to accept this as an appropriate indicator the family meet the admission criteria and put the application in the right place in the admission criteria order.
Until that child gets a place at the school it has no effect on your application and even then I suspect that most panels would have to agree they met the criteria, they got the form signed! You cannot get a place allocated simply because the forms are potentially misleading only if it specifically disadvantages you.

hocuspontas Thu 09-Jun-11 18:17:31

Although I agree with you I can't believe a priest would discuss an issue about another family with you regardless of whether it was right or not!

testbunny Sat 11-Jun-11 08:57:48

the priest didnt discuss it with us initially. we wondered why the other child fell within the category (they were above our daughter so it was obvious they had a 'church' place) so rang the priest to say there had been a mistake. it was then it came to light.

admission the form did disadvantage us - the fact it didnt match the admissions criteria could potentially mean as and when an offer gets made that our daughter should have had that place. does that not qualify?

admission Sat 11-Jun-11 18:45:53

Based on the normal admission criteria it usually says something like "'committed members of other Christian denominations' (Category 8) which will be confirmed by a signed supplementary form" On that basis they did meet the criteria, the fact that the priest made a mistake in signing it is immaterial, they have a signed form.
So the question is what exactly does your admission criteria say about proving you are a 'committed members of other Christian denominations' ?

testbunny Mon 13-Jun-11 17:36:21

Hi. It doesnt ask for anything to prove the committment just the signing of the form by the priest. I have spoken to ace today. We may have an arguement re clarity. I.e. how in the form do they assess committment for clarity to have taken place.

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