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Has harassing schools with waiting lists worked for anybody????

(9 Posts)
mamacool9 Wed 10-Dec-14 23:32:05

Our Son is turning 4 and we've looked for private schools around the area with our top choice being the ever guarded Gatehouse!

We've been on the pending list (the waiting list for the waiting list) for 2 yrs!!! Each time I've called I've been told his place hasn't changed. We've visited the previous Head Mistress and stressed how keen we are for our son to attend the school but to no avail.

My husband and I visited the school 2yrs ago and we fell in love with the place and how well behaved, intelligent and mature the children were. We're at the point of harassment as we dont know how else he will move up the list but, we dont want to tarnish ourselves and come across desperate.

Also, am I overestimating Gatehouse? Is the education really that good or are they just riding the wave of 'hype' at this point?

Help! I have no idea what to do to get him in!!

LIZS Thu 11-Dec-14 08:19:23

When do the actual offers go out ? I'd suspect some children are on multiple lists or may even have moved since registering so would turn down a place if offered elsewhere. I would say though that no one school is the be all and end all. You could always ask for another tour as things can and do change in 2 years for you and them, just to keep yourselves on the radar but they may not operate any discretion with their lists , and follow a first come , first served or siblings policy in which case no amount of harassment will help.

MyballsareSandy Thu 11-Dec-14 08:31:10

Any school that moved kids up a waiting list purely due to parents harassment is not a very good school IMO.

beautifulgirls Thu 11-Dec-14 11:24:23

The list is unlikely to change up to this point, people will go onto the list early and not change until the point they need to make a real decision. At that point you hope that some have moved away, others have changed their mind or have other schools as options too and then will decline a place. From there you have a chance to move on up the list and get a place. Meanwhile as advised above, hunt around and find yourself a second and third choice even if you choose to move once a place becomes available in the future.

Quitelikely Thu 11-Dec-14 11:28:07

Did you ask where on the list he is? And are you sure he doesn't have a place or maybe they have one for him but don't send letters out yet?

DeWee Thu 11-Dec-14 11:31:01

I suspect you may find a few parents that tell you seriously that they got a place because they hassled-but the chances are very high that actually they just reached the top of the waiting list.

One very intelligent person I know swears they got into a local state school by going to all the open days and making sure they spoke to the head/chair of governors each time-apparently a governor told them that was the way to get in. It's obviously a load of rubbish, but they've been telling people to do this and the myth perpetuates.

You may find if a space comes available that a lot on the waiting list won't actually take it up, so you may be higher than you appear to be.

But I have to agree with MyballsareSandy. It would be a huge black mark against the school for me, because it would then mean that pushy parents hold sway in other things almost certainly. In my friend's case, her saying a governor told her this to me was a very negative mark against the school. Firstly it meant that the governors either don't know what they are talking about with regard to admissions, or they're hoping for a few backhanders by hinting they could hold sway.

ReallyTired Thu 11-Dec-14 15:29:53

Private schools are a law unto themselves as they can admit anyone they like.

I don't think it does any harm to phone up the secretary once a month and ask about position on the waiting list if you are polite and charming.

Do you have a back up plan if your child cannot go to Gatehouse. (I know absolutely nothing about the school or area.)

EdithWeston Thu 11-Dec-14 15:49:08

I don't know this school. How does it select pupils? It sounds like it's not via an assessment, but some other form of list management, perhaps first-come-first-served overlaid with some suitability criteria, and that they guillotine lists when they reach specific numbers.

When do they make actual offers? There will no be no prospect of movement on waiting (or sub-waiting) lists until then. All you can do is to enquire gently about time lines, and make it clear how very much you want DS to go to the school and generally enthuse in a really friendly, positive append enthusiastic way. You want to be the keen family they remember in a good way, so that if they have any need at all to promote from the sub-waiting list, you'll be remembered positively. Anything that could possibly be construed as harassing them won't achieve that.

And you do need a plan B. Schools know what sort of numbers to make offers to and to keep on a waiting list, and they'll be confident they'll fill their places with those DC. But, there are sometimes years when the numbers go wrong, so worth hanging in there on the off chance.

clam Thu 11-Dec-14 17:33:04

"we fell in love with the place and how well behaved, intelligent and mature the children were."

So, you reckon that your child will turn out intelligent if he goes there? hmm

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