Always put your choices in your true order of preference. You will be allocated the first school on your list you qualify for. So if you really want School 1 but think you might not get in, but don't mind School 2 and will almost certainly get a place, put 1 then 2.
It is impossible to answer your specific question because Child B might be in a higher priority group (eg, sibling) which the school may give priority to.
Definitely ABC - you will be allocated a space irrespective of your order. Are you pretty sure you’ll get a space in one of these? Because if they get filled up with higher priority then you could be offered any other school. If there are no schools you are deadly against then this isn’t such a big issue.
We are in catchment for A preferred school. On a normal year we should get in but a high sibling rate could bump us out. School X is closest to our house (though in a different county) however I wouldn’t consider that. So I’ll be putting A first then looking for some bankers in other close villages (we live between a few) that are not regularly oversubscribed to reduce the risk of X at all costs.
That's my concern Wait4nothing, I don't think any of them are bankers other than putting C as option one but that would definitely rule out any chance of A or B. The overflow schools are awful hence trying to get B and C in the right order in case we don't get A.
They take everyone's 3 preferences and allocate each school as if they had 3x the number of applicants. If all your choices are successful they give you #1 and bump up the people who were closest for #2 and #3 because you have freed up a space at #2 and #3.
Several people have already explained, but your last post makes it seem like you're still unsure. For the avoidance of doubt, the order in which you list your choices makes NO DIFFERENCE to how likely you are to get them. Any school which claims otherwise is misleading you.
In simple terms, schools basically get a list of every person who has placed that school on their application. All applicants are then ranked in order against the admissions criteria. The top 30 (or 60 or 90 or whatever the planned admissions number is) will be offered a place. However as you can only be offered one school place, if you qualify for more than one school you will be offered your highest preference. That is the only way in which preference is taken in to account and is why you must list them in order of your true preference.
Thank you everyone. I am not stupid but honestly I seem to have a mental block but the penny has finally dropped since my last post and I get what you're saying now. So ABC it is and fingers crossed one is successful!