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Hiccup with 1st choice faith school

(13 Posts)
fairydustallover Sat 29-Dec-12 10:19:14

We have been attending the church in the next village to us for two years. We were/are planning on moving to that village within the next couple of years. Also the church school is very good.

The admission requirement is to show 'regular' attendance at the church- stipulated as fortnightly or 26 times between 1st Sept 2011 and 1st Sept 2012.

When I got the form back from the church it says that we have attended 24 times during this period (you sign in each time).

I rang the school and asked if this meant we will definitely not get in under this criteria as we haven't attended the required 26 times. The lady spike to the Headmistress and rang me back later and said for me to submit a covering letter to the school.

Does anyone have any idea where we stand in terms of getting a place under this admission criteria?

I'm wondering whether it would be better to put my second choice school as first choice now as we have a good chance of getting in due to location.

Orchidskeepdying Sat 29-Dec-12 10:24:59

You can't have been every sunday for 2 years then!!! Preference would go to parents who are more commited church goers... then if space to you. thats only fair! Why didn't you just go weekly?

LIZS Sat 29-Dec-12 10:36:53

Unless you have extenuating circumstances then you simply haven't met the criteria as published. Presumably you would be considered in the next category (religion or distance?) so if it is an oversubscribed school then it means you are taking your chance with those who do not attend the local church. Can you find out how many were admitted in that category last year although obviously demographics will vary from one year to next, otherwise impossible to quantify your chances.

fairydustallover Sat 29-Dec-12 10:45:29

Church is only on the first 3 Sundays of the month. Also I had a baby in March so obviously missed a few then.

They take into consideration baptisms as a sign of commitment to the church and our baby was baptised there in August. So I'm just confused as to where we will come on the list really. Why would the school ask me to send in a covering letter?

ItsaTIARA Sat 29-Dec-12 10:50:42

If it's your favourite school then you have nothing to lose by putting it first. Either you'll get in (great) or you won't, in which case you'll have just as good a chance at your second choice as you would if you'd put it first. No reason to change your order of preferences.

LIZS Sat 29-Dec-12 10:57:23

If they state fortnightly/26 times and you haven't met it there is no room for discretion. Presumably dc1 wasn't baptised there and you have had 15 other occasions to attend during the year.

scaevola Sat 29-Dec-12 11:05:51

Admissions are under an 'equal preference' system (and have to be, it's the law). You do not need to alter the order of your preferences, as rank on the form has no bearing whatsoever on whether you are offered a place. You will be offered a place at the highest ranked school for which you qualify, and will only get that one offer.

If you put school B as your first preference, and are offered a place there, yo will not be offered a place at school A, even if quirk means they did get into the lower attendance categories this year. If you put school A as first and (as you expect) miss out there, it will make no difference whatsoever to whether you get a school B place.

admission Sat 29-Dec-12 19:02:24

This is all about what exactly the school admission criteria says. I would argue that fortnightly or 26 times between two dates are not the same thing and especially so if there are only services on three weeks of the months. By my reckoning that means that nobody can meet the requirement to go fortnightly some months if the church only has services for the first three weeks of the month.
The admission criteria needs to be specific and to be met for you to be considered in that category. However it is not unknown for faith schools to take a somewhat more cavalier attitude to the exact meaning of an admission criteria, especially when it is someone that the church / school is aware of. I would definitely put in a letter explaining why you did not quite meet the admission criteria, you have nothing to loose.
Having said that it is all about the exact meaning of the admission criteria and a poorly worded criteria is an open invitation to appeal for a place based on the school having mis-interpreted the admission criteria. If you PM me with the school and LA I will look at the exact wording of the admission criteria and give you an opinion on what I think it means, based on my experience sitting on admission appeal panels.

This does sound awfully as if you are just attending church to get into the school though.

fairydustallover Sat 29-Dec-12 20:19:21

Does anyone know how the governors rank the applicants?

LIZS Sat 29-Dec-12 20:34:33

It should be clear form the admissions booklet published by LA /School. It might be 1.Looked After/SEN, 2. Those meeting the specific religious attendance then possibly those of that religion but attending different church or residents of the parish, then distance from school. Siblings might also take priority over those from outside the parish. You need to check the criteria as that is what they have to work by.

JWIM Sat 29-Dec-12 21:06:50

If the school is a Voluntary Aided school then the Govering Body is the Admissions Authority and they will (should) rank all applications naming the school in order based on the Admissions Policy criteria. The Governors will not know what choice position (1st etc) applies to any of the applications.

dixiechick1975 Sat 29-Dec-12 22:40:12

Did you sign in for baptism or xmas service - can imagine easily overlooked on a special day.

Just wondered if you have your own records and any mileage in getting it amended to 26 by the church prior to submission.

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