What to write in school application?(21 Posts)
All the schools I am applying for for my DS to start next September are out of our catchment area. When applying online there's a box to write your additional reasons as to why your child should attend that school.
I'm a bit stuck on what to write. I don't have a sob story, I just really like the schools and the only one in our catchment area is a dump.
Do I need to think of something emotive to just state the facts? I don't know if it will really help our application anyway.
Does anyone remember or would anyone be able to share what they have written? I can only think to put positive things we know about te school from visiting & reading the ofsted reports. But it has a maximum of 3000 characters which makes me think some people must have a lot to say, so why am I struggling?
Leave it blank and just put your preferences
Sounds like you don't have any additional info that would affect the decision
Before you submit though have a look at what your chances are of being accepted out of catchment -you may regret not including your local school in your choices
Emotive won't help. You need to state your case based on the admission criteria. I think to get out of catchment without any extenuating circumstances is hard if the school is over subscribed.
Our catchment area school was our first choice. I put 4 other schools down just in case and put 'proximity to home' as a reason as they weren't my first choice but being close meant they were next on the list. I didn't think it would give me any priority though.
The only thing that makes a difference in that box is a statement which indicates facts about the application, and how it should be ranked against the criteria, especially circumstances which may get overlooked:
eg 'prospective pupil uses a wheelchair and if would be perverse to place her in a school which was not adequately accessible including widths of all doorways. Our 6 preferences are all fully accessible'
or 'we have submitted evidence supporting our eligibility of exceptional social need based on parents mobility issues, based on para XX of your guidance published on (date). Our email of (date) to (named official) refers'
of 'our elder child was placed at this school by LEA as it was the only one with a vacancy when we moved. Our younger child is therefore to be treated as a qualifying sibling in category B. (named official)'s email of (date) refers'
I second the comment about putting your catchment school down (last) if you are not confident you will get a place at at least one of the out catchment schools.
Which would you rather have, your rubbish but local catchment school, or a rubbish school 30 minutes away? If you don't qualify for your listed schools they will do everyone else's allocations according to preferences and then allocate you a school that still has a space. If your catchment school is full (even if only from people who put it last) then who knows where you will end up.
The additional info box is generally used if you have manage to qualify for any special requirements such as church attendance for a church school TBH.
You should leave it blank if there is nothing to highlight on why you qualify for a higher criteria.
I echo the point above though that you should put your local school on your application if you are not likely to get a place at any of your preferred school as if you don't you will be offered a place at your nearest school with a vacancy after everyone else's applications have been considered. better a poor school local to where you live, than a poor school 5 miles away !
"The additional info box is generally used if you have manage to qualify for any special requirements such as church attendance for a church school TBH."
Only to say when your SIF was submitted. There's (almost?) invariably a Supplementary Information Form required, and without sending that in on time you will not be considered for a faith place, regardless of what you have put in this part of the form.
We were asked to fill in form and send a letter to our local COE school from our vicar in our case
It's not space for a sob story. If you don't have any mitigating reasons just leave it blank.
OP make sure you understand the admissions process. You need to ensure that you put down schools that you have a chance of getting into.
If they are all out of catchment and far away and you don't qualify for a place due to demand etc then you could end up in a mess with some thing you hate,
You need to put down the catchment school or the nearest one you will get into as a safe bet.
Be realistic. The box isn't for saying that you like certain schools.
It's to add info that they might not know about otherwise e.g. Special need, why you qualify etc
Not putting at least one school down you may get into could cause you to get any school with space with a 40 minute public transport journey...it's a big risk!
I hope the OP has read the replies to this because he/she does not appear to understand how the system works. It's not a choice, it's a preference and putting down a list of out of catchment schools because you like the look if them is really really risky.
OP, please look at the admission criteria. This is what will determine where you get a place, not something you write in that box, unless there are genuine reasons (social, health etc backed up by professional evidence).
And cake we chose schools with 45 journeys by choice. Don't most dc travel to go to the best school.
AndNowItsSeven - there's a difference between choosing to travel for 45 minutes to a school you want, and having to travel for 45 minutes to a school you didn't want and which may not be very good.
Don't write anything. Makes bugger all difference.
I suspect it's there to give the admissions dept a good laugh when they get 3000 word essays on why little jimmy must go to school x because he is amazingly special and the school would be priveliged to have him, and don't you know his nana's hamster died?
Because for primary schools the admissions criteria are so strict- if you have a genuine need for a certain school you would be applying under the sen or faith criteria, so the box is competely pointless.
Practical stuff, 'we are x ( insert faith) and want our DD/DS to go to an x school' and ' the school is 5 mins walk from our house and would make pick up/ drop off easy'
Rusty I know it's not the same , it's was the horror of travelling 40 mins when it's the norm where I live.
Sorry for disappearing, I had an emergency.
The 3 schools we visited & want to apply for are all out of catchment but ALL have had low numbers in reception for the past 'x' years. All except the school that we dislike that is in catchment.
Taking this into account and the advice I've been given above, should I select those three favourites first and then put the local rammed crap school last because I don't want DS being sent to a crap school miles away?
Hate but close & in catchment and full every year
Will you get into the one you hate? Are you close enough?
If so, then yes that sounds like a strategy. You need one "banker", otherwise you will end up with whatever's left after everyone has been placed. Schools should be in the order you would prefer them.
Sorry chunkyfunkymonkey but writing that a school 'is 5 mins walk from our house and would make pick up/ drop off easy' makes bugger all difference and is not what that box is for.
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