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When applying for primary school places...

(14 Posts)
ProfessorPickles Tue 19-Apr-16 21:45:20

What happens if you live on the borderline between two areas?
Where I live the primary school in my village is under one council and then the three others I'd want DS to go to are a 5-10 minute drive away but come under a different council.
Does this mean I get to put the local one as the first choice for this area, then order the others 1-3 in the other area?

It is a little confusing and Google isn't coming up with much!
I'm talking about next year but it just sprung to mind with friends finding out where their DCs will be going.

Thank you for any responses in advance!

NapQueen Tue 19-Apr-16 21:48:33

I think the best thing to do is go onto the schools websites and check for their Catchment Area. I think statistically you are most likely to get into the schools whose Catchment area you fall in. Of these, rate them in the order of your preference.

You are much much less likely to be given a school where you fall outside of the Catchment so don't put these down at the top, use them to fill any remaining spaces.

Bear in mind if you go on to have subsequent children and get lucky with a school outside the Catchment - there is no guarantee that will happen again with siblings so you could end up with kids in two different primaries.

LIZS Tue 19-Apr-16 21:49:02

You submit one form to your resident LA.

ProfessorPickles Tue 19-Apr-16 21:55:27

The children at different primaries is not a worry for me so that isn't a problem.

The problem is the one in my village is very popular with siblings not always getting in, one school in the other area is the nearest school to us after that.
Then the other two are ones a bit less than 10 minutes away that are good schools. I've known people to get into one of them even though they don't live in the catchment area and I'd love for him to go there but I realise we might not be so lucky.

I find it all a bit worrying!

meditrina Tue 19-Apr-16 22:03:18

You make one application, via the local authority of the area in which you live, and on it you list your preferred schools (whether in that council area or the other one).

List the schools in your genuine order of preference. Schools aren't told what position applicants listed them in, they are simply given a list of all applicants and rank them in order of how well they fit the entrance criteria (the LA does this for community schools). The LA then turns that list into a single offer for each applicant.

That is where you preferences come into play - if you qualify for an offer for more than one school, the LA will give you the one you put highest on your list.

But one note of caution, always put a school that is as near a thing as you have to safe option somewhere on your form. Because it's better to have iffy school that's really close, than to qualify for none of your preferences and find yourself with even iffier school miles away.

ProfessorPickles Tue 19-Apr-16 22:38:47

Excellent, thank you Meditrina that has helped me a lot and had cleared most of it up for me!
A woman I know that works at the one in the village says if I don't put it as my first choice there's no chance he'll get a place, is there anything to that or is that irrelevant and she's wrong?

PresidentOliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 19-Apr-16 22:54:00

We've moved this to primary education for the OP
Good luck with it

edwardsmum11 Tue 19-Apr-16 22:57:08

Yep, one form. We didn't but could have applied to schools from three councils as there are three within a mile from me.

Blu Tue 19-Apr-16 23:03:32

She's wrong!

If you really want that school, then put it first. But if there is another you would like to try for then put that first. If you don't get places in the further away schools that you list first, you will still be allocated your third choice school if you meet the entrance criteria.

People who work in schools often seem to give out this misinformation. The system used to be different and they would work through all the first choices first.... But not now. The current system is called the Equal Preference System and all schools and LAs must use it, by law.

ProfessorPickles Tue 19-Apr-16 23:11:34

Excellent, thanks for the response Blu! She must be thinking of the old system like you say. That is a big relief that you only have to focus on which you prefer rather than trying to mess about!
I know my order already then so that is great, I thought I would have to factor this which is he most likely to get into so should go first or else he won't have a chance type thing.
Much simpler, great! smile

riceuten Wed 20-Apr-16 00:25:53

Check the admissions criteria but, in almost all cases, it's irrelevant where you live borough or districtwise - if the criteria is distance.

PanelChair Wed 20-Apr-16 09:40:15

Another thing that can be useful to check is whether these schools have defined catchment areas or simply use a measurement of who lives closest to the school. If it's the latter then, depending on geography, you might be closer to some of these schools than people living in the same LEA and so ahead of them in the metaphorical "queue".

NotCitrus Wed 20-Apr-16 09:48:23

The only time when borough boundaries become relevant is if there are children who don't have schools after the application procedure - then the council has to find them places in the borough.

Dc's school is in the corner of a triangle of the borough, so 80% of the circle around it is other boroughs. So there are many children from those boroughs who chose it, but also many more from the borough it's in, lots who didn't choose it but get the bus from a couple miles away. Because of its strange location, people have much more chance to get it if they apply, than for most local schools - most people go on the website and click the nearest schools in their borough.

prh47bridge Wed 20-Apr-16 10:12:21

then the council has to find them places in the borough

The council has to find them places. They don't have to be in the borough. However they will want to find places in the borough if at all possible as it affects the council's funding.

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