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In Year Admissions help - a bit long, sorry.

(5 Posts)
Faxthatpam Thu 08-Nov-12 19:36:45

I am after some advice really. My DS4 didn't get into the local Primary that his siblings all attended due to changes in the admissions criteria to admit children with siblings over those without (his siblings have all left the school for secondary). He did go to nursery there with friends he made at playgroup and was devastated when he found he wasn't going to the same school as them. They are a very close group and the others all had siblings so did get places. He has been very good so far, and is going to school reasonably happily. However he asks every day when he is returning to his old school, he sees his friends on the way to school most mornings and really misses them. I have tried to explain and encourage him to settle, but he just doesn't understand why he can't go to "his" school with his friends. He is doing ok, but it is becoming clear that he will not settle and still wants to change schools (I had thought he would make new friends and change his mind). He even announced to the class he would be leaving in a few weeks, I found out when several mums and his teacher asked if he was leaving. It has also become clear that the one firm friend he has made will be shortly leaving as he is 1st on the waiting list for a school much nearer his home.
So.... I am in the process of completing an in year admissions form for the end of the year when the current waiting lists end. I have a couple of questions that I am hoping a wise MNer will be able to help with:

1. Would it be advantageous to withdraw him from this school and home educate him, in terms of moving up the waiting list for his preferred school? He is currently 6th on the list, with one sibling above him and the rest on very tight distances to school. I realise this is a fairly drastic option, but if it meant he would move up the list I would consider it at the moment, as I'm becoming increasingly worried about him.

2. Is there any point in putting the above mentioned reasons down on the form? It does ask for our reasons for moving him, but I am not sure what they are looking for? ie SEN or educational reasons for the move?

The admissions team that I speak to on the phone are not particularly helpful, hence my posting here.

Many thanks in advance.

prh47bridge Thu 08-Nov-12 21:38:03

Home educating will make no difference to your son's position on the waiting list. That is decided purely by the admissions criteria.

The "reasons" box on the form is there because it is a legal requirement. However, it is pretty pointless. Nothing you put there will improve your son's chances of getting a place unless it is relevant to the admissions criteria, e.g. special medical needs. And there should be spaces elsewhere on the form for anything that is relevant.

tiggytape Thu 08-Nov-12 22:19:33

Faxthatpam - it is sad to hear that he still misses his old school so much. I guess it is hard for him to settle quickly as he hasn't really had a clean break in the way other children do if they move to a completely new area for example.
He still sees old friends everyday and still feels he is missing out and who can blame him? I guess it is a fine line between trying to encourage him to forget about his old school and focus on his new one and yet still let him stay friends with the people he knew there.

prh is the expert on admissions and it is true unfortunately that nothing you can do (short of moving closer to the school or getting one of his siblings a place there) will bump you up the list.

The waiting list works in the exact same way as initial allocations: siblings get priority and then distance so if somebody with a sibling asked to go on the list they'd go above you. And if someone who lives further than you is on the list, they'll be below you even if they joined the list first.
The only drastic thing you could do to move up the list is move house much closer to the school but that is really drastic and it won't help you get a place if none become available since you are reliant on someone moving away because of the class size limits and, in some schools pupil turnover can be low.

Since the waiting list is probably a long term option, is there anything his new school can do to help. They must know he is unhappy if he announces his departure to the class. Have they suggested a buddy or extra support to help him feel settled. It is still early days but some extra TLC at school might help him

admission Thu 08-Nov-12 22:23:24

You should put down on the admission appeal form the reasons why you want to move him. At present those appear to be that he went to the local nursery, that all the siblings went to the school, his friends are there and that it is the local school.
But the question that you really need to answer is whether any appeal would be an infant class size appeal or not because the honest answer if it is would be that the only way to win such an appeal is to show a mistake was made in the admission process. I presume that you do not think a mistake was made.
So what is the admission number of the school that you want your son to attend?
If it is not an infant class size case then the reasons that you have are a starting point but you need more in my opinion to get a place on appeal.You need to look for things that the preferred school is doing that the current school is not doing. So things like maybe clubs the school has.

Faxthatpam Fri 09-Nov-12 13:54:25

Thanks everyone, sadly it is as I thought.

We went through the appeals process in the summer after the allocations. It was an infant class size case, so I knew it was a waste of time, but felt I had to try and I was very cross that they didn't use a footpath across a green at the end of our road. This was the basis of our appeal, but although the panel was extremely sympathetic - nobody in 15 years of taking my children to the school has ever used the route they measured our distance by - it did not constitute a mistake so the appeal failed.

I guess we will just carry on as we are, and hope for the best. It is difficult to know what to do, as Tiggy says I don't want to stop him keeping up with his old friends - one especially he has known since babyhood and regards almost as a brother. He says he there's no one he wants to come on playdates from his new school except the boy who will shortly be moving. His teacher says he plays with lots of children at break time and seems fine, they are keeping an eye on him. He is not unhappy as such, just totally unenthused and clearly sees it as a temporary situation, and only a matter of time before he will be with all his proper friends. I am just worried that it isn't. Hopefully he will settle soon and make some good friendships that will change his mind.

I am also hoping that once the waiting list ends and the in year application process starts, there will be some drop off from parents of children now settled in other schools.

Fingers crossed, and thanks again for all the advice.

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