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is it possible to predict what the catchment of a religious primary school will be?

(8 Posts)
krisskross Mon 25-Jul-11 21:52:35

Is there anyway of predicting roughly what size a primary school catchment is likely to be?

The reason i ask is that our local catholic school catchment has jumped all over the place in the last six years - 1 mile one year and 0.48 miles the next and then up again the 0.7 miles. Community schools seem to have more stable catchments ( consistently small where we are!).

we dont really have an alternative choice so am wondering why the catchment is so changeable and is there anyway of predicting roughly what it will be? were applying this sept.


Hassled Mon 25-Jul-11 21:54:57

You need to find out the local demographics - birth rates for what, 2006/7? There are sites out there. It's that that's triggering the changing catchment area.

krisskross Mon 25-Jul-11 21:56:58

thanks hassled. would you just look for the birth rate in our area then?

i am a bit confused as to why community schools locally seem to have a more stable catchement. thanks!

Hassled Mon 25-Jul-11 22:01:08

I'd imagine it really is that simple as Catholic birth rates in a given area and how they fluctuate with immigration. emigration etc.

EdithWeston Mon 25-Jul-11 22:05:58

For faith places - especially RC ones, I'm not sure you can (they're very susceptible to birth rate and immigration, and are less likely than CofE to reserve places for community criteria entrants). You might be able to work out the historic minimum catchment is, but even that's not a failsafe predictor. Sorry.

hocuspontas Mon 25-Jul-11 22:10:19

The 'catchment' you talk about is only the distance to the last place allocated in any particular year, it is not a boundary fence. There are lots of children gaining places to the community school so the furthest distance will be less variable, possibly just including the same housing estate. The Catholic school will be dealing out places to Catholics first so the catchment will vary because there are less of them, they will sometimes go further afield if there are no 'local' Catholics to fill the places.

Marsh08 Thu 28-Jul-11 11:34:10

Hi, we found that the good schools guide plotted where children had come from on a map, but with 'bulge yrs' impacting on sibling no.s it's ultimately, if all fulfil the catholic criteria, it still seems case of living as close to the school gates as possible! We will apply to a school on the othe side of the borough too though as it's taking a bulge class so hoping there are not 90 Catholics living close to it so we will have a fall back if we are not close enough to our local school after siblings.

dixiechick1975 Thu 28-Jul-11 14:43:48

I don't think there is any way of predicting.

Could you speak to the priest - he will know how many babies have been baptised eligible for that school year, is the church or sundayschool busy with children of the same age etc.

But this and birthrate alone wont help due to people moving around.

I'd urge you not to be naive like I was (DD has just finished reception). Do have a back up plan.

We applied for a local catholic school. Not our parish but next one along. Where the school is doesn't have a church anymore but they still use the old parish boundary. Spoke to headmaster - you will be fine all from your parish have got in for the last 7 years or more.

The school is in an area where the majority of local residents are muslim. However the year we applied there had been significant eastern european immigration altering the make up of the area and their children correctly got the places - baptised catholic and within boundary.

We only were allowed one choice by LA so we had no back up option. DD went to local private catholic in the end.

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