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No admission waiting list held for key stage 2. Is this normal?

(14 Posts)
TalkingToTheWoodlice Fri 24-May-13 01:05:43

Hi. My DC2 has been allocated a reception place at our local school (not my first choice but a very good school). DC1 attends a different school. I want to move DC1 to the local school but it has no free places. I've been told that the school are not allowed to operate a waiting list and that places outside reception are allocated on a first come first served basis. Seems very odd that having a sibling at the school and being in catchment hold no sway and that if someone living miles away phoned up before me, they would be allocated the place. Does anyone know if this is standard procedure?

EarlyInTheMorning Fri 24-May-13 05:46:08

So if someone phones up for a place before you and there isn't a space, and then you phone up afterwards and you get told that there isn't a space and there's another family waiting before you, that immediately suggests that there is a waiting list.

In any case, first come first saved basis doesn't sound quite right so I would inquire with the council. If you qualify for sibling + distance criteria, then longevity in the waiting list shouldn't come into it.

I would have thought anyway.

BrienneOfTarth Fri 24-May-13 07:16:44

Do you mean that when a space becomes free, the first person to phone up enquiring about it gets the place, no matter what their situation?

If so, then I guess the only thing to do is make friends with the school secretary and see if they will let you know when a space is likely to be coming free so that you can make that call at the critical time.

If not, then just phone up and enquire every single day and if they make any kind of comment about why you are doing so tell them that if they aren't going to operate a sensible prioritised waiting list system you have no other choice.

mummytime Fri 24-May-13 07:23:46

I would contact the LA who should be handling admissions anyway. You could also even if the school is full, you could appeal for a place.

5madthings Fri 24-May-13 07:29:33

Thats wrong! Whoever told you that is wrong!! If there are no spaces then you go on a waiting list if when one comes up you are the only person on the waiting list then you shoukd get the place, otherwise it goes on usual stuff ie sibling/dustance etc. So you should be a priority as you have sibling.

And yes its done by council/la not the school.

wonkylegs Fri 24-May-13 07:42:16

Yep sounds wrong DS has just gone on the waiting list for Y1 at the school where we're moving to. This is done through the LA not the school though. We've jumped to the front of the waiting list though due to proximity and additional needs.

tiggytape Fri 24-May-13 07:44:32

prh will be able to help you on this one but as I understand it most schools have waiting lists despite them not being compulsory after the December following initial allocations and only in the normal year of admissions.
The reason that most schools hold a list is that, if a place becomes available, they have to show they have given the place to the most eligible person of all those waiting and without a list, that is hard to do. It also saves them having people ringing up daily on the off-chance a place has come up

I would check with the LA whether they do in fact operate lists and, if not, how they ensure that any space goes to the most eligible person who has requested one (i.e. the person who meets most admissions criteria)

prh47bridge Fri 24-May-13 08:05:24

As Tiggytape says there is no requirement to hold waiting lists for any year other than the normal year of entry (Reception) and even there only until Christmas. However, they are quite wrong to say they are not allowed to hold a waiting list. They very definitely are. If it is a community school the waiting list will be held by the LA rather than the school.

admission Fri 24-May-13 12:18:28

It might be of interest to know that from September the responsibility for in-year admissions is moving from the LA to the individual schools. Each LA will come up with their own version of how the scheme will operate but in effect you as parent will approach the school to ask whether there is an available place.
There will be no change on the law around waiting lists as described by PRH but unless the LA say that schools cannot hold waiting lists, my bet would be that schools will start to hold either official or unofficial waiting lists for all year groups other than reception in a primary school. They will have to ensure that when a place does become available that it does go to the person at the top of the waiting list as per the admission criteria order.
I suspect that as soon as DS2 starts at the school, you should ask for a place at the school and see what response you get. You never know somebody might leave over the summer break

TalkingToTheWoodlice Fri 24-May-13 14:55:33

Thanks for the replies. The LEA website clearly states that they don't hold a waiting list for in year admissions yet it also lists the criteria via which they admit children. I can't fathom how they apply these criteria if they have no record of who wants a place. The head of the school told me that they have to offer a place to the first person who asks (no mention of a change from Sept).
I would really like my DC1 to be able to join the new school in Sept. Aside from the logistical nightmare of getting two DC to two schools that start at the same time simultaneously, it's really unsettling for my Yr3 child to have no idea when or if they might be moving school. Is it worth appealing for a place for my elder DC? What are the chances of it being upheld? We're in catchment, have a sibling there from Sept., the walk to the current school is not at all safe for an 8 year old to do alone, I don't have any family locally to help with school run. Are these the sort of points that might win an appeal?

tiggytape Fri 24-May-13 17:42:58

You can win an appeal for a Year 3 child much more easily than you can for a younger child wishing to join a class of 30.
The law limits class sizes for YR - Y2 but not for Y3 and above so the chances of success are much higher.

However logistical reasons do not win appeals (not unless they are linked to medical conditions eg mobility issues). Lots of parents have long working hours or do not drive or lack after school care so those sorts of things cannot really be taken into consideration. Meeting the admissions criteria also does not win appeals (they only help with waiting lists where lists are held).

The kinds of things that help are points about why your child would benefit from attending this school - local links and friendships, clubs that the school offers that she enjoys, any provision they offer for additional needs that would benefit her etc.

Winning an appeal for Year 3 is a balancing act. The school will say it is full and taking extra pupils will harm the current provision. You will say you want a place and why you believe your child needs this. The panel decides whose case is stronger and that side wins. For that reason it helps if some of the older year groups have larger class sizes already - it weakens the school's case that they cannot take an extra child.

admission Sat 25-May-13 20:31:04

The other key issue is the timing of this. You are allowed only one admission appeal for an academic year unless there has been a significant change in circumstances of either yourselves or the school.
To start in September you need to be getting an appeal date in early July, so I would suggest that you need to be making an application for a place at the school fairly shortly, which you will then be told no place available at which point you can ask for an appeal.
Whilst the rules are that it is one appeal for an academic year, if you apply now that is your appeal for the whole of year 3. However there is as Tiggytape says more chance of winning an appeal in year 3 and delaying is possibly not a good idea. If others apply, appeal and then get a place, then when you come to appeal the level of prejudice is higher than previously as there are now even more children in the year group. The perceived wisdom is that if you want to apply for year 3, then you apply for a start 1st September and hope nobody else has the same idea.

TeamEdward Sat 25-May-13 20:37:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

breatheslowly Sat 25-May-13 20:40:15

It sounds like you need to phone every day to see if a space has become available, so that you are the first to ask for it. Surely they can't want you to call every day? It would be like harassment.

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