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3 Choices for Primary entry, but only in catchment for 2. Please help me prioritise them

(5 Posts)
nextphase Sun 18-Nov-12 17:06:06

OK, just got the application form for applying for a primary place for Sept 2013.
We can make 3 choices, but are only in catchment for 2 schools, one of which I don't think we'll get into as it is the church school.
We have picked one more school, as we are right on the edge of catchment (nextdoors kids go there), but its popular, so we may well not get in - we this are currently at that school nursery for the 15hrs tho.
Should get into the other catchment school, unless there has been a big baby boom for this academic year.

The form says they don't take into account the order we list the schools, but they will try to give us our first choice... How does that work?

Are we likely to get penalised by putting a non catchment school first? Then a school we are unlikely to get into (ie the church school we are in catchment for), and the other catchment school as last choice?

Thank-you, its a minefield out there, and I know there are some very knowledgeable people out there.

Northernlurker Sun 18-Nov-12 17:13:23

If the non catchment school is your preference I would certainly put that first. Then the other two in the order you prefer. Sounds like it will be catchment church school and then other catchment school. What you dhould always do is put down a school you should get in to - and you will be putting down two catchments so that sounds good to me.

What they mean with the ordering is that they will admit according to criteria - distance, siblings etc not your preference. So you won't get in if you name a school as first choice unless you also are sufficiently high up the list in criteria terms. So if you live 1 mile away from a school and child B lives 1/2 a mile then if you and child B's parents both name the school as a first choice they will be higher up the list than you. Basically your child will be admitted to the school for which you have expressed a preference and also you sufficiently meet the criteria for.

Does your council guarantee an in-catchment place?

admission Sun 18-Nov-12 17:45:11

If you are in england then all Local Authorities have to use what is called the equal preference scheme when it comes to allocating school places. In summary this means that the LA looks at all the applications for each of the schools you have expressed a preference for and puts every application into order based on the admission criteria for the school. If the LA can then offer you more than one school, then they will look at which order you have put them in and will give you the place at your highest preference school that can offer you a place.

It is a mistake not to put down the catchment school, as this offers the best possible chance of a school place. However under the equal preference scheme it does not matter what preference order it is, if you put it down as third preference, you will get an offer of a place at the school if you are high enough up the order of pupils in admission criteria order. You have nothing to loose by putting down the out of catchment school as first preference, the CoE school 2nd preference and the other catchment school third preference.

nextphase Sun 18-Nov-12 18:09:50

OK, great. So, we put down both our catchment schools, but put our actual preference first, and so if there is a space when they get to admissions criteria 7 (in the school nursery), and were closest, we will get a place, even though there is space in a catchment school.
Admission - thanks for the explanation. Makes sense that way round.

Guarantee a catchment school??? hahahahaha They are building and expanding schools here at a rate of knots. Last year one on the other side of (small) town, was expanded from 30-90, and they are doing the same to 3rd choice this summer. Then the CoE school is going 30-60 the summer after.
Should get into one catchment school tho, even tho if I were to drive, its about 2 miles,but there is a cut through if I walk which makes it 0.5 mile. Other kids are closer by road and foot, but not in catchment..... And our preferred choice is the closest school to us, just not in catchment for it.....

Northernlurker Sun 18-Nov-12 18:36:19

Sounds like you're in a good position then. Remember you can stay on the waiting list for a place at your preferred choice even though you've accepted a place at another school. Waiting lists stay open till some point in the new school year I think. When we did secondary choices for dd1 we put down two choices. The first wa our preference and actually closer than our catchment school. Our council do (or did) guarantee a place in catchment. When the allocation came out we got a place at our second choice - the catchment school. I rang up and found that because we were so close to the other school we were actually first on the waiting list. One week later we got in to our first choice grin

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