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Asking a LA a very specific admission question

(12 Posts)
cjm10979 Fri 17-Oct-14 17:36:19

I'm trying to work out what chance I have of securing a place at a chosen school. I've looked on the LA website for last year and the category we would be placed in was the last one where offers were made. The last child to receive an offer lived 1.934km from the school. I live 0.207km from the school and therefore in theory this would well within the last offer made. However, the school has expanded to become a 3 form entry in the last 2 years and I'm thinking that many more siblings would become eligible this year (based on local demographics and more sibling potential). Last year there were 43 places that went to siblings and 47 that were in my category.

To determine whether we get a place will be the number of siblings + the number of children in our category who lived closer to the school than we did. The school is in a suburban area and there has been little/no housing developments within 200m from the school. Of course the make-up of the households within 200m may have changed to include more children.

I have asked the school how many children got a place in our category who lived closer than 207m and they just referred to the LA website - which doesn't answer this specific question!

Has anyone been able to ask a very specific question like this to an LA and for them to provide the answer?

If I had answer I would then be able to do some scenario planning, eg worst case scenario for siblings is say 20 more than last year giving 63 and 10 children lived closer than us in our category with a +/- variation of 10% to give 9 - 11 that live closer would give a total of 72-74 of the places taken by other children, leaving 16 potential places left.

I know I can't be certain of being offered a place, but just trying to work through some potential scenarios/probabilities (I did train as a Statistician wink)

nlondondad Fri 17-Oct-14 17:47:51

Respond by clarifying your query, pointing out it is not answered on their web site.

Redcoats Fri 17-Oct-14 17:58:24

I'm a bit boggled by all the figures you have included here! (I didn't train as a statistician, obviously).

You need to boil it down to your basic question 'how many children....?' And exclude the extraneous details.

FishWithABicycle Fri 17-Oct-14 18:10:10

I remember this is a really stressful time but really you need to just breathe deeply, and try not to worry.

You can't possibly know how many of the people who lived within 200m are even still in the area. Any calculations you are doing are not going to affect anything, you might as well keep your brain occupied by playing tetris.

However I didn't practice what I preach - I'm very mathsy too and did plenty of calcs of my own. but with numbers like this there are so many variables that you are better off with guesswork than trying to secure hard facts which are relatively meaningless. It's probably not reasonable to expect LAs to answer detailed questions like this anyway.

No-one can possibly predict. Whatever answer you came up with would have error-bars on it which were so large as to make the answer meaningless - e.g you might very well come up with an answer of a predicted furthest distance of 210m +/- 150m and what good would that do you?

Research other acceptable schools, make sure your form is submitted on time, and focus on the fact that the impact of engaged parents who care about their child's education is 3x more significant to the eventual educational outcomes of any child than the impact of the school they end up going to.

BrieAndChilli Fri 17-Oct-14 18:16:03

The thing is unless you were going to look at several years figures and average it out a single years figure isnkind of meaningless. Last year could have had lots of people closer than you. More than normal or it could have had very few but lots of family's have siblings that will need a place next year that live within 200 Mtrs

I dot think an LA would give you the details you want as they would probably have To pull a lot of files an work it out.

PatriciaHolm Fri 17-Oct-14 18:19:44

Given those stats, I would be staggered if you didn't get in.

I doubt the school would have any idea to the answer to your question without doing quite some work - technically they would be able to work out it out from a list of where children admitted live, but they aren't going to have someone spend a few hours going through 90 addresses to work it out! They won't have it to hand - they will know furthest distance, but they won't have a list of children with distances next to their names.

tiggytape Fri 17-Oct-14 18:23:52

You may be able to get an answer if you put your question in writing and email them but in truth, it isn't going to tell you much more than you already know. There are far too many variables.

For example there may be 5 children adopted from care who live 2.5km away who would all get priority over children living closer.
There may be 2 children with a statement naming the school (unlikely at this age but not impossible) and they'd get priority over everyone else too. So that could be a number of places gone before they even look at siblings let alone distance.

On the flip side, not all siblings of current pupils may want a place. They may have moved house since starting and want to get the younger child into a school near their new home so the older one has a better chance of moving schools too. Or alternatively, many of the sibling applications this year may be twins or triplets not just single siblings.

You have a reasonable idea that you should be O.K for a place but you need to do all your planning for worst case scenarios anyway even if you get a really reassuring answer from the council. That is why it is important to fill in all the preference spaces on the form and to list at least one school that is perhaps less popular but near enough to home that you'd get in (even if you list it last as a worst case scenario option).

YonicScrewdriver Fri 17-Oct-14 18:36:59

It's likely you'll be fine.

It's unlikely you'll get this info!

YonicScrewdriver Fri 17-Oct-14 18:45:04

I also don't understand how the info would make you act differently. I guess you will put this school first regardless and use your other choices wisely too just in case.

MrsChocolateBrownie Fri 17-Oct-14 18:47:11

Our LA have excellent stats in previous admission criteria going back five years. According to that we didn't stand a chance of getting into our local school. No-one could have predicted that there would be less sibling places this year and less applicants that they actually went out to rule 6 for the first time in 6+ years. I also trained as a statistician and pretty sure no stochastic model would have predicted it smile

It sounds like you have a really good chance, it's just a question of keeping fingers crossed.

Doodledot Fri 17-Oct-14 21:56:56

Sounds like you have a very high chance. Just look at options for preference 2/3. We knew we were just below the distance for the last 5 years... But this years was the lowest ever. Friends who would have got in last year but not this were gutted. More people are renting flats etc, lots if siblings and 5 sets of twins

admission Sat 18-Oct-14 18:11:31

Like other answers, the reality is that it depends on the cohort of children who apply for the school. In terms of the distance criteria you live near the school and therefore will probably be near the top of the list but it all depends on the numbers in categories above you, especially the siblings criteria.
It is unlikely that the LA will give you more information than you already have as they will also be hedging their bets on the number of siblings.
I think you would be better placed checking out each of the schools in detail so that you make the right decisions in the order of preference and make sure that you are well within the time limits for an on-time application. Also ensure that you get confirmation of the LA having received the application,every year I do a number of appeals for people who thought they applied on-line but for one reason or another had not actually completed and submitted the application form.

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