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Admissions Question(9 Posts)
Hi, very recently moved to the UK with our 3 year old who is due to start school next September.
Just hoping someone can clear something up for me with school admissions.
So we have chosen the school we would like to send her to (school A). We are very slightly out of the catchment (catchment is other side of road!) We have been told we are likely to get a place as the catchment is mostly taken up with a new housing development which is still being built so there are unlikely to be enough children in catchment to fill the places.
Our catchment school is a bit further away and is not great (school B). It is rated 'good' by Ofsted but gets poor results and I did not get a good feeling about it on viewing it. It doesn't have a good reputation locally.
I have visited one other school I really liked but we are quite a distance from catchment and it is oversubscribed. (School C)
My question is, I've been told I should always put the catchment school down to avoid being left without a place. Is this true? My plan was to put 1. School A 2. School C 3. School B. However I mentioned this to a lady at playgroup also doing the application process and she was really surprised I was putting school C at all.
Also, can someone explain how they allocate places. Does it matter which number of preference you have put down eg am I more likely to get a place at a school I have put as number 1 than someone else who has put it as number 2 or does it go purely on oversubscription criteria?
TIA! Sorry if silly questions!
Arrrgh should have said playgroup lady was surprised I was putting down the catchment school I wasn't keen on. I'm even confusing myself !
Not silly questions. I think you're doing the right thing. Presumably the catchment school would be a better option than one miles away so makes sense to put that as your third choice.
Schools don't know what preference you've put them in. I think basically they get a list of everyone who's applied to that school and then put them in order according to their criteria. Lea then allocates places to the highest available preference for each child.
You need to name any school you would be happy for your dc to attend but put in order of preference. Otherwise should A, C and even B suddenly become oversubscribed you may miss out on places and be allocated another further away. Schools do not know the order of preference, you are assessed for a place at all those listed but allocated the highest on your list for which you qualify.
You need to name any school you would be happy for your dc to attend but put in order of preference
^^ exactly this. That's the advice I had from local authority admissions officer last year. Try will always try and give you your first choice where they can. As long as your not putting ridiculous choices in. School A sounds perfectly sensible as a first choice. Our primary school catchment changes each year depending on number of siblings. We got in this year, but last year we'd have been two streets out. You just never know.
So many parents think the admissions procedure is a trap and that they can manipulate it to avoid a school they don't want.
Some think if you put down a 'not so good' school third on the form then the admissions will give you that school over the good one you put first. So they only put the good one on their form. Then they get the good one and the myth is passed on.
In reality you simply need to put the schools down in the order you want them.
You won't be left without a place if you don't include the catchment school but there is a risk that you could be allocated a place miles away at a school you really don't want.
As others have said, allocation is based purely on the oversubscription criteria. Schools and LAs are not allowed to give priority to people who name a school as first choice.
You have done it right. Definitely put them in order of preference and with at least one school you are likely to get a space at. If not, and all your chosen schools are full, they can offer you anywhere with a space.
Thanks all that has cleared it up for me. It's complicated for us a bit because we've only just arrived so are renting a small flat with a view to buy next year. So our application is based on an address we probably won't be living at once she starts. If we end up with the catchment school it wouldn't be the end of the world but we may look to move further out of town (where houses are much cheaper) and see if we can get her into one of the village schools at a later date as the village schools are apparently good.