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BBC: Shrinking distances for school admissions

(7 Posts)
DrJoanWatson Sat 12-Dec-15 15:36:42

(Sorry if this has been already covered) Did anyone else see this BBC news story? Shrinking distances for school admissions

I am in the process of doing an application for schools for DD and my first 2 choices seem impossible to get into from where I live, so I am now looking at alternatives including going private. Has anyone else used FindASchool and found out they might not get their first choice? What are you planning to do instead? Sorry if this is obvious but it's my first time with the school admission process.


prh47bridge Sat 12-Dec-15 18:08:10

You will get a place somewhere but it may not be at one of your preferences. If you don't get any of your preferences you will generally be offered the nearest school with places available. That is likely to be an unpopular school and may be some distance from home.

All you can do is make sure you use all of your preferences. You should also, if possible, include at least one school where you have a decent chance of getting a place and which you would find acceptable (or, at least, less unacceptable than the alternatives).

admission Sat 12-Dec-15 21:51:12

There is also a need to be careful about what you accept. The BBC will have no more information about schools and what level of preferences have been recorded for individual schools than anybody else this year.What this is a re-hash of information on previous years and might not reflect what will happen this year.

catkind Sun 13-Dec-15 11:18:11

I was actually surprised how few schools there were with these distances given how close together schools are in some parts of london. I know there were, in some years, some schools with tiny distances where we used to live in Surrey.

I think you need to be pretty wary of using these stats on their own to determine where you apply. It can vary a huge amount from year to year depending on the demographic, the number of siblings, swings in schools' reputations, new schools starting up, and bulge classes. For example if you don't put your nearest/catchment school on the grounds it was previously a 250m catchment and you were outside that - but then it takes a bulge class in your year, then not only have you missed out on a place at your nearest school, you've also disqualified yourselves from free transport if there are no more schools with places within a reasonable distance. Which is fairly likely in some systems as you'll be a lower priority category for schools that aren't nearest/catchment.

So I'd say at least look at more than one year's statistics, and look at the actual data rather than findaschool as it's more informative. And keep an ear to the ground re where may take bulge classes if that typically happens in your area.

meditrina Sun 13-Dec-15 12:00:51

This is a thread from the last admissions round, but it could still be useful reading for you in.

I'd say you need to check the distances given in a third-party site with the council or schools themselves, especially if it's not blazingly clear what the admissions categories are. It's no good thinking that the distance was 950m, if that distance was for a sibling and the closest non-sibling has been for the last 5 years is 550m.

Kennington Sun 13-Dec-15 12:04:32

There was a spike in the 2012 birth rate hence the shortage now
We need more schools before class sizes become unacceptable
Sorry this make me cross as they were for warned 4 years previously

Dungandbother Sun 13-Dec-15 17:56:29

I'm in greater London. This year 2015 was a very high entry year. Across our town, four schools didn't reach beyond 500m and each school circle didn't reach the next school. So those living in between suffer.

But the previous two years so 2013 and 2014, both years were in parts undersubscribed. There were one or two and more places available across town. The most popular school doesn't change much year on year but the others do. All the circles overlapped.

The only other year it has been so tight was entry in 2011. Not enough places for the children in town.

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