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securing primary school place(17 Posts)
Hi Everyone! My son turned 4,he is reading, addimg up numbers. I really don’t want to put him into a below average primary school(the closest to our home are below average) there is one which is around 20 min by walk from our house.last year the school had 122application and they had only 60places.Do you think that we would have a chance if we are living 20by walk from the school, how can we secure the place any hints?
There is no way to secure a place, other than by meeting the criteria.
So your school / council publish the furthest distance admitted?
It can’t hurt to list it as your first preference, but there are no guarantees.
All you can do is put it as your first choice and cross your fingers. Or move to be closer to it.
Put it as your first choice, but then put ones you are more likely to get into as your second and third choice.
There’s no way around that; unless your child is adopted, in foster care, had a sibling at the school or has an EHC plan in place.
Where are you based? In England the school/local authority will publish admission criteria which will show how they prioritise places, they may also publish last criteria awarded to last year (so say priority is lac, siblings in catchment, children in catchment, siblings out of catchment) and they only awarded to criteria 3 you would need to work out if you are in the catchment area, it's still a lot of guess work as they might have had a lot of siblings last year and does depend on the area you are in. How many years has it been over subscribed?
What do you mean when you say the local school is ‘below average’? Is that based on OFSTED? League tables? It’s hard at the moment because you can’t go and visit but the feel of a school is just as important as the data. Can you talk to anyone who has kids there already?
There are no tips that will secure a place in a school. Look carefully at the admissions criteria and previous admissions data to see if you have a realistic chance of getting in. See what other schools there are too in your local area. You should identify at lease four schools on your application.
Onlynly way to increase your chances is to move closer.
Councils often have the admission data available so you can work out whether you are likely to get in.
You need to read the admission stats from the local authority. My dd goes to an outstanding rated school over a mile from our house but most years she wouldn't have secured a place - she got one as there was a lower than normal sibling intake.
Our nearest school is 'good' and was 'requires improvement' when I had to apply but they actually did better with reading and maths SATs than my dd's school and has had a lot more investment in it recently.
There are no guarantees even if you move next door to the school. Literally, four siblings did not get a place at our 30 PAN closest school when we applied for my eldest daughter. Nobody without a sibling there got a place. It’s absolutely an extreme case but it does happen so don’t bank on anything.
Put the school you want the most first on your form - you might get a place, you might not. It’s not measured by walking time but distance from your front door. Most LEAs have tools online to work this out for you. They should also publish the last admitted distance to each school in previous years. That will give you an idea of your chances.
Remember that you are expressing a preference and not a choice.
The distance you live and the number of applications are no use unless you know the context. If 100 of the applications last year were from people who lived further away from you (albeit that's unlikely........), you'd have a good chance. If they all lived on the doorstep and no-one else bothered to apply as they knew there was no chance, it's unlikely.
So far as I'm aware, the birth rate is falling so you may find that the number of siblings will also fall and open up more places than in some previous years.
As people have already said, moving closer to the school is the only way to improve your chances.
The local authority primary admissions booklet will have all the info about how places have been allocated over the last three years. This should give you an idea if kids as far away as you have been admitted so give you a more realistic idea of your chances. You'll need to investigate the schools closer to you to see what your options are. It's really important that you put down at least one that you have a realistic chance of getting in to. Good luck!
“There is no way to secure a place, other than by meeting the criteria.”
^This. You need to read their admission policy and see who they prioritise for admission. Look on the school website.
“As people have already said, moving closer to the school is the only way to improve your chances.”
True in most cases but I know of church schools where you could live next door and not get in! You need to read their admission policy to really know.
Additionally just because you consider your child to be bright doesn’t mean they ‘deserve’ a better school than another child of average or below average academic attainment.
A church school is likely to have additional criteria linked to practice so you’re right Wearywithteens. In these schools distance is only one factor and is likely to come after faith practice.
There is clearly no guarantee of a place at any school unless you have an EHC Plan that names the school.
However it is important for you to understand the context of the number of applications received last year. You have the opportunity to name 3 preferences on your form. So at a school that is popular and oversubscribed when you include all preferences including 2nd and 3rd preferences, you might expect when there is a PAN of 60, that there would be 180 applications for the school if the number of local places in schools matches the number of pupils applying. The fact that 122 applied last year indicates that all is not lost and you have no chance of getting offered a place.
However you have to be realistic about your chances. You do not have a sibling in the school and you live 20 minutes walk away, that must mean that there will be plenty of pupils who will be higher up the admission criteria order than you would be. You have nothing to loose by putting the school down as first preference and hope that there are very few siblings in this particular year group but you must decide which of the more local schools are acceptable to you which you are confident that you will get an offer of a place at. If you have catchments then you should put down your last preference as the catchment school as the school which you are most likely to get the offer of a place at.
Bear in mind that what matters, if your child is significantly ahead, is that the school will provide him with suitable challenge, not the overall balance of ability in the class. A child who is already reading fluently before starting school may well be the only one regardless of whether the intake is above or below average. You might consider contacting the schools nearest your home to ask what they do with a child who can already read, and what they do to stretch their brightest pupils further up the school.
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