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Tiebreaker distance query.

(12 Posts)
Itspardonnotwhat Mon 22-Apr-13 21:28:57

I wondered if anyone might be able to offer some advice please.

We did not get an offer for any of the four preferred primary schools we could list for admission this coming September. We have been offered another school which we did not look at, did not consider and do not really want.

I have been looking at our chances of a successful appeal. In a nutshell as they would be infant class size appeals then I think our chances are non existent.

We have missed out on four local schools which others in our village, including on our road have got into (under the distance tiebreak rather than any higher criteria). We are in catchment for two of them. We seem to be slap bang in the middle of all of them, thus also furthest away from them all!

Our LA measures the radial, straight line, distance between the LLPG address points for the school and the home address. I'm sure than under the Code that this is reliable and reasonable and I'm pretty sure than I cannot claim that an error has been made. However one thing about this is bugging me.

There are a number of families who have been offered one of our preferred schools on the basis that they live closer (fair enough) BUT in the case of at least one they live further along the same road as us (thus closer to the school) but there is no exit to the main road at that end of the estate. This results in a situation where they will have to drive past our front door every morning to get to the school. We are therefore closer to the school when you take into account the (only) driving route. In the other case the distance will have been measured in a line that crosses a local ford which is only passable in a very hot dry summer, thus impassable for most of the year. Similarly we are closer to the school on the only reasonable driving route, if not on the radial distance.

I know I'm clutching at straws, and we do have a plan B which it looks likely we will have to pursue, but is there anything in this radial vs reasonable driving route that I've (badly!) explained? It just seems perverse that they will have to drive past our house every morning to get to a schools that we have not been successful for!

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

Carolra Mon 22-Apr-13 21:34:54

That does seem quite unfair.... Our local primary school does the distance based on the distance it would take to walk along normal pavements (they don't allow cut throughs or alleyways etc) and they even specify which school door the distance is measured from. That seems fairer to me than the radial distance that your local schools use... But if its their policy then I doubt there is much you can do... They have to have a measure of some sort... Sorry to hear you're in such a ludicrous situation... Fingers crossed your plan b works out!

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Mon 22-Apr-13 21:49:38

It does sound upsetting, and straight line distances can produce anomalies (but probably less so than walking distance routes, where all sorts of arguments take place about what is an appropriate route). But they are widely used and I don't see anything inherently unfair about them.


ClayDavis Mon 22-Apr-13 21:54:10

What's important is that the LA have measured distances in the way they have set out in their admissions policy. Some measure using straight line distance, some use shortest walking route but both are acceptable methods. Unless you are talking about a huge distance you won't really get anywhere arguing that this is unreasonable.

tiggytape Mon 22-Apr-13 22:17:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Itspardonnotwhat Mon 22-Apr-13 22:33:48

Many thanks for the replies - exactly what I expected really. It seems unfair to us on a personal level but I completely accept that's what it is and that it is a reasonable way of making the decisions.

Our plan B is currently a building site - a new school which will supposedly be open for this September to directly address this hot spot of an area where people miss out on all the local schools. A whole new admissions process to go through before we know whether we've got a place there though!

admission Mon 22-Apr-13 23:01:36

Tiggytape is exactly right. If it is straightline distance then you have no case.
I would make sure that you are on the waiting list for all your preferred schools as it sounds as though you will be near the top of the waiting list for at least one of them.

DeWe Tue 23-Apr-13 09:40:28

I know someone who was in a similar position a couple of years ago. Next door neighbour one side got into one school, next door neighbour other side got into a different school, and person nearly opposite them got into a third school. They'd all put the same 3 schools down in the same order!

The advantage was that she was top of the waiting list for all three schools, and fairly quickly got one of them. I think by the time school term started then she could have had a place at any of them.

Lozario Tue 23-Apr-13 20:00:03

Itspardon Hi >waves< I remember chatting to you on our schools places anxiety thread a few months back!

It sounds like you would be really really high on the waiting list for your preferred school if your neighbour got in - how big is the intake for the school?

We're in a similar situation for our first choice - 37 metres out of furthest distance so far. 37!!!! sad It's a 90 intake so I'm wondering if we might have a chance... I thought all this anxiety would have ended by now but here I am still hoping and drinking !!

BooksandaCuppa Tue 23-Apr-13 23:16:51

Our local authority uses shortest driving route which is a very good job - we have a huge river cutting the county in half which has no bridges over it for (in some places) over 10 miles. So some houses could be a mile as the crow flies from a certain school but actually something like 15 miles by road...they did in fact only change the criteria recently so I wonder if any weird anomalies like the one I'm suggesting ever happened.

OP - your system seems unfair only in that you miss out on all your local schools. Hope something works out for you.

Itspardonnotwhat Wed 24-Apr-13 20:32:38

Hi Lozario, I remember, how are you? So did you get your second preference then? Will you hold out for your first?

We won't find out until Tuesday where we are on the waiting lists but I don't think it will be particularly high on any of them to be honest. We seem to be in a black hole! But we shall we see. We still have the option of the new school and I will go and see the one we have been allocated in case we do end up there. Our first preference admits 30 but mainly took siblings and church goers this year. Only 6 people got in under the catchment only criteria. I cant find a number of overall applicants as its a church school and the LEA hasnt published the overall figure. Our second preference admits 60 but couldn't give places to 39 who applied. Struggling to see that there will much hope for either but Tuesday will tell us more.

It's just all a bit tiring with no real end in sight but hopefully something will come up that works in our favour. A pigeon did a massive shit on my clean top today not long after leaving the house so I'm working on the basis that it means good luck!

Lozario Wed 24-Apr-13 21:12:38

Yes hopefully the pigeon knows something! We were absolutely miles out for our 2nd choice, allocated school was 3rd choice. So 1st choice is our only chance really. I think we have to wait until next Friday before finding out where we are on the waiting list. In the meantime, they are processing all the late applications, of which the closer ones will also go ahead of us on the waiting list confused

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