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(22 Posts)
Hmlf9 Tue 18-Apr-17 02:14:31

We found out we were offered our 6th choice (catchment school) we really didn't want to put it down as a choice but were felt our hands were tied when faced with the real possibility of being given a school miles away. Clearly this would have been the outcome had the catchment school not been an option. All of the higher ranked schools are all under 1miles in distance.

We do not feel that our child would thrive at the catchment school as it is a faith school and no one in our family follow a faith. We feel she would be best placed at a community school where she would be respectful and accepting of all faiths as well as feeling equally valued for being a none believer. She wouldn't need to be excused from the extra religious activities and she would feel a part of the school community if she attended the nearest community school.

My question is, has anyone ever or no of anyone who have received an offer for a higher ranked school prior to the appeal hearing? I have checked the stats and only 1 child has succeeded in the past 3 years out of 4 of the schools we've applied to. So I hold very little hope that we would be successful at appeal.

FreeNiki Tue 18-Apr-17 02:19:05

She wont be the only child in the whole school who's family dont follow a faith or that faith.

booksandhearts Tue 18-Apr-17 02:21:22

6th choice?!
where do you live!?

MrsJamin Tue 18-Apr-17 02:32:12

I'm guessing you're in London, theres no way your child will be the only child without that particular faith. All schools teach respect about other faiths, I really can't see it would be that much of a problem?

DoublyTroubly Tue 18-Apr-17 04:09:08

Remember that you will have automatically been put down on the waiting list for your top 5 options. There can often be a lot of people who turn down school places as they are moving / going private, which then frees up places for children on the waiting list

BikeRunSki Tue 18-Apr-17 04:17:02

You realise that the National Curriculun requires all schools to teach religion, and that all primary schools have a religious assembly everyday by law?

We are not religious, but my dc go to a C o E school (rural, not much choice). It is really not that extreme , and it is worth noting that under the National Curriculum you can't get away from"Christian values" anyway. (The terminology might be different, but that's the idea).

lacebell10 Tue 18-Apr-17 04:28:36

Suprised you got a faith school if you didn't want it. First thing is to check if it is really a faith school or a c of e school that is just historically named and has no more than any state school. All state school has to teach RE anyway. Our Cof E school is a strong religious school having an outstanding diocese church inspection. However is a first choice by many muslims and atheists because of its fair treatment of all in RE teaching and high teaching quality and strong community / values beliefs.
There is always movement and put your name on the waiting list for any school you would prefer that is easy for you to travel to.

Hmlf9 Tue 18-Apr-17 05:13:43

Thanks for all your responses. We live just outside of Manchester so I'm very surprised to find we got 6th choice.

Prior to applying I contacted the local councilor. They advised there is was 1 child within the school that has been removed from the extra religious acticities, so from I've assumed on basis of it being over subscribed she would be on her own. It nice to hear won't be, thank you.

I do accept all schools have re ect but it's the way it's delivered that concerned me. The school receives outstanding from the parish and we do know from the local children that are at the school that there are not as many religious celebrations/teaching of other religions/values well not as much as we would have hoped anyway.

I do accept is not the end of the world but I would have hoped for a community school over faith and that was my reasoning for asking if anyone has secured a higher ranked school prior to an appeal hearing. Otherwise I would accept just putting her down on the waiting lists. I think I kind of expected it would be harder to get a faith school place over preferring a community school and therefore stood a better chance of getting the higher ranked schools.

Ive noted we will not know where she is ranked on the waiting list until after the first week in May. So not too long to wait.

Thanks again for everyone help.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 18-Apr-17 05:40:29

I would accept, put down on all waiting lists (check whether this is automatic for you), ring around further out schools (e.g. if you live on outskirts then there might be village schools with spaces still). You can appeal but you have no little chance on that basis alone, however it might throw up an error in one of the school's systems.

My children have only attended community schools but they have differed widely in their interpretation of the law from prayers and modern Christian songs at every opportunity to hymn to virtually no religion memtioned. A change of Head brings a change of emphasis. All schools are religious but for some it is clear which religion they adopt from the type of school, for others you need to be embedded before you really uncover it. Remember if you withdraw them from worship you might be inadvertently withdrawing from Nativity and all associated activities. Do check before you act.

There is generally a lot pf movement even in very popular schools so I wouldn't buy the uniform yet (but definitely accept unless you plan to home ed or have a private school place already lined up). You can shift up the ladder a few times or your #1 school might get a place tomorrow. Good luck.

peukpokicuzo Tue 18-Apr-17 07:10:19

Find out from the council where you are on waiting lists for the higher 5 choices. Statistically there is likely to be some movement.
Kids who are destined for private schools may be holding a state offer as a backup plan if private offers and/or finances aren't yet certain.
Some families may be about to move to another area and free up a place.
Whether that sort of thing creates 1 place or 5 places for waiting list people will vary dramatically by area but you may have a chance.

As pp have said - there won't be that much difference between how the faith school does RE and how the community school does. Our school is not a faith school and although I have faith myself I am surprised by how much overt religion is included (eg an annual harvest festival service with the whole school crammed into the local church) - non faith schools are required to have assemblies that are "broadly Christian in nature". You could be successful in obtaining a place at one of schools 1-5 and still have pretty much exactly the same exposure to religion as would be at the faith school. I haven't got any stats but I'd guess there are many more faith schools that are equally respectful of all religious views (including atheism) and don't tell kids what to believe that there are faith schools that try to indoctrinate the kids.

tiggytape Tue 18-Apr-17 07:23:31

My question is, has anyone ever or no of anyone who have received an offer for a higher ranked school prior to the appeal hearing?
Absolutely. Thousands of people get a higher ranked school every year. It is very very common. Just make sure you are on all of the waiting lists (usually you are automatically added but don't assume that's the case - email and check you're on each of them).

I do accept is not the end of the world but I would have hoped for a community school over faith and that was my reasoning for asking if anyone has secured a higher ranked school prior to an appeal hearing. Otherwise I would accept just putting her down on the waiting lists.
I'm not too sure what you mean by this. There isn't another way to get a higher ranked school except through waiting lists or via appeal. As you know, appeals for this age of child are notoriously difficult to win where no error in allocations was made (I am assuming the council hasn't used the wrong address for you or anything like that?) and as such, waiting lists are the main way to higher ranked schools

Suprised you got a faith school if you didn't want it. First thing is to check if it is really a faith school or a c of e school that is just historically named and has no more than any state school.
Not all faith schools are the same. Some are so popular that only regular worshipers get a place. Others are less popular and all who apply can have a place. Some have an ethos where faith is incorporated in many aspects of school (and so do some community schools depending on the Head and Governors). Some are no more religious in ethos than a regular community school. It really does depend. You can certainly withdraw a child from worship as you can at any school. It is compulsory for the school to have worship - actual worship not just 'some people believe'

tiggytape Tue 18-Apr-17 07:24:58

meant to add - that last part is compulsory for all schools - not just faith ones. All schools have worship but each school does it in its own way however, it doesn't always follow that faith schools = more religious than community schools.

Honeyandfizz Tue 18-Apr-17 07:41:56

My dc went to a community school and it just so happens that the head has a Christian faith and the school was very much part of the local church community (carol concerts at church, easter parades at church, harvest festivals at church, leavers concerts at church) it was not a faith school and whilst the children learnt about other faiths it was very much Christian.

NotCitrus Tue 18-Apr-17 08:18:54

Just to clarify - just because only one child has been withdrawn from all religious activities at the school, it doesn't follow that all the other children are from families of that or any other religion. The vast majority of atheists see school religion as an annoying quirk of English law and can be a useful inoculation against religion. Usually the exempted children are Jehovah'so Witnesses or similar.

harderandharder2breathe Tue 18-Apr-17 08:28:34

Agree with NotCitrus, just because only one child is removed from religious education certainly doesn't mean only one child is of different or no faith!

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 18-Apr-17 08:37:10

I was about to say the same as citrus and harder. Most people without a faith don't remove their child from religious activities so just because only one child has removed it doesn't mean that's the only child of no faith.

In fact the only children I know that have been removed from religious activities are Christian.

Enko Tue 18-Apr-17 08:59:12

community school where she would be respectful and accepting of all faiths as well as feeling equally valued for being a none believer.

OP your dd can go to a faith school and still be respectful and accepting of all faiths and feel equally valued for not being a believer.

I have 4 children who has gone to a C of E school. Out of the 4 one is a believer and has recently chosen to be confirmed. 1 is a believer but non practicing. 1 is not a believer and 1 is an atheist, all 4 of them have fond memories of their primary school and not one of them feel they were looked upon differently as they were from a family with different faith. (I am a lutherean protestant dh is agnostic bought up a baptist)

That the school gets outstanding from SIAM means they have looked at

1. How well does the school, through its distinctive Christian character, meet the needs of all learners?

2. What is the impact of collective worship on the school community?

3. How effective is the religious education?

4. How effective are the leadership and management of the school as a church school?

This is done in addition to the ofstead report it does not mean that all the children there are indoctored to have that belief.

HTH a little

smellyboot Tue 18-Apr-17 09:50:03

Which LA are you OP? In Manchester there is quite a lot of movement in many schools so you may get a place off waiting lists. Put down for any school, your would prefer. You state it's your catchment school however, so that would suggest not actually Manchester LA?

House34 Tue 18-Apr-17 10:18:41

We are slightly the other way round. Our first choice was a C of E school 5 miles from us (we live in a rural area). It is a wonderful school with a strong Christian Ethos (we are practising Christians). However we got our second choice (school 1 mile away) - although it is a C of E school, they are not engaged or have nearly a strong ethos (The head admitted he thoughts the C of E bit was a tie and wanted to get rid of it). We are also a little disappointed as we were sure we could get our first choice, the school is small, rural and under subscribed for the past 5 years. The head even thought it would be a sure thing if we put the school down. Really surprised we did not get it.

tiggytape Tue 18-Apr-17 10:32:06

We are also a little disappointed as we were sure we could get our first choice, the school is small, rural and under subscribed for the past 5 years. The head even thought it would be a sure thing if we put the school down. Really surprised we did not get it.

The most likely reason is that this year is a higher birthrate year in your area and / or there are far more reception aged siblings applying than normal who all live a bit closer than you do / all meet the faith criteria (sometimes you get year groups with 3 sets of twins or simply a lot of people had babies in that year).

If however you don't think this is the case, it is always worth double checking if you suspect an error. If for example they accidentally have you down as living at an old address or they didn't process your form that proves you attend church, you might have been denied a place that should have been offered. The way to check is to ask which category were you placed in (distance or faith etc) and what was the furthest distance offered in that category? Check to see if the answers you get seem right.

House34 Tue 18-Apr-17 10:35:12

tiggytape - How do we contact to get that information? The school directly?

House34 Tue 18-Apr-17 10:35:28

*Who

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