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Selection criteria- what is 'social need'?

(7 Posts)
JackyJax Mon 29-Aug-11 05:06:42

Hello, in the school for which I want to apply, 10 children last year were given places based on criteria 3 'social need'. In order to prove social need you are required to provide a letter from a doctor or social worker. Apparently you have to prove that this social need can only be met at this particular school.

Does anyone know what 'social need' really means? The school I would like to get my child into is semi rural- not sure if this is relevant.

We're applying for a Year Reception and a Year 2 child- can I site social need for the Year 2 child because he would need to be in school with his brother as he wouldn't know anyone (we're coming to live in UK from overseas).

If anyone knows what 'social need' means I'd really appreciate your input.

cory Mon 29-Aug-11 07:22:43

Cases I have come across/heard of:

child with terminally ill mother was given priority for school which could offer specialist bereavement counselling

child suffering from hidden disability and anxiety was given priority to school where she already knew some children who knew of her condition

abused child offered place away from relatives' children

Lots of children don't know anyone when they start school, so I doubt that would count unless you could provide medical evidence that your child is likely to suffer more from this fairly common situation than your average child (e.g. letter from therapist about courses of treatment for anxiety).

sunnyday123 Mon 29-Aug-11 08:08:47

Hi being close to his brother wont count - they could offer you a place for both in another school to combat that. Usually social need is instances like cory says above. E.g. have to go to a school closest to a hospital if child has serious illness, or school can offer specific care or support that another can't.

prh47bridge Mon 29-Aug-11 08:36:37

As previous posters have said, it needs to be something fairly exceptional for your child to qualify. I am surprised the school managed to have 10 children in this category last year. Somewhere between 0 and 2 is more normal.

In addition to the kinds of things listed by Cory above, this category can also be used for children of social workers and police officers who need to be kept away from the children of those with whom they work.

There is nothing to stop you trying to get into this category on the grounds you suggest but it is highly unlikely to succeed.

MugglesandLuna Mon 29-Aug-11 09:50:22

I was just going to add police officers. A friend of mine used the Social Need category to get her DS into a different school as her DH is a Community Police Officer in the area where they live.

The only other person I know tou use the Social Need category is a lady in the support group I help run. She wanted her younger son to attend a certain secondary school because it would meet his needs. She used the category to make sure her elder son (a year older) would be able to go to the same school.

JackyJax Mon 29-Aug-11 11:59:13

Oh this makes complete sense to me now after you've all responded. I was thinking of social need in terms of having friends, fitting in, etc- duh! I can see from reading your comments that it's something much more intense. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond- really appreciate it!

admission Mon 29-Aug-11 15:23:14

JackyJax,
The normal reasons for social need have been given by others and that is why there is normally only a very small number of pupils who fit into this category. Is it possible the figure of 10 refers to all the schools in the Local Authority?
If the school has really admitted 10 under this criteria then there has to be a very specific factor (possibly an abused women's refuge very near the school) or the admission authority, who ever it is, is using a very different definition than normal.
I would check which kind of school this is. If it is a maintained school then the admission authority is the Local Authority, if is a faith school or a foundation / academy then the school will be the admission authority. I would check with the admission authority - send them an email and ask what this admission criteria covers.

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