what are the chances of DS getting into this school?(15 Posts)
I have finished looking at schools for DS who starts next September.
In my search I found the most amazing school. The teachers are enthusiastic and the children are animated. I really want DS to go there however, 2 problems. Firstly, we live in a densely populated area where a mile to school is considered a long way. Secondly, to get a faith place you have to practically live in your church and there is a lot of competition.
There is also a new state school which is being set up round the corner from us, which I believe has potential to be amazing - however, there is one reservation and this is that I am bringing DC up as Christian and I am worried that he will stick out like a sore thumb in a school which does not have a religious ethos.
I was wondering if people who have been in a similar situation would be able to shed some light on chances of getting into school number one. Also, if he goes to school number 2 will he stick out if he is the only one in the class whose parents are religious?
It seems daft to be worrying about this - I keep on telling myself that times have changed since my day and people are more accepting than they used to be however, it is really worrying me.
You haven't given us enough information to tell you about school 1. How far do you live from the school? Is it a faith school and if so how involved are you with the church? What are its admission criteria in order? If it has a sibling priority rule, how many places are normally left for non-siblings? In previous years how far away has the furthest non-sibling admitted lived from the school?
Is school no 1 a faith school? Also even with more info no one can tell you with any certainly if you would get into school 1 or if school 2 would be ok.
But I doubt your child would stick out as a Christian (assuming you are not a member of church that has more pronounced views eg no tv etc) than any other child of faith. I went to school with kids who were strict baptist (11 children, no TV, no attendance at some biology lessons due to evolution theory etc) and they were still liked/respected.
Even the non-faith school will still have an element of Christian worship. At 4 DS is unlikely to stick out - firstly there will likely be other "religious" families, secondly at that age children just accept their peers' differences without really questioning.
School no 1 is a faith school and we live about a mile from it. There is no sibling policy and he does not have a sibling at the school. I know that they first of all give priority to people who attend church in the borough council and then to those who are not in the council (we live on the border of 2 councils and our church is in the neighbouring council). I would describe myself as very active in church life. The last question you asked about how far away the furthest child is a good question - one I am not sure I know the answer to.
I guess I am wondering whether there is any point in it being first choice if my chances of getting in are remote or whether I should stick with school 2 (which we practically live next door to).
If it is your genuine first preference then it's always worth putting it first "just to see". Then you will always have the 2nd school as a fallback. You are not reducing your chances of getting into school 2 by putting it second.
You need to find out the last distance offered last year for the criteria you fit under. Only then will you know your chances but, even if your chances are low, putting it first is still the right thing to do.
It doesn't lessen your chances of getting the closer school by putting it second. The order of preference only comes into play if more than 1 school is able to offer you a place in which case, the one you put highest on your list is offered and the one you put lower is automatically declined on your behalf
Interesting I thought it would affect my chances if I put it second. This is at least reassuring.
No not at all - as long as you are in England, they have to use equal preference.
That means you list your choices and each school is told you have listed them but not where you have listed them
They look at your form and compare it to their entrance criteria (siblings / distance / faith) and tell the council if you meet their criteria well enough to get an offer.
If more than one school tells the council it can offer you a space, the council declines the schools lower down on your list on your behalf. You'll never even know they were going to make you an offer because you get the only one offer - the highest listed school that said you met its criteria.
If only one school on your list can make you an offer, that's the one you're allocated whether it is your 1st, 3rd or last choice
So order of preference makes no difference at all except where you get more than one offer.
It cannot be used to get you into a school you don't qualify for (putting a school 1st doesn't get you any special priority there - you have to meet the criteria) and it doesn't exclude you from a place at a school you qualify for should you list it 2nd or 3rd and your top choices turn you down (the schools never know if listed them last, only that you listed them somewhere on your form so they cannot discriminate anyway)
Why not contact the "new school" and ask them about the religion issue?
The thing is, if a school is sufficiently diverse (We get this in London) there will be a number of different religious groups, including the secular. My children were with children who were Buddist, Muslim, Hindu and in the Christian category, C of E and Greek Orthodox and Coptic. Not many Roman Catholics as there is a Catholic Primary not far away. So in that school having a Christain religious ethos would not be a problem. So no reason to stick out, unless you thought you ought to. (I was at school with a guy who was "seperated brethern" - they regard the "exclusive brethern" as hopeless backsliders, with the "exclusive brethern having the same view of the "Plymouth Brethern"
Apart from not ever being allowed to go to anyone's birthday parties, he didnt stick out. Tho' he wasnt allowed any books other than the Bible either. Not sure how that worked in practice.
If I was you and your council does not provide distance of the furthest admitted pupil last year, I would buy 1 month access to Good School's guide and would check it there.
For example, in our oversubscribed RC school in London 0.6miles was the furthest distance admitted (it was my DS).
The council really should provide info about the furthest distance where a place was offered last year.
In fairness to the council, I don't think OP has asked them yet.
Some publish it on their websites but it can be a faff to find. It will usually be under education > schools > applying for a primary school place and then buried in a PDF file somewhere.
Some you can just ring up and ask - they generally have it to hand as it forms the major part of admission criteria for most schools.
Ask school 1 what you need in the way of recommendations from your priest/minister, baptism etc. Church schools will often offer places to out-of-catchment Christians ahead of in-catchment non-Christians. Much to the annoyance of some MNers!
It depends whereabouts in the country you live, I suppose, as to whether being a Christian would being an issue for anyone. I sort of can't imagine it being, given that Christianity is default religion of the UK and lots of non-believers go to CofE schools.
It's a complete non-issue at my dc's school, although we're in a very diverse part of London, so everyone's mixed in together.
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