Changing mind for primary school?

(23 Posts)
Isit2021yetplease Fri 16-Apr-21 09:36:58

Hi there -

Just wondering if anyone has any advice. We moved to a new area last December and obviously weren’t able to visit any schools, nor did we know anyone really to ask opinions of. We put down a school in the next village which had a great website / video tour, and put our local one second choice.

However since then having met more people and spoken to them, and most crucially found out were pregnant again with our 3rd, we think we’ve made a mistake.

We got our first choice in the next village, but we were out of catchment. There’s a lot of development going on there and now I’m v worried my next 2 children may jot get in there with the extra people much closer than us. I’m also worried about the logistics of school run with 3 and not having local friends in same village if we ever needed help with pick ups etc, and being able to return favour.

Is it just a case of putting our daughter on the waiting list for our local school (which was our second choice) and hoping she gets a place there instead?

The other school is v good, but it’s more a case of wanting to ensure all 3 get into the same school and making logistics work.

OP’s posts: |
idontlikealdi Fri 16-Apr-21 09:38:46

What the entrance criteria - do out of catchment siblings have priority over non sibling catchment children?

How old are they actually, will the eldest still be in primary by the time the second starts?

Isit2021yetplease Fri 16-Apr-21 09:45:02

Criteria is children in catchment area priority over siblings out of catchment area 😬

OP’s posts: |
Isit2021yetplease Fri 16-Apr-21 09:46:56

And sorry to answer my eldest starts this September 2021, the soon to be born baby will start September 2025 so yes eldest will be in year 3.

OP’s posts: |
Mumdiva99 Fri 16-Apr-21 09:49:48

You normally contact the local authority and ask to go on the waitliat for the local school.

stuckinarutatwork Fri 16-Apr-21 09:58:02

Speak to the admissions team at the council (not the school). It's possible that there maybe people with a place at your second choice who also had your first choice as their first choice also, so the admin people could just swap your places.

mnahmnah Fri 16-Apr-21 10:01:35

Accept the place you have been offered, or you could lose that. Then go on the waiting list for the school you want. Time will tell, but there isn’t a lot else to do.

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GolfForBrains Fri 16-Apr-21 10:19:38

*
Speak to the admissions team at the council (not the school). It's possible that there maybe people with a place at your second choice who also had your first choice as their first choice also, so the admin people could just swap your places.*

Unfortunately that is not how it works - if a school is oversubscribed, the places must go to the next child on the waiting list for that school.

GreatestSh0wUnicorn Fri 16-Apr-21 11:09:43

Get on the waiting list in a village it’ll be nice to have friends locally so they can play out with their friends.

HolmeH Fri 16-Apr-21 11:41:41

Is your second choice def full? Probs worth checking if they are fully subscribed! We got second choice & the school put out a message on their internet saying they do have a few places for Sept 2021..

Otherwise, the above advice!

PanelChair Fri 16-Apr-21 13:26:51

It’s not a case of “just swapping the places”. You should ask to join the waiting list of the nearby school. As you live in the village, you are likely to be quite near the top (it’s held in the same order as the school’s oversubscription criteria).

You’re wise to be thinking of the (potential) problem at the other school now. There are MN threads every year where the eldest child got into an out of catchment school in a year when applications were lower, but younger siblings have missed out because they’re low in that school’s oversubscription criteria. It doesn’t always happen, but it is a risk.

Tappetytap Fri 16-Apr-21 15:02:58

Mum of 3 kids here who chose an out of catchment school over the local one. I ended up starting at the out of catchment one but honestly with 2 other kids to cart around the school run was really a bind as it just adds an extra layer of stress onto your day that you don't need. I moved my eldest to the local one in the end and it was the best thing I did as we can walk and all the friends etc are local. You have to consider how many years you will be doing this school run for with 3 overlapping kids. My advice would be to get your name down on the waiting list at the local one (if it's oversubscribed) as hope a place becomes available before September.

Isit2021yetplease Fri 16-Apr-21 15:06:07

Thank you everyone!! I’ve rung the council but they couldn’t advise on whether school was full, just how to add to waiting list. School closed for Easter holiday today so will get myself on waiting list ASAP and call school on Monday. Feel like such a fool for putting myself in this position but what’s done is done! Geographically were extremely close to local school - it’s just down a steep hill so it’s jot a short walk but as they measure by straight line I would hope we’d be top of waiting list! Gahhh what a lot of extra stress I’ve added.

OP’s posts: |
EasterEggBelly Fri 16-Apr-21 18:05:48

Isit2021yetplease

Criteria is children in catchment area priority over siblings out of catchment area 😬

Wow, I also never knew this could happen. My eldest is in an out of area school but the admissions policy says siblings get preference before the allocation starts for other places. Hope this doesn’t change.

EasterEggBelly Fri 16-Apr-21 18:09:56

Just double checked for peace of mind and it’s still the case for my eldest’s school. Siblings remain number 2 on the admissions criteria after number 1 looked after children.

Isit2021yetplease Fri 16-Apr-21 22:38:56

@EasterEggBelly yes I have to admit I actually thought it would be the same but checked when PP asked and the criteria is children under care, children of staff, kids in catchment with siblings, other kids in catchment area and THEN siblings out of catchment area. My (soon to be) middle child is only 2 years younger so I think would likely be ok but with many more family houses due to be finished before the youngest would start school I think it would be a huge gamble unless school was extended.

I’ve added myself as a late application for the local school so hopefully it is either not full (will call Monday) or were v high up waiting list.

OP’s posts: |
firedog Fri 16-Apr-21 22:45:07

Our area give all sibling priority but next LA 5 mins up the road don't.
It does stop families renting near popular schools then moving to a cheaper area... siblings not getting into non catchment schools isn't uncommon

Maltesercake Fri 16-Apr-21 23:01:41

Our local area changed the rules about siblings in catchment a few years ago, on the basis it stopped someone renting for a year, getting DC1 in, moving and getting DC2,3 and 4 in on sibling criteria. Some schools were getting to the point where children on outer edges of catchment stood very little chance of getting in due to siblings being driven in from ten miles away. It’s been a fairly popular move.

Only exception is if DC1 applied for their catchment school but it was oversubscribed and DC1 was allocated elsewhere, DC2 et al could count as an “in catchment” sibling for admissions to the school allocated to DC1.

firedog Fri 16-Apr-21 23:16:48

That's exactly same as our neighbouring LA

stuckinarutatwork Sat 17-Apr-21 06:28:48

GolfForBrains

*
Speak to the admissions team at the council (not the school). It's possible that there maybe people with a place at your second choice who also had your first choice as their first choice also, so the admin people could just swap your places.*

Unfortunately that is not how it works - if a school is oversubscribed, the places must go to the next child on the waiting list for that school.


Yes I understand that it's done in waiting list order. My post was badly written as I didn't mean literally swap with a single child.
I meant that as the OP wants to move to a lower ranked school from her application (which is unusual) but needs to accept the current offer so that her DC has a place, the admissions team would need to look at it. Assuming the OP would have normally qualified for a place at school 2 as it's local, they would quite possibly be put at the top of the waiting list (assuming that those currently waiting are out of area etc). If a child who currently has a place at school 2 is waiting for school 1, then by releasing OPs child, the place would become available for that child to move to school 1 and OPs child to move to school 2.

Keepingitreal14 Sat 17-Apr-21 06:41:10

@stuckinarutatwork it still doesn’t work like that as she can’t release her place until she’s got another place. For any movement from lists to start happening someone either needs to turn down a place or move out of the area.

RachelSq Sat 17-Apr-21 06:55:37

Maltesercake

Our local area changed the rules about siblings in catchment a few years ago, on the basis it stopped someone renting for a year, getting DC1 in, moving and getting DC2,3 and 4 in on sibling criteria. Some schools were getting to the point where children on outer edges of catchment stood very little chance of getting in due to siblings being driven in from ten miles away. It’s been a fairly popular move.

Only exception is if DC1 applied for their catchment school but it was oversubscribed and DC1 was allocated elsewhere, DC2 et al could count as an “in catchment” sibling for admissions to the school allocated to DC1.

That seems really fair, especially with the ‘out of catchment’ school being treated the same as the ‘catchment’ school for future siblings if it was allocated due to a full catchment school.

There people I know this year where there catchment school was so oversubscribed they didn’t get in and they are now worried about siblings not getting in the out of catchment school when the time comes (for us, out of catchment sibs are lower in priority than everyone else in catchment).

Maltesercake Sat 17-Apr-21 09:20:38

@RachelSq - it’s an obscure rule that the LA doesn’t go out of their way to advertise. It’s not in the admissions criteria listed for each school, it’s in a guidance document somewhere else on the website. Your local authority may have a similar rule buried somewhere, it’s worth those parents asking as when you apply for DC2 etc you have to specifically draw attention to this rule and ask for it to be applied.

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