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Help with school choices please :)

(6 Posts)
TyMinisterForMagic Tue 12-Jul-11 22:17:11

Ok so I am abit premature asking this, but it is bugging me.
Ds starts reception in september 2012, so need to apply this september. We have 3 good schools very near us, but 2 are village schools, and the nurseries around here have pre warned me not to waste my choices as they dont tend to give out the places to the dc who are not in the village. So that leaves me with one school.
My ds has been going to a very good school playgroup this year and is moving up to the school nursery. I want him to go to the same school, but we live a 15/20 minute drive away, it is quite a distance really but is a great school. It is in a crappy area and it isnt a school that seems to get oversubscribed, but it seems to be a hidden gem IYKWIM.
My question is would I be wasting a choice on going for this school? Are we to far away to even be considered? I am getting very confused regarding the whole system smile
HELP what would be sensible to do?

skybluepearl Tue 12-Jul-11 22:24:52

ring the school and ask if they think they will be able to take children form such a distance next year. They will know already about siblings/playgroup attenders and may have some kind of informal list that may clarify things.

TyMinisterForMagic Tue 12-Jul-11 22:29:10

Excellent idea, thanks, i will phone tomorrow smile

admission Wed 13-Jul-11 11:51:17

Do not rely on any information given to you by the nurseries. You must go to each of the schools and see for yourself what each is like.
Whilst you are at each school ask the head about admissions to the school, especially as to whether they are oversubscribed or not. If they are oversubscribed then you need to ask about what admission criteria they admitted under and how far was this. The LA has to produce a booklet with this information in as well, which will be available in September. This should then give you an idea as to whether you have a reasonable chance of getting into the different schools or not and you can express your preferences appropriately.
I would always recommend that as the fall back position you always put down your catchment school. Under the Equal Preference scheme that is operated by all LAs you should have a good chance of being offered a place at this school even if you put it down as your last preference. Having a school place is better than having no school place and then being allocated a place many miles away which is not a good school.

LIZS Wed 13-Jul-11 11:54:37

The information pack should give you an idea fo how far they have previously admittted children from and what criteria they priritise applications on. Howver just becasue they haven't admitted non-village chidlren in recent years won't mean that they can't another if fewer apply or there are less siblings.

swash Wed 13-Jul-11 12:27:24

If your local school is good, why don't you go to that. There is huge benefit in having local friends. We didn't get into our community school and I feel we have missed out.

But if you are set on the other school and it tends to be undersubscribed, then you are likely to get in. Talk to admissions and the school about your chances of getting in to be sure.

And if you apply, don't talk about it too much to other parents who live closer than you!

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