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school allocation algorithm and preferences

(5 Posts)
dodi1978 Tue 08-Nov-16 15:14:48


a question about school allocation algorithms. This is for an infant school place starting in 2017.

The following situation:

School A: loved it, based on previous admissions data we have little chance to get in though as we don't live that close. On the council website it is listed with 'no catchment area', which I see as meaning that they simply allocate based on proximity to school (once the other admissions priorities are exhausted, e.g. sibling children, looked after children, church membership).

School B: also liked it and it's on my way to work,so drop offs would be easy. Has an after school club until 6pm, which is also an advantage. Also listed as 'no catchment area'. Based on prior admissions, we may have some chance of getting in, although it is by no means granted.

School C: our most local school, liked it, but they don't have an after school club. Based on prior admissions and proximity to school, we are likely to get in.

We'd be perfectly happy with school C (and would have to work out after school childcare), but would like to try for A and B. We don't want to risk loosing out on C though.

If we were to put school C only on third position in our list of preferences, would that disadvantage us in getting a place there, should we not get one of our first two preferences?

This is doing my head in at the moment :-))

SpotTheDuck Tue 08-Nov-16 15:21:19

No, it works like this:

First preference school: do you get a place based on all their criteria? If yes, process finishes here. If no, move on to...

Second preference school: do you get a place based on all THEIR criteria? Etc etc

Your application is considered against each schools criteria and popularity in turn.

You don't get additional "points" for making clear that you are really keen, or less keen, on a school, it's a purely mechanical process of working through the list

JosephineMaynard Tue 08-Nov-16 15:23:01

No, it won't disadvantage you.

The admissions works on an equal preference system - basically, applications for each school are treated equally regardless of whether the school is 1st, 2nd or 3rd choice.

The preference is only relevant if your DC qualifies for more than one school. If your DC were to be eligible for a place at all 3 schools, then you'd be allocated a place at your most preferred. If your DC was only eligible for a place at one of them, they get allocated that school. If you weren't allocated a place at A, B or C, then that means you wouldn't have been allocated C even if it was the only school you listed.

SpotTheDuck Tue 08-Nov-16 15:26:27

This might help:

dodi1978 Tue 08-Nov-16 15:31:54

Thank you! That's really useful to hear and puts my mind at rest somewhat!

Funnily enough, my husband didn't see the issue, whereas a friend of mine who is also applying for a place next year shared way of thinking... but our brains are probably wired differently!

This will put her mind at rest, too!

So thank you again!

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