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last house in catchment area!!!

(16 Posts)
josie2312 Sat 27-Aug-11 11:34:11

we live in a semi rural part of wisbech by this i mean we are 2.5 miles from town we had been refused a place in the 3 closest to us schools. every week i check where our daughter is on the reserved lists and every week we have gone down the list, this they say is due to other people applying for these schools that live slightly closer than we do!!!......we are the last house in the catchment for all of the local schools they are 2.5, 2.8 and 3.0 miles from us.....we are at our wits end the school they allocated us is not a very good school infact its appalling and we turned it down......thinking we are bound to get in one of the 3 we chose as we were placed as 1, 3 and 4 but now we are placed 7, 10 and 12, how on earth are we going to move up the list if everyone that applies lives closer than we do!!!...

prh47bridge Sat 27-Aug-11 12:41:14

I am sorry this is happening to you. Given that you turned down the school offered you have limited choices. You could appeal for your local schools if you have not already done so. Your chances of success depend on whether or not infant class size rules apply. You can also ask the LA which schools have places and apply for whichever one of them you find most acceptable.

savoycabbage Sat 27-Aug-11 13:26:57

Yes, have you appealed?

josie2312 Sat 27-Aug-11 15:20:13

yes we appealed but they were all infant class size appeals so didnt win any of them sad we had to turn down the school its reputation was awfull and upon doing my own research found out that both the headteacher and deputy head had both been away from school due to stress and a further 6 teachers would not be returning to the school this september...i just feel that if the school is your catchment school then distance from home to school should not be an issue when deciding who gets in, it all just pees me off a bit..

teacherwith2kids Sat 27-Aug-11 15:58:11


But if the number of children in catchment = more than the school can hold, on what basis would you suggest that the places SHOULD be allocated?

Is it reasonable for a school with 30 places to take e.g. 56 children in a class if all 56 live in the catchment??

CustardCake Sat 27-Aug-11 17:31:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

prh47bridge Sat 27-Aug-11 18:19:10

Are you in Fenland? If so, Cambridgeshire helpfully have a document on their website saying which schools still have places. There are places at Alderman Jacobs, Beaupre, Benwick, Burrowmoor, Coates, Elm, Friday Bridge, Glebelands, Guyhirn, Kingsfield, Leverington, Manea, Murrow, New Road, Orchards, Park Lane, Peckover, Thomas Eaton and Townley. Assuming this is still up to date, if you apply to any of these schools they have to offer a place for your child.

As you have already appealed you cannot appeal again so, unless you are willing to home educate or wait until the start of term following your daughter's fifth birthday, taking a place at one of these schools (or another school with places available) is really your only option.

I understand your comment that distance shouldn't matter but, as others have said, if the school only has space for 60 and there are 145 children in the catchment area applying for places there is no way the school can admit them all. They therefore have to have decide which children will get in. Whilst a few LAs use lotteries, distance from school is by far the most common tie breaker.

josie2312 Sat 27-Aug-11 18:22:00

but what im saying is that if you are on the reserved list for the school the LA have said is your catchment school surly it should not matter how far or close you live to is your catchment school so you should not be moved down the list because someone else lives slightly closer to it......we would of had to drive past all 3 schools we put down to go to a school that is not in our catchment??? this is the bit i do not understand....

admission Sat 27-Aug-11 19:02:33

From looking at the Cambridgeshire site, they seem to have a fairly standard admission criteria for community schools with siblings in catchment and then catchment children having priority. You seem to suggest that you are in catchment for more than one school, is this actually the case? Did you apply for a place at your actual catchment school?
Obviously if you applied for your catchment school and you were unsuccessful then it must have been on distance from your home to the school, which is by straight line distance.
As others have said the alternatives that you have are to wait and see what happens in September - it is not unknown for a good number of pupils to not turn up because they have moved etc and the parents have not informed the school or LA. But being realistic that is not likely to be 8 pupils who fail to turn up. The second alternative is to talk to the LA and find out where the nearest school is that has a place and accept that.

Clary Sat 27-Aug-11 19:20:58

But Josie surely yr last post is contradictory - if you were the person who lived nearer the school than you do (IYSWIM) how would they feel if you got the place, living further away?

It's obviously unfortunate, but clearly does happen. How near to you are the schools on PR47's list? I'm guessing you would be driving to school anyway so it's not a nightmare if it's 5 miles not 3 (for example).

teacherwith2kids Sat 27-Aug-11 22:19:13


Are you saying that you are happy for initial allocation of places to schools to be on the basis of distance if there are too many catchment children BUT after this point, once reserve / waiting lists are set up, you feel that it would be fairer if 'time on waiting list' was taken into account rather than new 'late' applicants being given a place on the waiting list according to the original admission criteria (siblings, distnace etc)?

I think that in fact is a more arguable point than saying 'all children in catchment should get a place' - should a relatively distant on-time applicant be moved down the waiting list because someone moves into the area and their new house is closer to the school?

Having been, through no fault of our own, in the 'late applicant next to the school' category, I can see this one from both sides. Is it fair (if the rules were different) that someone moving into an area, even if they live right next to a school / have SEN / have a sibling with a place, would always be the last on a waiting list and ALWAYS have to travel to a distant undersubscribed school? It would make moving, especially with more than one school-aged child, even more of a nightmare than it already is!

CustardCake Sat 27-Aug-11 23:04:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

teacherwith2kids Sun 28-Aug-11 08:48:48

Custard - I didn't know that about the law, thanks!

CustardCake Sun 28-Aug-11 09:28:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

prh47bridge Sun 28-Aug-11 18:44:06

Just to get all technical, the Admissions Code doesn't go through as a White Paper nor is it discussed or voted on by Parliament. There is a consultation following which it is "laid before" each House for 40 days, which simply means a copy is placed in the appropriate place in each House.

It is, however, a statutory document authorised by the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, which means it has the same effect as if it is the law. Admission authorities must comply with the Code. Failure to do so can lead to judicial review, although I would always recommend that parents should exhaust other avenues before considering going down that route.

Sadly some LAs seem to believe they are above the law and behave in ways that are clearly contrary to the Code.

CustardCake Mon 29-Aug-11 10:52:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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