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Should we appeal tomorrow?(14 Posts)
What do we do?
Offered first choice for primary school for Sept 2020. School is rated good, 150m from our front door and we know a couple of people with children there, all happy. Results have improved steadily since 2016 when it was rated as requiring improvement, but are not stellar. Did a show round and were really impressed with deputy head and calm, ‘together’ atmosphere.
Our second choice was the primary school where DC is currently at nursery. Last year’s catchment was 250m and we were well outside so didn’t think we’d get a place and so opted for the first choice as first choice. This was also because second choice show round was terrible, and so it was difficult to get a sense of the main school, which seemed slightly chaotic from my perspective as a parent with DC at nursery. However it was rated excellent in 2010 and has had very good results for the last 3 years (although 2019 KS2 were significantly lower in reading than the previous year - a blip?). DC has good friends in nursery (only two going to the first choice school from his nursery group) and parents are nice, with a good mixture of backgrounds (we have a professional background - this only gives me pause for thought because I was badly bullied at primary school for speaking well). It is also a 10-15m walk through a lonely area, which won’t be so good in dark/winter.
Second choice school Head has approached us and now said if we appeal we may get a place because of moves out of the area, also saying he would like DC to be at the school.
Do we appeal to go for results, known quantities of friends and parents; or stay with first choice due to distance from our home?
Any help with deciding much appreciated because we would need to appeal tomorrow.
I didn't know you could appeal for a school you put lower down in rankings than the one you were offered?
I'd take 150m from my front door especially given what you've said. We went for good over outstanding because it felt right at the show round and not chaotic as you describe.
Thanks - I will check that. Second choice school is a non-community school so runs its own appeals process, as I understand it - not sure if it makes a difference.
Absolutely not. Everything you said suggests you’ve got the better school
Definitely distance from home. We have a similar distance to school and it makes life SO much easier, and all their friends are close as well. They've been taking themselves off to friends houses on their own from about Y4
Personally I'd go with your first choice. The only plus points that you seem to list for school two are that they were rated excellent 10 years ago (those children are now doing their GCSES!) and that your DC has good friends going to the school.
Whereas you were impressed on a show round for a school on your doorstep, the proximity alone has a multitude of plus points. Your DC does have friends going to this school and will make more, in fact will quite possibly come home with a new best friend every night.
Thanks everyone for your helpful comments.
You should always put your preferred school down as your first option.
Why would the school head want YOUR child there? Do you know them personally?
Stay with your gut feeling, do not be seduced into going for a school that could easily be worse than your first preference. Its just that it has not had an Ofsted inspection to confirm it.
I’ve got no idea why the Head said it. It was a bit strange. Could’ve been because their numbers are down I suppose!
I'd stick with what you already have. I will say that HTs aren't always fully up to speed with admissions protocols. Not all Heads, naturally.
It is very odd for the head to say you may get a place on appeal because people have moved out of the area. If they have places available no appeal will be needed - anyone who applies will get in until they are full. If they don't have places available an appeal is no more likely to succeed now than it would have a month ago. The fact that some people have dropped out is irrelevant.
I suspect what has happened is that your second choice school now has spare places in Reception for September and the head is worried about the effect on the school's funding so is trying to fill as many of the spare places as possible. But I may be wrong.
Thanks @prh47bridge - I think you’re right.