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No reception place for DD

(92 Posts)
skandi1 Wed 17-Apr-13 19:49:24

So the email verdict is in and they were unable to offer a place to my DD who is due to start reception in September.

What does this mean and what should I do next?? Any experiences please as I am desperate and so sad as this isn't the start I had hoped for, for my pfb. Also any useful advice. I am in London and have 6 primaries each with 90 place reception intake all less than half a mile from me. How can this be??

tiggytape Thu 18-Apr-13 21:31:15

skiandi - I think you have held it together very well and not been whiney at all. It is horrendously stressful being in that position and very shocking too. You expect you might not get one of your top choices or maybe any of your choices but nobody expects to get no offer at all.

We were in the exact same position last year and (very embarrassingly) I literally couldn't stop sobbing long enough to even tell the admissions lady my postcode over the telephone. I was sort of hyperventilating at her instead!
And once the shock wore off I was then very cross about it especially as the lists started moving and people with their 3rd choice got offered their 1st choice whilst we still had no offer at all.
It did feel very unfair and I don’t think it is whiney to say that because it is unfair even when the rules have been adhered to fully.
Luckily prh and all the others who offer advice each year were on hand to help and you will get a lot of support as well as sympathy here because so many people have been in the same boat.

tiggytape Thu 18-Apr-13 21:37:25

The furthest place offered was 30cm and you live 92.5cm away as measured by our special triangulation system that isn't the same as Google maps or anything you can get your hands on

Ahhh (nods sagely) - the standard London rejection letter!

parabelle Thu 18-Apr-13 21:40:29

Is Bickley too far for you to go? I heard a rumour Bickley primary is going to 3 forms this year.

pooka Thu 18-Apr-13 21:47:44

Scotts Park and Clare House have also gone to three form entry.

But if there were places at ANY school in LBB, I reckon the OP would have been offered one.

Looking through the admission booklet, it does seem to be a trend - reduction in size of catchment in schools in general. Though some schools are relatively static i.e. Balgowan and Raglan - suppose they're always popular?

Beckenham/Shortlands in particular seems tricky - Valley, Balgowan, Marion Vian all go out really rather short distances, and then schools the previously could have been safety nets have shrinking catchments. Scary.

noramum Fri 19-Apr-13 09:56:21

Skandi, you are not whinny at all.

The problem even with the distances advise from last year is that the council managed to get 9 schools to do a bulge class but not all of them can do it again, so what may have look good last year was a minefield this year.

Bromley really had its head in the sand but for the last three years running. Friends only managed to get into their school thanks to a bulge class which is now a permanent third entry form.

The only good thing on new classes mean totally new resources. As a Junior school doesn't have any Infant set up they will have to build and buy all the resources from scratch. Plus new teachers qualified to teach infant.

lizardqueenie Fri 19-Apr-13 10:40:55


Just coming in to offer you a hand to hold and a stiff wine & I really hope it all works out best for your DD. we are also within LBB but towards Bickley/ PW & my dd is only 2.5 but with all the talk of shortage of school places it's really got me thinking which brought me on to this part of MN.

If you have a moment (when you aren't kicking LBB up the bum!) I would be really keen to know which independent schools you have contacted/ seen (happy for this to be in a PM if that's better for you) as it might be something we are thinking of for our DD. thanks

skandi1 Fri 19-Apr-13 17:13:29

Went to look at preps today. Saw three. All very fantastic and would take DD (and DS later). St Christopher the Hall, bishop challenors and wickham court.

There are two others to see next week but one is in Chislehurst, babbington (too far) and the One in bromley, bromley high. Both a girls schools and I really want a co-ed so DS can go there too. At the moment I am not too sure about those two.

I am still all over the place. You would have thought bromley council collected stats on how many children lived here and required schools etc.

Spoke to bromley admissions again and they are still singing the same tune. I don't expect they will know anything for a few weeks.

pooka Fri 19-Apr-13 17:31:31

I have a friend with dcs (boy and girl) at st Christopher's. She's very very happy. Another friend used to teach there. She is lovely and has always said that she loved the school.

skandi1 Fri 19-Apr-13 17:43:22

Pooka. Thanks. That's really useful to know.

What a saga this is turning into.

I did slightly lose it last night with DH because he was the one who insisted we sell our beautiful house in Islington and move out here because the Islington schools were crap and we'd struggle to get in. And out here were sooo many schools with plenty of space. Meh.

Back to bath time in the educational Bermuda Triangle.....,

lizardqueenie Fri 19-Apr-13 17:43:50

Thanks Skandi

If it helps I also have a friend with 2 dd's at st Christopher's & another friend who will prob send her dd to Breaside.

Bromley high is prob closest to me but again I'm not sure about single sex schools from a young age. Sorry you have had no joy with the LA hmm

Zofia Mon 22-Apr-13 11:11:20

Hi Skandi - I've also been offered a place at Worsley Bridge... I must be another memeber of the Bermuda triangle although I'm in Shortlands!

angel1976 Mon 22-Apr-13 13:59:20

skandi1 I sympathised but think very carefully about going down the prep route is it is going to 'bankrupt' you.

We had 5 schools down on our list <in oversubscribed Lewisham, waves hi to SE13mummy> last year for DS1. We were confident of getting into at least 1 as we would have gotten into 2 based on previous years' 'catchments'. We got nothing and got sent to a school 3 miles away, I went to look at that school and it was a failing school which they were 'expanding' from 2-form to 3-form. No way was I going to send my child there.

We held off committing to a prep school till last minute, I called every day week the local council and there was some movement on the wait lists but not enough (we were going from 6th to 9th then to 7th on one list through summer!).

So we ended up in an independent prep. DS1 started there and was very happy. 4 weeks after school started, we got a phone call from the principle of our local CofE school (5th choice as it was one-form entry, outstanding and we didn't think we had a chance of getting in!) saying DS1 has a place if he wants it. We went to look at the school, loved the principal, the teacher and the school. We were very worried about pulling DS1 out of the prep school as he was very happy there but the drive was doing my head in (6 miles return but on some of London's busiest roads!) but we did it as we wanted him to have local friends etc.

But we didn't have to worry, he loved his new school and that was it for him. We ended up paying 2 terms' fees to the prep school due to the term's notice period (so it was 4 weeks of the most expensive education of DS1's life!). But I am so glad we did it now as my husband I have since split up and not having that set of school fees to worry about is a HUGE relief.

If I had known what I know now, I would have either 'home schooled' DS1 or held him back till he got a place. It doesn't take long in London as people do move in and out a lot! Would have saved us a lot of dosh and to be honest, he hasn't suffered from it. I probably have gained a whole bunch of white hairs since due to the stress of it all!

allyfe Wed 24-Apr-13 21:29:25

I so feel for you skandi1. We are in Beckenham and I can really understand why you would not want to send your child to Worsley Bridge, particularly not as one infant class in a junior school. I just wanted to say that a friend of mine who was looking at private schools in the area really liked St David's. It is in West Wycombe. It may be on your list, but I wanted to mention it. I also know a child at Bishop Challoner (a little older) but she loves it.

My husband was telling me that someone he knows got offered a place at St Mary's in year 3 (having been on the waiting list all that time). They were a lot further away and it is a church school, but if you want to leave your DD on the list she may get a place later on. Just worth thinking about if private school is financially cripplling.

Really have my fingers crossed it all works out for you.

Caro19 Thu 25-Apr-13 17:08:30

Good luck as well. We've had friends who are in the same boat this year. The Council doesn't have any new council controlled schools planned for opening (because of the Education Act) but there are local parents hove applied to open a French- English primary free school in Bromley next year, and the website is

The Harris chain has also applied to open up a Primary school in Beckenham fas a free school too.

sleeplessinderbyshire Thu 25-Apr-13 21:02:16

hoping it all goes ok for you OP. I have a friend whose 2 children are incredibly happy at St Christopher's and she raves about it. It does sound very academic and is very formal about homework and learning joined up writing in reception and wearing a very old fashioned posh uniform but her 2 kids are thriving there

BlackeyedSusan Thu 25-Apr-13 22:00:02

it is quite possible that they will do different playtimes for erceptioon children, who ae likely to have a small fenced of bit of space an outdoor classroom to themselves anyway. the junio children ae likely to mollycoddle and look after the infants too, so it may not be as bad as you imagine.

monkeytennismum Mon 10-Jun-13 09:54:27

I've just found this thread as am planning to move into the Bromley borough. I'm wondering how you got on skandi1 - did you get a state school place yet?

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