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Waiting lists - how do they work, and is it worth pursuing a place in our instance?

(10 Posts)
notmydog Tue 22-Apr-14 13:39:04

We will be moving to a new area the end of next month. I have just been told that there are 15 children on the waiting list for a Yr4 places (6th most over subscribed school in Kent).

The house we are moving into is almost on the school's doorstep. About 600 ft, so not even 0.1 mile away. This is an outstanding school, and obviously being so close, is our first choice in every aspect. I was wondering whether being so close to the school would put us ahead of people outside of the catchment area. Is it worthwhile pursuing a place?

I have phoned around and a good school about 1 mile away (which would have been our 2nd choice) does have space for her, which I am very happy and relieved about.

Any advice greatly appreciated smile

PatriciaHolm Tue 22-Apr-14 14:15:00

You need to look at the admissions criteria, as that will determine how the waiting list is ranked. it's probably largely determined by distance (after looked after children and siblings) so if you are very close, you may leapfrog to somewhere near the top of it.

LIZS Tue 22-Apr-14 14:17:49

you could ask admissions where it would put you . In most cases it would put you ahead fo those living further way unless others are siblings, or of specific denomination for example if that is specified as a higher criteria category.

PenguinsLoveFishFingers Tue 22-Apr-14 14:18:59

Waiting lists are held according to the original admission criteria. So you want to find out who the 15 children on the waiting list are (in terms of which admission criteria they fall into). If all the children waiting are in a category of 'distance from the school' then you may well jump to somewhere in the first few places of the waiting list. If there are half a dozen siblings and siblings have priority, the chances of getting in off the list are slimmer.

notmydog Tue 22-Apr-14 16:21:27

Thank you so much for the advice smile

lougle Tue 22-Apr-14 16:48:05

The other thing to bear in mind is that everybody who is not at their first preference school has the right to appeal for a place at that school. How likely the appeal is to win, depends on the strength of the case put forward by the parents (although to be fair, Infant Class Size appeals are almost impossible to win, regardless of how compelling a parent's argument).

If you choose to appeal and win, then your child would leap frog over those other 15 children and secure a place, even though the school doesn't have one.

Obviously, for any appeal to succeed there have to be clear and compelling grounds that show a panel that the prejudice to the school in taking the child is less than the prejudice to the child in being denied a place.

notmydog Tue 22-Apr-14 17:21:27

Thanks Lougle we won't go the appeal route, as apart from distance we do not have any grounds for appeal. I understand however that others might win an appeal and be awarded a place regardless of the number of children on the waiting list.

MillyMollyMama Tue 22-Apr-14 17:28:36

I would take the school you have been offered because there are so many unknowns about the waiting list you are on. You are, presumably, a late applicant as you are only just moving and this will not help either. Schools can rank their waiting lists so you could ask about your ranking, but until appeals are heard this may not have any bearing on your chances either. As the other school is pretty close and good, I would take it.

pinkdelight Wed 23-Apr-14 09:24:26

I don't think there are such things as late applicants if it's in-year, molly. Might be wrong though.

mary21 Wed 23-Apr-14 11:34:16

Assuming you go to top of the waiting list as closest its worth having a word with the school secreraryor reception to see if they know of anyone planning to move away leave or go private soon as just being at he too of the list doesn't mean you will get a placed any time soon

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