Talk

Advanced search

If you don't get any of your preferences

(15 Posts)
NynaevesSister Thu 13-Aug-15 19:35:06

In London so we fill in one pan-London application regardless of the boroughs the schools are in. We are one street inside one borough, at a sort of thin end. All our closest schools are in other boroughs.

I have been told by a parent that if you don't qualify for any of the schools on your application, then it is up to the local authority to find you a place and that place will be IN that borough even if there are schools with vacancies closer to you, but in other boroughs.

I didn't think it worked the system worked like that when it comes to on time applications. Is this true?

NynaevesSister Thu 13-Aug-15 19:35:48

We aren't looking - I am helping a neighbour through the process.

MangoDaiquiri Thu 13-Aug-15 20:38:50

Yes it would be your home LEA who would allocate you a place if you didn't get any of your preferences, and it would therefore be a school in your home borough. However, you would remain on the waiting lists for all your preferences and you could also call the other LEA and ask them what schools they have with vacancies after offer day (some LEAs publish this info on their website) and ask for one of those places instead of the one you have been offered.

NynaevesSister Thu 13-Aug-15 21:00:29

That doesn't make sense as the on time application is made across London. I thought the system worked to allocate places to all on time applications, and then after that admissions went through the local authority.

Can I ask Mango if you are basing this on personal experience or knowledge from working in admissions?

LibrariesGaveUsPower Thu 13-Aug-15 21:12:10

Why doesn't it make sense?

Your borough have a list of kids with no place after the first allocation, and a list of places in their borough and they try to match them.

That doesn't undermine or affect the pan London application process.

NynaevesSister Thu 13-Aug-15 22:34:20

It doesn't make sense to have part of the application go through the pan-London process and then suddenly revert to your borough only with no reference back to the applicant. I live in an area where five boroughs come together. My six closest schools are in three different boroughs. In my borough there is only one school that is close to me - we're kind of at the end of a thin 'finger'. It would make no sense to only look for places in my borough.

NynaevesSister Thu 13-Aug-15 22:36:20

Also Mango - LEAs don't exist anymore.

RandomHouseRules Fri 14-Aug-15 01:51:25

Call your la for advice. It is likely to be more accurate than mumsnet.

NotCitrus Fri 14-Aug-15 04:55:48

It's the borough's responsibility to create places if necessary. So they will be hoping people in your situation get a place off the waiting list into a school you've applied for, but if there's a number of kids needing places, the borough they live in has to create a bulge class somewhere and then children shuffle round until everyone is allocated somewhere.

If you apply to your 6 nearest schools that you're eligible for (ie not ones where all places are allocated on religious grounds that you don't meet), the chances of you not getting a place are tiny.

LibrariesGaveUsPower Fri 14-Aug-15 09:14:30

I still don't get what you think is illogical I'm afraid.

The pan London application process is designed to ensure that applicants are neither advantaged nor disadvantaged by living near borough borders and can choose from local schools.

But if you don't get one of your six choices, it remains the responsibility of the borough to find your child a place, and they will look on their list.

Is this someone who is still filling in their form? If so, they need to be very sensible with their six choices. Very few people won't get any of their six choices if they are realistic (it's the being realistic that most often goes awry). If you are one of those genuine black holes where a child may not qualify for any of the six closest schools, there is time to gather support for a campaign for expansion or bulge classes for the 2016 class.

prh47bridge Fri 14-Aug-15 10:04:49

if you don't qualify for any of the schools on your application, then it is up to the local authority to find you a place

That is true.

that place will be IN that borough even if there are schools with vacancies closer to you, but in other boroughs

That is not necessarily true. They may offer you a school in a neighbouring borough but it is more likely to be in your borough.

It doesn't make sense to have part of the application go through the pan-London process and then suddenly revert to your borough only with no reference back to the applicant

Nothing is reverting back to your borough. Your borough handles the process throughout. There is no-one else to deal with it. The pan-London system is essentially a computer system used by all the LAs. There is no pan-London admissions authority allocating places. The pan-London system helps to ensure that your application is processed correctly if you apply to a school in a neighbouring borough. It also makes things easier for parents if they move within London during the process. But your local borough administers the entire admissions process and makes the offer even if the allocated school is in a neighbouring borough.

LEAs don't exist anymore

Not true. They just happen to be the same as LAs. Any council responsible for education is an LEA.

NynaevesSister Fri 14-Aug-15 13:11:57

Thanks PRH47Bridge. I guess that's what I meant by LEAs not existing smile

I think it is the computer system aspect that I am finding difficult. In my mind all school places across London goes into the computer system. The Local Authority enters your application, and then the system looks to see if you qualify for a place at your preferred schools.

What I thought happened next was that the Computer System, having failed to match you with your preferences waits until all the preferences have been allocated and then matches you with the closest vacancy and that's what you get offered on offers day.

To me that makes sense.

What I am finding sounds counter intuitive is that when the computer system can't match you to your preferences it goes to the local authority to find you a place instead. And the local authority may or may not look at places outside the borough. I suppose what I am saying is that I don't get why the system can't do this when it has a list of the vacancies in the first place.

prh47bridge Fri 14-Aug-15 13:37:33

The Local Authority enters your application, and then the system looks to see if you qualify for a place at your preferred schools

You are assuming that the computer does a lot more than it actually does.

The system will put together a list of applicants for each school. It is then up to the admission authority for that school (the LA for community schools and VC schools, the school itself for other schools) to put the applicants in order based on the admission criteria for that school. The ordered list goes back to the school's LA so that they can determine who will be offered places at that school. Your LA is then responsible for ensuring that no-one gets more than one offer. Once that is all sorted out your LA will have a few people left over who didn't get a place anywhere. They have to find schools for these people. Some simply offer the nearest school with places available, others take a different approach. For example, some notify parents of schools that still have places available and allow them to express a preference.

Fundamentally you need to forget about the computer system. Think of it simply as a big filing system that accepts applications. Your LA deals with your application. Your LA sorts out which school you will be offered. Your LA finds a place for your child if you don't get any of your preferences.

NynaevesSister Fri 14-Aug-15 14:59:20

Thanks! That analogy helps. It makes sense now. I was, sadly, imagining a system that is far more efficient than it really is.

LL0015 Mon 17-Aug-15 12:46:32

This happened to someone this year, they came to MN for advice. They didn't name 6 closest schools. Yes, a mistake but they did name a few local schools. They got offered a not chosen school with places in their LA.
But they lived on border. There would be dozens and dozens of schools closer than the one they were given. But this was the nearest school THEIR LA had a place at.

So I see your point OP and agree with you. Only in first offer is it anything resembling PAN London.
After that, it's down to lots of phone calls and panic and the onus on the parent to talk to OTHER LA's.

Living on the borders sucks.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now