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WWYD? In year admissions waiting lists

(17 Posts)
FromageFred Tue 12-Sep-17 10:41:57

I appreciate that no-one can decide for me, but I know there are some knowledgeable folks around these parts, so I'm looking for opinions/advice please.

Scenario: Moving to a new city where we know no-one. Two DC's Year 3 and Year 6. House should get us into a good secondary next year but all the cluster primaries are full. However for our catchment primary in Yr3 we will be 1st on the waiting list and in Yr6 we will be 2nd (and would jump to 1st if we got the Yr3 place). Yr3 currently has a roll of 90 and Yr 6 has 60.
We are favouring this school because as it is the local school I think it will help with fitting into a new area, and because most of the Yr6's will go to the same secondary.
It sounds like the school is definitely FULL (the extra 30 in Yr3 is a bulge class), so I don't think an appeal stands much chance.

However, there are two primaries only slightly further away, which have spaces. They are in a different secondary cluster, so the Yr6's go to different schools. It's also a less affluent area, which might not be a problem at all, but moving to a new city means that I am a bit more nervous about these things (it doesn't bother me at all in the place I currently live). The Council indicated that these spaces would likely remain available as schools are generally undersubscribed in that part of the city.

I will probably not be able to visit any of the schools until we move. I will be working from home around 15 hours a week, which can be flexible.

My current plan is to visit all the schools (two with spaces, one with waitlist) and then make a decision. Should I take the best available spaces and then see how we feel when/if a space comes up at the preferred school? Or theoretically I would have the option of keeping the kids home at least for a while. I'm concerned that might make it harder for the kids to settle into our new location, but on the other hand I'm not sure how we'd cope with potentially TWO school changes in one year. With not knowing any other families I think DC's would get bored of each other pretty quickly at home. I would likely only be able to do this until the start of term in January when they would need to be in school again.


prh47bridge Tue 12-Sep-17 13:51:55

Personally I would accept the best places available and then decide what to do if a place comes up at your preferred school. However, I wouldn't give up on appeals for your preferred school. Your children are old enough to mean that the infant class size limit no longer applies, so they can cope by adding your children to existing classes. For an appeal that means you only have to show that the prejudice to your children from not attending this school outweighs the prejudice to the school from having additional pupils. You have nothing to lose by appealing. If the appeal fails you would be in exactly the same position as if you hadn't appealed. However, if it succeeds your children get to go to your preferred school.

FromageFred Wed 13-Sep-17 13:32:04

Thanks. I think I agree.
Still not sure about appealing. I literally have no reasons other than those I've listed above. Maybe I should wait until we visit all the schools and see how I feel about a possible appeal then.

FromageFred Thu 30-Nov-17 10:47:33

So we are on the other side of this now. DC have been in the less preferred school for 3 weeks. We found out by accident that the preferred (catchment) primary now has spaces, and when pressed the Council admitted that we were first on the waiting list for both DC and they would write us a letter 'next week'.

We really want to move the kids to the catchment school (who have this morning confirmed that they have permission from the Council to accept us whenever we want to start) but we haven't spoken to the DC about it yet as we didn't want to discuss moving until it was definite. We are not enamoured with the school the DC are at now and the other school will definitely be a better fit.

How would you handle this? We can tell them tonight then they have one day to say bye to everyone (no close friends yet) and start new school on Monday. Or we could tell them after school tomorrow and start new school on Monday (too brutal?). Or we could leave it until January so that they can complete school plays etc. But that risks greater upset if they settle in further with new friends/teachers etc.

Msqueen33 Thu 30-Nov-17 10:51:30

If you’ve got a yes definitely move them. With it winding down to Christmas it’ll be more relaxed and will let your sons make friends before Christmas break and then go back in January. If places are there I’d go for it.

HastingsLikeTheBattle Thu 30-Nov-17 10:56:03

I have a year 6 DD And was in similar circumstances to yourself. We moved her to her new school just three weeks before the summer holidays, rather than waiting till September. It meant she got to do the fun, relaxing stuff with her new class which gave her the opportunity to make friends more quickly. It did mean that she didn’t get a report etc, but I guess that’s not an issue at Christmas!

She was raring to go back in September smile

thepatchworkcat Thu 30-Nov-17 10:58:07

Are they in the Christmas plays? If so it might be nice for them to finish the term and then move to start fresh in January. I think it might be a funny time to get settled in a new class at the moment if there are lots of rehearsals etc going on and they’re out of routine. That might be a bit unsettling in itself. Whereas January would be a clean start with a normal routine to settle into.

FromageFred Thu 30-Nov-17 11:14:18

The older one has a few lines as a narrator. The younger one is just learning songs. If they move they can be part of the 'chorus' for Christmas plays at the new school.

I can see that they will be upset about dropping out of the plays etc. But I'm also hoping that we'd have a similar experience to Hastings if we moved her now.

And all this is not even to mention the guilt I'm feeling about the school they will be leaving (even though it's hardly been amazing and they've only been there < 1 month). It's really tricky!

MrsHathaway Thu 30-Nov-17 11:27:09

Doing the Christmas plays could be a good way to make friends and get excited about the new school.

If you delay accepting the place then there's every possibility someone else will get it. I'd accept the places and then talk to the school about a start date.

FromageFred Thu 30-Nov-17 11:42:39

I've spoken to the new school this morning and they know we are planning to take the places (we haven't had the official offer letter in the post but the school received a copy by email already). I'm planning to phone them again tomorrow and let them know what we want to do about starting. But they have basically said it's up to us; we can move whenever we like (within reason, ie anytime between now and the beginning of next term).

My dilemma is really about the timing of the move, which is entirely for us to decide, and how/when we tell the DC.

Paperweightmover Thu 30-Nov-17 13:39:06

I'd move now, so they know people and are less daunted when they go back after the holidays.

I would also be concerned about losing the places to a new comer on the waiting list if you don't take them now. If Someone turned up tomorrow and went on the waiting list when there were vacancies surely they would get the places? I wouldn't be willing to risk it.

MrsHathaway Thu 30-Nov-17 16:13:24

Yes, I agree. I'd be inclined to move them now so that they can spend the most social part of the school calendar with their new classmates, rather than those they likely won't see again.

FromageFred Thu 30-Nov-17 16:19:34

Thanks folks. As soon as everyone is home we are dropping the bombshell. Going to move them on Monday. Wish me luck.

Paperweightmover Thu 30-Nov-17 19:24:08

You don't need good luck you just need a good sell grin but good luck anyway

MrsHathaway Thu 30-Nov-17 19:46:16

Hope it went well.

FromageFred Fri 01-Dec-17 14:08:09

A few tears were shed but it was a short-lived protest.

Paperweightmover Fri 01-Dec-17 19:09:51

Phew. Good luck to you all.

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