Last place offered on distance

(16 Posts)
WhyBird2k Tue 17-Jul-18 07:32:21

Our DD is 4 next May so looking ahead to primary schools. I have got data from the council website about admissions over the last 6 years. It lists the distance of the last place offered. And this has always been for children outside of catchment with no siblings.

Information all well and good but this distance does vary considerably year after year, we would have been successful in a couple of years.

Is it possible to find out the distance of the next furthest applicant? This is a rural area so if the last place was offered to a child e.g. 5.12 miles away, I want to know of the next furthest was 5.13 miles away (meaning more children in a smaller area) or 7 miles away (meaning perhaps trying our luck might work!)

Hope this makes sense, any advice or tools definitely appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
pitterpatterrain Tue 17-Jul-18 07:35:07

We wouldn’t be able to find that out written down here (central London) however if you know local families you become aware of who is on the waiting list for which schools and who gets in in the end - as you say, varies each year

TwoGinScentedTears Tue 17-Jul-18 07:37:03

I live in a big city, but our admissions team at the local authority were brilliant. I'd call them and ask. Even if they can't tell you exactly what you want to know they're extremely helpful.

Luckymummy22 Tue 17-Jul-18 09:11:58

You can possibly get an idea from number of kids thought to be in catchment if your council provides it.
Our council uses GP data for this.
However this doesn’t factor siblings out of catchment!!!

When we applied for school places our preferred school had 40 odd kids in catchment for 60 places.

We lived 0.4 miles away out of catchment . The cutoff was 0.25 miles.

There was an extremely high number of out of catchment siblings.
The following year kids got in from over a mile away.

I really think it’s just a wait and see.

WhyBird2k Tue 17-Jul-18 10:43:40

pitterpatterrain you're right, I should start asking around (not too obviously!) and make some useful conversation out of all these toddler groups I attend. My friend is best friends with the headmistress too....

twoginscentedtears thank you, I think I just need confidence to ring the council and remember it's an anonymous call and a data gathering exercise. The process is quite difficult to understand for a first timer and I'm quite on to it most of the time!

Luckymummy that's interesting that they used GP data in your area. They have a tiny number of children from within catchment at this school, the majority are out of catchment with siblings. And yes it is wait and see. I don't want to get stressed about it yet, it's down to luck more than anything else.

Do school admissions officers or secretaries help with this kind of information too or do they prefer to stay out of it? I don't mind asking but don't want to sound like I'm pushing, they must get this a lot.

OP’s posts: |
TwoGinScentedTears Tue 17-Jul-18 14:44:38

I had to ring the admissions team a lot. Honestly they were great. And they're happy to help. Please don't by feel the need to pluck up the courage to call them, they are there to help.

admission Tue 17-Jul-18 15:09:38

All distances are measured using a GP system, which is very accurate as long as it is based on straight line distance.
You do have to think in terms of the distance being in a circle radiating from the school at its centre, so in all likelihood even in an rural area, the distance between the last offered place and the next applicant will not be in miles much more like 0.1 miles.
The other thing you need to understand is that the quoted figure is the last distance offered in the original allocation on the 16th April. If there are declines for a place at the school, then the next person on the waiting list is offered the place and the LA does not usually quote this distance. The reason for this is because as soon as the waiting list is formed after the 16th April, there could be late applications who will be included who could be much nearer the school than the last applicant offered a place in the initial allocation.
The distance quoted is a reasonable guide to whether you might get an offer of a place but is not to be considered to be infallible.

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WhyBird2k Tue 17-Jul-18 16:46:59

Thanks twogin, I think this part of being a parent now isn't it, just asking the difficult questions and not being scared.

Admission that is a really helpful explanation. What does GP stand for in this context? GPS? Affording to the council website it uses the "shortest designated route" and lists the software it uses. It measures from a seed point to the nearest open gate at the school....but also states this is neither a driving route nor a walking route! But it sounds like its not a straight line radius distance?

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Tue 17-Jul-18 17:12:34

My LA allocate on straight line distance where this has to be used. Our allocations were updated in June so keep looking to
see if it’s online. If not, do phone. They are there to help.

BubblesBuddy Tue 17-Jul-18 17:18:15

They should have a designated route from your house to school then. It could mean routes are hybrid. Eg you cannot drive down a footpath but a footpath is used as part of the shortest designated route. We used to have this system but it’s fraught with arguments! My admissions officer had to continually update the designated routes. Albeit before GPS and software was commonplace but people will argue about shortcuts and paths!

Lovewinemorethanhusband Tue 17-Jul-18 17:33:46

Speak to admissions at the council, we are in process of moving and I've had lots of dealings with them, I've applied for 2 schools in the local area which are both outstanding on ofsted and on waiting list for both, my boy is 5th and 3rd on the lists they have advised it's all in straight line distance and sibling based but that out of catchment siblings don't count at either of these schools as they are so sought after so it's distance only so if you've moved for a short period to get your child into the school their siblings won't be guaranteed a space

prh47bridge Tue 17-Jul-18 18:23:21

"shortest designated route" is not straight line distance. The comment that it is not a driving or walking distance suggests this is a cop out that allows them to avoid challenges on the basis of routes they have missed. Which local authority are we talking about? Feel free to PM me if you don't want to post it publicly. I will be happy to take a look and see if I can advise further.

WhyBird2k Tue 17-Jul-18 21:08:19

I can see why the shortest designated route is contentious! At least a straight line is a straight line. Do the admissions team tell you what distance they have calculated for your route before/after the offers are made or does it remain unknown to the applicant? Do they explain which route they have chosen?! Not sure how google maps would compare.

OP’s posts: |
prh47bridge Tue 17-Jul-18 22:24:54

Having read through several documents I can see what the local authority is saying. They measure the shortest route using public roads, public footpaths, alleyways, bridleways, etc. It may not be a driving route as it could go along footpaths. It may not be a walking route as it may go along roads that you can't walk along (and in any case goes up the middle of the road, not along the pavement). It could potentially be challenged on the basis that they have missed a route but it is fairly normal for this kind of measurement.

You won't find out the calculated distance before offers are made. You may find out the distance when offers are made if you were unsuccessful. You will definitely find out the distance if you appeal.

BubblesBuddy Tue 17-Jul-18 23:30:34

I’m surprised a LA is still using this method. They must be spending quite a lot to sort out the distances and appeals. Using all sorts of highways is always a problem and open to argument. Straight line is so much easier and cheaper to administer.

mrsFruitLoops Wed 18-Jul-18 16:39:14

This is such a difficult thing to work out and deal with. I didn't sleep for weeks worrying about my dc getting a place.
Luckily we don't have a set catchment area. Criteria is looked after children, siblings then distance (based on driving route from home door to school door)
Our school is very sought after but distance places vary so much. One year furthest was close to 2 miles. The year after the furthest was under 0.5 miles.

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