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Did you have a comments section with each of your chosen schools on your application?

(12 Posts)
headfairy Thu 22-Sep-11 14:08:30

I've applied online for ds's reception place. I can change it up until the 15th January, but under each choice of school there's a place where I can add comments. I basically begged them to let my ds in to the school <shameless> but I was wondering, who actually sees these comments? What should I be putting in there?

Like I said, I can change it grin

yellowsubmarine41 Thu 22-Sep-11 14:27:30

They're there to provide information/choices should you not receive one of your preferences. In this instance, they're only useful if you would definitely prefer eg a faith school or a single sex school.

Allocations are via the admissions criteria, which usually state that if you aren't eligible for a place in one of your preferred schools you'll be allocated a place in the nearest one with an empty place. Stating a preference for eg Catholic schools may mean that you get allocated a place further away but in a Catholic school.

cookcleanerchaufferetc Thu 22-Sep-11 14:46:21

Might be worth saying you are very keen to join the PTA!!!!!

headfairy Thu 22-Sep-11 14:50:13

Oh yellowsubmarine so they're for more general comments. I thought they were for specific comments about why you want to go to that particular school. There's a box under each school choice hence my thoughts.

cook I've been particularly grovelling on my first choice school, but I hadn't thought of the PTA line. Might add that in grin

So who actually sees those comments? The schools? The LA admissions departmetn?

Dozer Thu 22-Sep-11 15:07:00

Doubt there's much point in grovelling.

headfairy Thu 22-Sep-11 15:07:41



PatriciaHolm Thu 22-Sep-11 15:14:10

As already said, allocations are via the admissions criteria. Saying how much you like the school, your desire to be on the PTA, etc will have no effect. I don't know why some LEAs (ours didn't) persist in having these boxes against all choices, they simply make people think they can give themselves an extra chance by writing nice things! You can't, sorry.

prh47bridge Thu 22-Sep-11 16:00:37

As PatriciaHolm says, these comments form absolutely no part of the admissions process. The regulations say that the LA must give you space for stating the reasons for your preferences so Patricia's LA is actually breaking the law by not having them. However, I'm with Patricia's LA as these boxes are misleading. I would leave them blank unless you have something to say that may put you into a higher admission category, e.g. evidence of special medical needs. Even then, there should be somewhere else on the form where you can put that information.

CustardCake Thu 22-Sep-11 18:12:14

The comments have no bearing at all on your chances of getting a place in a particular school unless, as prh47bridge says, you are writing something like "this school has a specialist hearing unit and our daughter has hearing loss" but that goes in another section anyway and will be backed up with medical letters.

Putting something like "I know we live out of catchment but I really want my son to go here so I can keep the same childminder and not have to shorten my hours" will have zero impact.

I think its misleadig too because it gives the impression that the school will see this and somehow be able to give special consideration to those who come up with a really good reason when in fact only special and documented reasons can boost your chances of getting a place and the school has zero discretion about who they admit. If you don't meet the admission criteria, you won't get in, its as simple as that (special / medical reasons aside)

sunnyday123 Thu 22-Sep-11 20:12:27

My DD's faith school gave out a supplementary sheet with 3 Q's:
Do you live in parish?
Are you catholic?
Do you have a sibling in school?

They admitted they categorised everyone off this sheet - didnt even look at completed application forms and only used these 3 questions to shortlist! (so didn't even see my essay on the back!) Most schools have criteria and rank accordingly - ignoring everything else.

clam Thu 22-Sep-11 20:13:34

You can join the PTA in any school.

prh47bridge Thu 22-Sep-11 22:49:50

Just one minor correction to sunnyday123 - ALL schools have admission criteria and rank accordingly, ignoring everything else.

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