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applying to council to put my DS name on a waiting list primary reception

(29 Posts)
Hotpotatofood Thu 25-Apr-13 20:21:12

we have been offered the 3rd choice, so I have accepted the place. but now wanted to put the name on a waiting list - and the council said to give the list with order preference to them. i understand that the school I have got will be in the last position, so other preferences will be 1. out of borough school 2. local catholic school 3. a bit distant catholic school 4. local CE school. so what will happen now? is this the same as first round allocations ? most realistically I can get the place at no 4 - local CE school. am risking it by putting it in 4th place? would I stand better chance to get this choice if I put it in first place? would really apprecite replies as need to give the form tomorrow. thank you all for your advice over the last few days!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 25-Apr-13 20:35:38

I have never heard of anyone being asked to rank waiting list places before, but bumping this for you.

I would have thought that they have to apply the criteria the same and this is only a "tiebreaker" if two places come up on the same day. Is there no further info on the form? Can you ring in the morning to double heck?

christinarossetti Thu 25-Apr-13 20:37:35

I think the council have given you slightly confusing information. You can put your son's name on as many waiting lists as the council will let you (sometimes they only let you be on 4 or so). You let them know all the schools that you want to be on the waiting list for. You don't have to rank them for preference - you'll be offered a place when one becomes available at a particular school.

You can then ask the council what position you are in on each waiting list.

Good luck.

PanelChair Thu 25-Apr-13 20:43:27

This sounds odd to me too.

Are they treating this as a new application, then? That might explain why you have to put the schools in order of preference (in the way that you did when you first applied). If that is the case, then they will presumably pass back to you the offer of a place that comes from the highest-placed school on your new list, if there are any offers at all. So, be careful about the order in which you place the schools.

Did the LEA not explain how they were going to handle this?

Hotpotatofood Thu 25-Apr-13 20:52:12

I did understand it correctly - they want preference order ( this is on the letter from the as well). they did not explain how they would handle it - probably they still want to be in control of offering places- so similar to first time application? on the other hand, when I asked Catholic school if they would contact me directly if there was a space - they said , they would... confusing

ClayDavis Thu 25-Apr-13 21:02:08

But preference order should make no difference. You'll be placed on the waiting list according to how you meet the admissions criteria. If someone rejects their place and you are first on the waiting list then you will be offered a place. The fact that you are on other waiting lists and you prefer them is neither here nor there.

The only reason I can see for selecting preferences is if you make a whole new application. Is the out of borough school the one on your other thread? Was it on you initial application? It's possible that if it wasn't the LA would need you to apply for it so they can reject it and then you could go on the waiting list.

PanelChair Thu 25-Apr-13 21:06:55

Well, it does sound then as if the LEA are treating this as a new (late) application.

LeeCoakley Thu 25-Apr-13 21:08:01

Surely if you have to rank them you will put the local school first? I thought you had trouble with school runs.

admission Thu 25-Apr-13 21:23:37

This is a very strange way of drawing up a waiting list and makes me quite concerned that the admission authority (LA) are somehow operating a second admission process.
The waiting list of any school is drawn up in admission criteria order and if you are top of the list and a place becomes available you will be offered that place. It does not matter which preference it is, the place has to be offered and you have the right to accept or reject the offer.
I wonder whether the LA is holding onto all the waiting list requests for a period of time (which they are not supposed to do) and is asking you for your preference order so that they will only offer you the one preference that you held as being your highest (assuming that you could have places at two or more schools - oh but I wish!). That is not how it is supposed to happen but to me seems the only reason for asking for the information.

PanelChair Thu 25-Apr-13 21:31:12

Exactly, admission. I have never heard anything like this before.

prh47bridge Thu 25-Apr-13 21:46:01

Me neither. Sounds very suspicious.

Hotpotatofood - would you like to tell us which LA is involved? Feel free to PM me if you don't want to post it publicly. I'd like to take a look at their admission arrangements and see if they have anything to say on the subject.

zipzap Thu 25-Apr-13 21:50:59

So are they actually going to take your accepted place away from you in order to put you on the waiting list(s) or do you keep your place and only give it up if a better option comes up through the waiting lists?

I thought it was supposed to be the latter but it sounds like they are trying to do the former to you. I would definitely double check with them asap in the morning that you are going onto a waiting list and not losing your place and re-applying as a late application - sounds very dodgy.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 25-Apr-13 22:08:13

Essex were trying to do this - ask you to rank your preferences for waiting list places. I ascertained that it would then be treated as a new (late) application.

I thought that was against the rules tbh...

christinarossetti Thu 25-Apr-13 22:32:53

They can't take the place away if OP has already accepted it and obtained it fairly etc which she did.

Hotpotatofood Fri 26-Apr-13 06:23:53

yes, they will not away the place from me - the accepted school will be last on my list, so i understngand that waiting list is to give me a chance to go for other schools. oneo of the schools i am putting now is our of borough and i did not put it before....

christinarossetti Fri 26-Apr-13 07:17:24

hotpotatofood, I'm sorry that this is so stressful for you.

You don't need to put your accepted place on a list - it's your son's place and can't be withdrawn. Make it very clear that you want to go on waiting lists and that this is not a late application.

All you need to do is to tell the council which schools you want to be on the waiting list for. You should automatically be on the waiting lists for the two schools you put as a higher preference initially, but just double check the council have done this. The waiting lists for individual schools work independently of each other.

Hotpotatofood Fri 26-Apr-13 07:31:30

will the school notify me of a place available or council?

prh47bridge Fri 26-Apr-13 10:25:11

Any offer of a place should come from the council, not the school.

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 10:29:11

Given your anxieties about wanting a catholic place to set you up for secondary school, would it not be best to put the local catholic school first on your list?

christinarossetti Fri 26-Apr-13 10:32:02

But hotpotatofood should already be on the waiting list for the 2 school she initially put as a higher preference for the one she was allocated.

She should be checking that she has indeed been put on these waiting lists first, I think.

christinarossetti Fri 26-Apr-13 10:33:28

prh47bridge - is that true of academies also? My friend is top of a waiting list for a Y1 place in a sponsored academy and can't work out whether the school or LA will contact her.


seeker Fri 26-Apr-13 10:37:39

OP- considering the difficulties you have talked about with getting your child to school, obviously you should put the nearest first.

prh47bridge Fri 26-Apr-13 12:56:34

christinarossetti - I shouldn't have been so positive! The old Admission Code was clear that all offers should be made by the LA regardless of the type of school. The new Admission Code is clear that offers in the normal admissions round must be made by the LA but is less clear about whether or not this also applies to offers from the waiting list. Thanks for making me go back and check!

hotpotato - Thank you for your PM. There is nothing in the LA's admission arrangements about needing to put schools in order for waiting list purposes. What they say is that you go on the waiting list automatically for schools that are higher preferences than the one allocated but have to request it specifically if you want to also go on the waiting list for lower preferences. There is supposed to be space on the reply slip with the offer letter allowing you to do this. It therefore seems odd that they are asking you to put waiting list schools in order of preference. I suppose they could be working on the basis that if you do get a place from the waiting list they can automatically remove you from the list for lower preferences but even that is questionable practise.

By the way, a comment on the LA's website about waiting lists led me to dig further. It seems children of newly appointed staff go straight to the front of the waiting list if there is a skills shortage. I think that is a breach of the Admissions Code on two grounds:

- the waiting list should use the same admission criteria as normal admissions, not introduce an additional category as they have done
- looked after children MUST go ahead of everyone else on the waiting list so if they cannot put children of newly appointed staff ahead of them

As others have said you do not need to include the school you have accepted on any list. They cannot take the place away from you.

christinarossetti Sat 27-Apr-13 20:39:01

The lack of clarity about whether the school or the LA makes offers from the waiting list adds to the general murkiness that is developing around admissions. There seems to be no check (apart from an individual taking a particular case to appeal) about exactly how waiting lists are administered.

prh47bridge Sun 28-Apr-13 19:25:27

I'm afraid that has always been the case. There is an LA not far from me that consistently flouts the Admissions Code when operating waiting lists, relying on the fact that most parents don't realise that the LA is in the wrong. They have been referred to the Schools Adjudicator over it following a case in which I was involved and were found to be in the wrong but their proposed change to fix it was a clever form of words that convinced the Adjudicator they were mending their ways but actually allowed them to carry on regardless. I don't think anything short of judicial review will stop them.

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