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Equal preference system & faith schools

(5 Posts)
rcat Thu 30-Nov-17 22:03:39

We have two favourites for DS1 for next September.Dh is confused as am I over the equal preference system and how it works with faith schools.

One of our choices will be a faith school,there is faith criteria and we would meet it but the school deputy head said the faith criteria would only kick in if they were oversubscribed.Then they send out a form to parents to complete to see if they meet the faith criteria.

It all sounds ok but dh said that if the other schools have accepted us and could offer a place won’t the form filling be very time consuming in the event of the faith school being oversubscribed?Does the other offer remain on the table from our other choice of school while the faith school decides if we meet the criteria?

Hope this makes sense,it’s been a long day but all advice gratefully received!

PatriciaHolm Thu 30-Nov-17 22:47:55

The form will need to be filled in at the time of application, so will get sent at the same time as your application to other schools. You will only get offered one place, on the set offer day - all the information the school needs should be with it before applications close.

The head is correct in the sense that the information is only relevant in cases of
Oversubscription, but is incorrect in suggesting you only need to submit the info later. If there are faith criteria, you need to supply the proof that you meet them before allocations are made.

admission Fri 01-Dec-17 18:28:40

To try and explain the system it is easy to just talk about the one school to start with, which is the faith school. Their admission criteria will start with Looked after children of the faith and then probably through siblings of the faith, pupils of the faith until you get down to distance from the school for pupils who are not of the faith. The school has a set number of places that can be allocated from the people who apply and they are put in order of the admission criteria, that is starting with looked after children of the faith etc. Obviously if there are 30 places then the top 30 pupils in the list will be offered the places. That is why PatriciaHolmes is right to say if there is any form that needs filling in, it needs to be done now, as that will get you potentially under the faith designation which is higher up the admission criteria order.
You are allowed to put down a minimum of 3 schools as preferences. It differs in different LAs as to exact number but it is usually 3 or 6. You put them down in the order that you like the schools most. So what then happens in the Local Authority is that they use a computerised system to allocate places and this is where the principle of equal preference comes in. To start with all your preferences are treated as being of the same level of preference and they work out whether for each school you are able to be given a school place because you are sufficiently high enough up the admission order criteria. If the computer than indicates that you could be offered a place at more than one school, the single offer will be for the school that you put as your higher preference of the two. In other words if you put the faith school down first and then the other school and have the potential to have a place at both, you will be offered the faith school. If you are not high enough up the order for the faith school you will be offered your second preference. If however you are not high enough up either of the school lists to be offered a place, then you will be offered a place at the nearest school that has spare places. As this could be a considerable distance away, this is one reason why you should always look to fill all the preferences, whether it is 3 or 6, so that you hopefully get a place in one school that you are happy with.
It is always good policy to put the school which is your catchment school (assuming that the school has a catchment zone) or the nearest school by distance as your least liked preference as that gives you the opportunity to get a place at a local school, no matter how much you might not like it, as opposed to an equally bad school a long way from your home if you are not successful with any of your preferences.

rcat Sun 03-Dec-17 00:34:01

Thank you to you both so much,I understand it more now!

boylovesmeerkats Mon 04-Dec-17 23:19:57

The form is usually your child's name and when and where baptised..not very time consuming

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