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How many schools to view and how many to apply for?

(7 Posts)
Onionringo Fri 09-Sep-16 08:00:55


With a maximum of six schools to apply for, how many would you actually go and see? Circumstances are as follows. I live in a suburb of London where catchment areas tend to be quite tight. School 1 is the one we have always assumed DCs would go to. We've been keeping an eye on catchment distances each year, and we've been safely within every year. School 2 is a new school, opened this week, which we'd almost certainly get into. School 3 we're also in catchment for (just) but it's a little further away. I'd like to see all of these. School 2 is probably closest to us, but that's marginal compared to school 1.

But should we use all six choices? There's also school 4. We've been out of catchment every year, but I hear that they didn't actually fill all their places this year. Worth viewing just in case the first three don't work out? No idea what I'd do for choices 5 and 6 if we wanted to fill up the form.

When I was young, my mum tells me there was only one option for a primary school in my small town. I suppose we're lucky to have a choice to some extent, but I want to get it right.

OutDamnedWind Fri 09-Sep-16 08:11:20

There are posters far more knowledgable than me, but use all 6 choices. You don't lose anything by doing so, and if for any reason you didn't get into the top 3, you might have more chance at a school that's at least nearby than if you don't use them.

megletthesecond Fri 09-Sep-16 08:14:15

Use all six choices.

prh47bridge Fri 09-Sep-16 08:32:23

You should use all six preferences. As OutDamnedWind says, you don't lose anything by doing so.

It sounds like you are probably safe but it is always possible that this year is unusual and, as a result, you don't get a place at any of the four schools you mention. If that happens and you haven't named any more schools your child will go to the nearest school with places available. This will be an unpopular school which could be a long way from home. If you name fifth and sixth preferences you reduce the chances of that happening.

Onionringo Fri 09-Sep-16 08:48:49

I thought that using all six would be best. I'll look into a couple of others - there are many schools within a couple of miles, but because catchments are generally very tight, I've only paid any attention to the ones very close by. So any further afield schools which we are in catchment for will have huge catchments, and I'd assume there might be bad reasons for that. I'll have to look carefully.

Idliketobeabutterfly Fri 09-Sep-16 09:33:57

Use all six. We only get four choices were we are and although I knew I'd only one (due to religious observance) I still used all four as best to have a back up just in case.

NynaevesSister Fri 09-Sep-16 16:45:09

Put the schools you love the most at the top even if you think you have no chance of getting in. You never know - could add a bulge class, could be an unusually low birth year, might be a freak one off where there is no siblings. It sounds like you are fairly sure to get one of schools 1, 2 and 3.

For 5 and 6 go for some safety options. Take a look at other schools around you. People can be funny - a really good school can have a low application rate because of a past reputation that it's shed, but people haven't caught up. Sometimes it can be just people being unfair. My friend sent her kids to an undersubscribed school because as an educator she could see it had really good teaching. Local parents didn't want to send their kids there because it was in an estate!

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