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Waiting List Admissions advice please

(8 Posts)
Pyrrah Mon 03-Dec-12 23:20:40

I'm in the final stages of filling in 'that' form and had a couple of questions.

There is a school that we really, really want DD to attend which we will definitely not get allocated as we are a good 500m outside the last distance accepted. However they have a very high rate of mobility in the area. A friend who lives further away than us got her DD in last year via the waiting list and we hope to do the same thing.

We are only within the 'furthest allocated distance' for one school in our area, the other options are faith schools and another community school that we are massively outside the distance thing.

I'm planning on putting:
1 - school we really want
2 - school we are likely to get
3 - faith school that is practically next door
4 - community school that we are too far away from

If all goes as I expect and we are allocated school No.2 on our list, how do we go about getting on the waiting-list for school No.1? Do we have to appeal or just stick our names on some list?

Do I become best friends forever with the admissions dept at the council and plague them till they tell me where we are on the waiting-list on a daily basis - or do they call me, or do I call the school?

The school we want has so many added pluses that there is no-way that we wouldn't pull her out of wherever she is. Can I find out what happened in previous years regarding waiting list applications?

If you get a waiting list place after the start of term how do you go about informing the current school?

Sorry, big list of questions there.

yellowsubmarine53 Tue 04-Dec-12 07:27:46

You're absolutely right to put the school that you're likely to get on your list.

What did you think about the faith school? Is it oversubscribed? Do they have places for non-faith siblings? If you preferred the school that you are likely to get then you're right to put that as your second preference.

in regards to the school that you really want, then your LA should put you on the waiting list of any school that you put as a higher preference to your allocated school until at least Christmas, but it will be worth you calling to check that this has happened quite soon after allocations.

There won't be any point in plaguing the admissions dept. You should call them quite soon after allocation to ensure that your dc's name is on the waiting list and check what position she is in and go from there.

What happened in previous years isn't necessarily that helpful. The birth rate has been rising for sometime and local demographics affect things too, especially of popular schools.

The LA will explain what to do re in year admissions/transfer if this situation arises.

prh47bridge Tue 04-Dec-12 11:07:18

You should automatically go on the waiting list for your preferred school if you don't get offered a place there, but it is worth calling to check as mistakes are sometimes made. You certainly don't need to appeal to get on the list.

You can go down the waiting list as well as up. As Yellowsubmarine says, there isn't much point in ringing the admissions department daily. They will contact you if a place becomes available and your child is at the head of the waiting list. If you are near the head of the list it may be worth checking occasionally.

If you place the school you are likely to get as your second choice it is unlikely you will be offered your third or fourth choices, simply because you only receive one offer so, unless there are no places available, that will be your second choice. Only make it your second choice if it really is your second choice.

Pyrrah Tue 04-Dec-12 11:22:52

Thank you!

So I am right in assuming that you can go on the waiting list only for schools that you listed higher than your allocated school?

DD is currently in the nursery of the faith school, but there is a huge difference in terms of applications for the nursery (that many parents don't know about) and applications for primary. We do get a couple of points because DD is in the nursery, but it may not be enough to actually get a place and since we are staunch atheists we aren't too keen on a faith-based education.

On the other hand, I would rather put up with a bit of praying for 200 yards down the road than end up with the LA sending us to a sink school 3 miles away if that makes sense.

The school we are likely to get a place at has an Outstanding Ofsted and would suit DD better than staying at the faith school, so I will put that second in case we don't get anywhere with the waiting list.

On the other hand, I would rather put up with a bit of praying for 200 yards down the road than end up with the LA sending us to a sink school 3 miles away if that makes sense.

DD is an only and likely to remain one, so sibling places aren't a concern.

The school we really like isn't under-subscribed (is that even possible in London?), but nor does it have any more applications than most of the others in the area - plus they are going from 30 to 60 places this year. In the immediate area of this school there are another 4 Outstanding primaries so there is plenty of choice for local parents, it's not THE school.

How common is it for parents to move a child once they have settled at a school - assuming that the allocated school is perfectly reasonable?

If by Christmas a place hasn't come up can you apply to remain on the waiting list till one does?

Do I have to give a reason for wanting to move schools if she has already started at another before a place comes up?

Pyrrah Tue 04-Dec-12 11:26:00

Thanks prh47bridge!

Will the LA tell me my position on the waiting list?

If I don't manage to get a place in Reception, can I reapply for a place in Yr1?

prh47bridge Tue 04-Dec-12 12:49:03

You should be on the waiting list for schools that were higher preferences than your offered school automatically, although some LAs don't always get this right. You can ask to go on the waiting list for other schools as well, including any you named as lower preferences than the offered school. Some LAs limit the number of waiting lists you can go on.

The LA/school is only required to operate a waiting list until Christmas. Thereafter some won't have a waiting list at all, some will expect you to confirm that you want to remain on the waiting list, others will just keep you on the waiting list. Your LA's admissions booklet should tell you what they do.

You do not have to give a reason for wanting to change schools.

The LA should tell you your position on the waiting list although a few prefer not to do so, presumably because they have had problems with parents who don't understand that you can go down the waiting list as well as up it.

Yes, you can reapply for Y1 if you don't get a place in Reception. You may find that isn't necessary, though. Some schools/LAs just keep the waiting list running, so if you don't get a place in Reception you will still be on the waiting list for Y1. But you are entitled to apply for any school at any time regardless of whether or not you are on the waiting list for that school.

HoratiaLovesBabyJesus Tue 04-Dec-12 13:03:13

In our school this year three children got into Reception from waiting list as spaces were freed by those going into the private system and those relocating. The respective parents gladly pulled them out of the also-good schools they had started at, and now a few weeks on none of the children remembers any different really.

Good luck. I did not enjoy this time last year with the uncertainty!

Pyrrah Tue 04-Dec-12 16:26:45

Thank you all!

Horatia, that's really good to know. I know the Ofsted for this school particularly mentions the high levels of mobility within the school so I imagine it is pretty significant if it gets a mention.

Will be great if we manage to get a place before September, but I'm fortunate in that DD will have a decent school in the meantime if we don't.

Annoyingly, one has grey pinafores/skirts and one has navy pinafores/skirts and since DD is very tiny I will have to buy both in July - or can you shove grey pinafores in the machine with Dylon? grin

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