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Reception 2020 applications - how important is it to use all 6 preferences?!

(13 Posts)
MsGlitterJunkie Mon 13-Jan-20 14:02:38

I'm about to apply for a reception place for my child, we live in West London.
It would be incredibly unlikely (looking at data from the past few years re: last distance offered) that we wouldn't get into our first or second preferred school.

There's a third school which we also like but would be unlikely to get into but I'll put that on the form anyway.

Is there any point in choosing another three schools? What would be the benefit of doing that? The only other schools we like are either way too far away or faith schools that we won't meet the criteria for......? Or should I list them anyway in case some miracle occurs and we get in?!

OP’s posts: |
Mandarinfish Mon 13-Jan-20 14:09:13

Don't put three schools that are very difficult to get in to as your bottom three - there is no point in this. Choose one school that is a fall back option that you would definitely get a place at, and put it after your top three. Then if by some stroke of ill luck you don't get 1 or 2, it's better to have that choice even if you don't like it much - otherwise your child could end up anywhere.

soapboxqueen Mon 13-Jan-20 15:10:48

If you don't fill in an option, you are essentially saying 'I don't mind which school is chosen'. If by some fluke you don't get your other options, your child will be put into the nearest school with a place after others have had their options considered.

So even if you know you'll get one of your first 3, decide which other schools would be the better options out of those that are left over so you have the potential to avoid schools you really wouldn't want.

Echobelly Mon 13-Jan-20 15:14:05

I think we only put 5 schools - I would put more than 3 at any rate, gives you more options for waiting list

Do put your first choice first no matter how unlikely it seems though - don't ask, don't get. DD got 2nd choice for primary, which we were happy with, then got, despite all odds, her first choice for secondary that seemed so unlikely we didn't even know if it was worth putting down.

admission Mon 13-Jan-20 16:00:42

There are 6 preferences for a reason and that is the likelyhood that you may well have to accept a school well down your list of preferences.
I agree that your should not put down faith schools where the admission criteria cannot be met as that is a waste of a preference but you need to put down 6 preferences. The last preference is best being a local school where you have the most chance of being offered a place at, even if it is a school that you do not want. It is better to have a place, than have one allocated to you by the LA because they cannot offer any of your 6 preferences.
You also are leaving it late, closing date for on time applications is Wednesday, so need to do ASAP.

Purpledragon40 Mon 13-Jan-20 16:13:08

If your confident about your first two based upon actual research there isn't much point in putting down another four.

LolaSmiles Mon 13-Jan-20 16:26:07

It can feel there's not much point, but I'd put more than 3.

Any blank spaces means you don't mind where you get put and could be put anywhere.

thirdfiddle Mon 13-Jan-20 16:31:49

Can't hurt to put something in. If only the next three nearest schools, don't think too hard about it. Unlikely to make any difference but if something odd happened to numbers in your year it could increase your chance of near rather than miles away.

MAFIL Mon 13-Jan-20 16:43:21

Six preferences isn't the norm. In a lot of parts of the country there are only 3. I may be barking up the wrong tree, but I would take that to mean that in your borough a lot of people don't get one of their first 3 preferences so they are offering the choice to state more. In our county in recent years for example, about 97-98% of applicants have been placed in one of their 3 preferences ( and the remaining few have probably made some kind of error to be honest) so there would be no real value in asking for more. Plus I imagine it is a whole lot more work for the admissions team to process 6 preferences. So if they are asking for them then I would be inclined to do it.
As others have said, if you only put 3 and by some reason you don't get any of them, all the LEA are obliged to do is offer tge nearest school which has places left after everyone else has been allocated. Obviously these tend to be the least sought after schools and could be a significant distance away.
I was always 99% sure I would get my first preference for my children at each stage but I always fully completed the application " just in case". It was unlikely that anything odd would happen, but you can never be absolutely certain, and my rationale was that if we didn't get what we wanted I would rather have a less good school nearby than a less good school miles away.

Rhayader Mon 13-Jan-20 22:10:31

I think I put two for my DS. Our first choice school has a huge intake of 120 and we are category 2a (cat 1 is looked after children). In the last 5-6 years the school has admitted up to category 5 so we have nothing to worry about.

I put our closest school which was undersubscribed a second choice but I would be totally shocked to not get into the first choice.

With DD we were more cautious and filled all 6 spaces because we weren’t as confident with the school admissions process back then. Now that we have 1 child in the school and I’m on the governing board we are more confident! (Also west London)

cabbageking Tue 14-Jan-20 19:45:41

You are advised to complete all the options whether 3 or 6 because it can disadvantage you not to.

If 6 are requested it is because there is a need.
Our area is 5 and still some get none of these, across the close border it is 3.

If the space is empty that implies you will take anything. A child therefore indicating a 6th place will be placed before you. This might have been a school you would have accepted but as you didn't indicate a choice and it is now full, you lost out.

You are then given the closest available school if all options run out. This could be an hour away

Not the closest school around the corner but full.

RandomMess Tue 14-Jan-20 20:08:50

Definitely use all 6 choices and ensure there are some you will absolutely definitely get in that are easy to travel to even if you would rather not otherwise there is the risk of getting an "awful" school that is a complete pain in the neck to get into!

BlouseAndSkirt Wed 15-Jan-20 10:31:17

but I would take that to mean that in your borough a lot of people don't get one of their first 3 preferences so they are offering the choice to state more

Lots of people in London use the first 3 preferences for ‘long shots’: schools they have only the mist minuscule hope of getting into. And then 2 for the most favoured realistic schools, and then a ‘dead cert banker’.

So the stats are low for getting into 1st or 2nd choice schools.

We have 7 primaries within walking distance of us and due to density if population the boundaries shift a bit every year. So it isn’t unreasonable to put down lots of schools.

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