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Missed the deadline for reception

(37 Posts)
TheCollection Wed 06-Mar-13 23:34:26

We realised today that deadlines for reception class application was Jan. There is a school literally opposite us (one of the reasons we moved here, ironically) so like idiot I was pretty relaxed about the whole thing. Now I realise that we missed the original deadline AND the late applications deadline, which was 15 Feb. reading the brochure there is pretty much nothing I can do. Has anybody else had a similar experience? If so, was there any flexibility on part of the local authority? (I suspect I know the answer to this one) Also, we never received any correspondence about this at all - not a letter, not a booklet, nothing (today my husband went over to the school to ask about it, and they gave him a booklet saying that he missed the deadline already). Is that normal? Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance

tiggytape Thu 07-Mar-13 10:00:38

Zipbang - it is very nice of your school to help parents with the process but that isn't the norm so in OPs case might not help. The school will just refer parents to the council - especially at this late stage because the school has no say whatsoever in who they admit. I am sure they will be sympathetic but there is nothing practical they can do to help at all.

Decisions about taking extra pupils is also not something for the school to implement. Where places are short, councils sometimes ask schools to take bulge classes (extra children taken above the official numbers) but again that is a central decision not something the school itself just decides to do. If there are places available in other local schools, then children will be expected to go there even if it isn't their nearest school and the 'full' schools won't have extra numbers added to them since this is a last resort not done as a favour to parents seeking a nearer alternative.

Some schools have an interested parents list but it has no formal footing - it just prompts parents to apply on time. Being very interested in a school offers no special advantage when getting a place - you either qualify on distance / sibling criteria or you don't even if you've had your name on the 'interested parents' list since birth. In short, schools may be sympathetic and offer advice on how to apply but, in practical and legal terms, they have no discretion when it comes to admitting extra pupils or enabling parents to get their choice of school.

SavoyCabbage Thu 07-Mar-13 10:57:01

In both of the LEAs I am looking at you do contact the school directly for in year admissions. It will all depend so much on the area. There are lots of areas where the schools are not over subscribed at all.

Pyrrah Thu 07-Mar-13 11:42:42

There does seem to be some difference with allocations of in-year admissions in some areas.

We are very unlikely to get a place at our first choice school in the initial round as we are outside the usual distance accepted by a fair bit.

However the school has very high mobility levels and we are likely to get a place through in-year admissions.

I contacted my LA about who to contact to keep an eye on waiting list movement and they said that with that school, the school itself would be managing waiting-list places. The school confirmed this and told me to ring at least once a week to check what was happening.

So definitely make sure that you know who to contact after initial offers are made and definitely accept the school you are offered - doesn't affect your position on the waiting list for other schools, but if you reject the offered school the LA is not obligated to find you another.

If you're not in the pre-school/nursery system and don't go near your GP, it can be very hard to work out when you need to apply. I do understand why a mail-out would be too expensive though.

I only found about the nursery places at local Primary schools through sheer luck.

KatieMiddleton Thu 07-Mar-13 11:48:49

Lol at HVs helping or pre-school booster reminders for where I live. You're lucky to see a HV when your child is born here such is the pared back service sad

Round my way (London borough) it is a very transient population and also quite an affluent area so we're expected to pay for a lot of private services ourselves inducing some healthcare and schooling. I also can't imagine GP surgeries cooperating on a list when they won't even agree to some really important public health stuff going on their internal intranet.

Sorry, bit of a tangent there but quite interesting who does/doesn't contact parents and how.

tiggytape Thu 07-Mar-13 12:11:57

There should be no regional variation on admissions. Admission procedures and rules (both in and out of the usual admissions round) are laid down by law and all schools and councils are supposed to follow them.
Once upon a time schools did their own admissions in-year (if they had a space and a parent asked for it, they could give it to the parent) but now local councils have that job in order that things were better coordinated apparently!

If you approach the school itself they can advise you on vacancies because obvioulsy they know how many children are sat in each class but what they can't do is offer you a place even if they can see one is spare.

Academies are slightly different in that they do manage their own waiting lists (but not the on time admissions) and even then, they aren't in charge of giving out places that come up. They tell the council who is at the top of their list and the council sends the letter to the parents to offer them the place. The parents reply to the council and then the council tells the school whether the child accepted or not!

Schools can advise generally (eg they can tell you that 7 people got in off the waiting list last year or that there are currently 2 spare spaces in Year 2) but they cannot offer you a place - not even the ones that do their own lists. So definitely check you are on the lists that you want to be on but most importantly get your application form into the council. You cannot even go on a school's list until the council have your completed form.

5madthings Thu 07-Mar-13 12:28:45

I have applied for in yr places three times. Each time i contacted the schools i was interestex in to check on spaces and spoke to the ht and then got in touch with the council. The ht when ds1 changed high schools last oct also got in touch with the council to say she had a place and he coukd start asap. She did this to help speed the process up. She also warned me the council would try and make me wait til after the xmas break to move him. She was right! But ds1 started at tge new high school after oct half term...then about six weeks later i got the letter from the council telling me there was a space at the school! I had already informed them of his start date as agreex with the ht etc. We had numerous email.conversations...

Our schools will put you on the waiting list and you can phone and check and then if there is a place call the council asap to get them to process it as they take an age otherwise! Apparsntly they look at in yr applications/changes of school twice a term?!! they really did not like us doing a mid term transfer!

Zipbangboom Thu 07-Mar-13 13:20:11

Tiggy I bow to your greater knowledge. Maybe we are lucky to live in an area where people are generally helpful. I too wass just trying to be helpful and it will do no harm to visit the school first.
By the way, to be pedantic, the word is 'sitting' and not 'sat'.

tiggytape Thu 07-Mar-13 13:33:02

I’m not sure why you feel the need to be pedantic as you say - I am sure OP appreciates all advice (including possibility of local variations because even though they aren't supposed to exist this can happen).

The reason for my emphasise was that, whether OP talks to the school or not, it is more important that she definitely talks to the council and talks to them today if possible. The Admissions arrangements aren’t locally set and aren’t designed to be very helpful in situations like this unfortunately. They are dictated by long and specific laws and rules and access to all state school places comes via the Local Authority so this is where all parents should be directed first - especially when time is of the essence.

For their own peace of mind, parents can also speak to schools, research past admissions via waiting lists and get the current state of play regarding vacancies in each year group but ultimately, it all falls on the council to allocate places and it is important for parents to understand that schools have zero discretion when it comes to admitting children and very little part to play in the process.

Zipbangboom Thu 07-Mar-13 13:41:54

You are too scary and I'm going to hide.
Good luck OP.

clam Thu 07-Mar-13 13:53:44

hmm zipbangboom
tiggytape has merely stated the normal, expected protocols, as opposed to giving potentially mis-leading advice that schools themselves can somehow get a late applicant a place. Why is that scary?

MrsMelons Thu 07-Mar-13 13:59:20

The only way we knew (other than knowing they would be due to start school) was through the pre-school as schools send posters and flyers to all pre-schools/nurseries.

Does your DC not go to a pre-school or nursery? The staff at ours made sure that everyone knew about the deadlines.

I don't always find the LA particularly helpful but it is only them that can make the decisions although I know the my DCs infant school put a case forward for someone who was on the waiting list and missed the deadline (in spite of their elsest child being at the school already)

tiggytape Thu 07-Mar-13 14:02:34

I think you are being a bit rude Zip. I am not scary (well not much)
I was politely trying to deter OP from following your advice which frankly was wrong and could have wasted valuable time. She needs to get onto the council so she can apply formally. Otherwise she'll miss being added to the waiting lists quickly as well as missing the initial allocations

You said make sure they know how keen you are
This makes no odds. You can be the keenest parent in the whole world and still not get a place if you don't qualify for one

You said if you are local may help fight your case
Which is also complete nonsense. No school will help you fight a case. Schools have no discretion in this area and it is not correct or fair to let OP think that they do.

and you said Some reception classes take 15 children but if year 1 numbers are low and there are mixed year groups further children can be taken.
Which is true but is up to the council to organise and the school to agree to. The school have no power to take 15 extra children just because their parents are keen or local or desperate.

So whilst I probably seemed a bit like I was jumping on your posts, it was because I don't want OP wasting her time trying to see somebody at the school to talk to when in fact she needs to get the councils form, fill it in and return it ASAP.

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