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Only viewing one Infant school

(15 Posts)
LadderToTheMoon Sun 16-Nov-14 13:56:25

DD is due to start Reception next September and the local schools are currently holding their open days. I know this isn't AIBU, but AIBU to view only one school given the following:

- We live quite literally a stone's throw away from a preschool/infant/junior school. (It takes about 30 seconds to get from our front door to the preschool and reception entrance; the entrances for the older children are slightly further away, but still only a couple of minutes' walk)

- The next nearest schools are a long walk (at least 25 minutes) away. I don't drive.

- One of the two other nearest schools is CofE. We do not attend church, don't have any desire to send our DD to a church school and she probably wouldn't get in

- DD currently attends the preschool, has settled and is doing well

- It is a large school, so no concerns about not getting in

- We are new-ish to the area, but having done some research before and after the move, parents are generally happy with the school. I can't think of anything negative I've heard about the school

- The infant school was Outstanding, but it has slipped to Requires Improvement (3) at its last Ofsted inspection earlier this year. I intend to ask the school about how they are addressing the concerns in the report

- The open days for one of the other schools (the non CofE one) both clash with an important medical appointment for DD and a funeral I need to attend. I do realise that I can make an appointment to view schools at another time though.

I'm a bit torn really. On one hand it feels slightly wrong to only visit one school, but on the other hand I can't realistically see her going to any other school than the one on our doorstep.

Any thoughts?

Mehitabel6 Sun 16-Nov-14 15:19:24

Sounds fine to me. Either you visit and like it, or you don't like it. You only need to think of alternatives if you don't like it.

madwomanbackintheattic Sun 16-Nov-14 15:27:29

I didn't visit any. For two out of three children. The third one we had to do a visit because it was the catchment school and we had suggested a different school be named on her statement. So we had to visit the catchment school (due diligence). They didn't want her anyway, but we played the game.

Different reasons to you - we moved a lot and mostly just needed places lol.

Duckstar Sun 16-Nov-14 15:27:35

If you don't like school you can always arrange visits at other schools at later date. Not everyone will be able to do open days and schools will show round parents at other times.

MaudantWit Sun 16-Nov-14 15:37:14

The standard MN advice - for good reason - is to visit several schools and to name several on your application form. Putting all your eggs in one proverbial basket can backfire if you don't get a place in that school and the education authority allocates you a place in whichever school still has vacancies. However, if you have studied the school's oversubscription criteria and published information such as the distance at which the last place was awarded last year, and are absolutely confident of getting a place, then visiting and naming only one school may be a reasonable thing to do.

Buttercup27 Sun 16-Nov-14 15:45:41

Even though you are so close and it's a big school there is still a small chance you won't get in. There may be loads of siblings that fill the class. If you really can't look around more than 1, you still need to write down more or else you could get placed anywhere in the county.

Mehitabel6 Sun 16-Nov-14 16:03:07

Even though you are so close and it's a big school there is still a small chance you won't get in. There may be loads of siblings that fill the class

Highly unlikely-in my area those in the catchment area come before siblings. Many have been caught out thinking they can get a sibling in merely because they already have a child in the school. Ask the education department for a list of criteria.

NotCitrus Sun 16-Nov-14 16:09:04

I visited the two I thought ds had a chance of getting into, then filled up my form with four more schools (in order of ease of getting to, minus the Catholic school). He was offered a place at school 3 so looked round then, decided liked it better than school 2, and hoped for place at school 1.

By the time term started he was down to 10 on the waiting list for one of 30 places, but thankfully he's been happy at school 3.

So don't worry about looking round, but do use all spaces on your form, just in case.

MaudantWit Sun 16-Nov-14 16:09:24

That's exactly why OP should check the oversubscription criteria and distance at which the last place was offered last year. Where siblings come in the oversubscription criteria, whether there is a formal catchment area or merely admission according to distance from the school and whether all siblings get priority or only those in catchment can all make a significant difference. Very often, someone living a matter of yards from the school would get a place even with no older sibling at the school, but it all needs to be researched.

MaudantWit Sun 16-Nov-14 16:11:05

That was in response to Mehitabel.

LadderToTheMoon Sun 16-Nov-14 16:16:54

Thanks for your replies. I would definitely put down more than one school on the application form, just in case of a particularly high number of siblings next year.

Hmm. I think I'll look at the entry criteria and furthest distances for each of the schools. It's possible we are on the borderline "catchment" for the other schools anyway.

I'll visit the local school next week. If we like it - great (but will still put other schools on the form). If we don't like it, then we'll need to consider our options.

SophieBarringtonWard Sun 16-Nov-14 16:37:58

I only visited one school, we live so close I knew we would get in. I did fill up the form though.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sun 16-Nov-14 16:42:16

I visited the 3 closest schools (I don't drive either so they were all definitely going on the form just in case!)

Thought the outstanding one would be my favourite, but it wasn't. Ended up picking somewhere else as first choice, a half hour walk away - but it's fine. Good exercise.
Easily worth it for a school that really suits my child.

redskybynight Sun 16-Nov-14 18:54:04

Check the entry criteria. We visited and put down one school in similar circumstances to your own, but that was because we had zero chance of getting into any other local schools and it would have had to be a very unusual set of circumstances that prevented us getting into the local school!

I only visited one school; the closest and the one where all DD's friends would be. Didn't bother writing down any other schools.

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