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Can anyone tell me about Primary school applicatiuon process?

(36 Posts)
SheikYerbouti Mon 11-Aug-08 15:17:12

Our LEA, (bath and north east somerset) as I presume all LEAS do, give you the chance to choose 3 schools in order of preference

We really want DS1 to go to a certain school, as the other 2 locals ones are shithouse. I am really worried he won;t get in (although there is no real reason) DP thinks I should just put our preferred school on and nbot any other

I'm not sure about this though, as knowing our LEA he will get sent miles away if he doesn't get in.

I am really worried about this - the nearest school is RC (my kids are not RC - although I am. I am not keen on RC schools, tbh) and the otrher loacl one (which is the frutherst of the 3) is crapola. Rubbish pastoral care etc etc

The preferred one is the 2nd nearest - the RC is 2 mins wlak away and the nice school is about 7 mins away. The crap ione is 30 mins walk.

However, nice school is v over subscribed I think, as has excellent rep.

I am stupid mfor woirrying about it at the mo, I know. I can't even apply til september

Anyway, is DP right, should I just put the nice school down and not the others?

AMumInScotland Mon 11-Aug-08 15:27:05

As far as I understand it, if you only put one school and don't get it, you'll get whatever school they still have places at.

If you put more than one down, they will try to give you your first choice, and only consider the others if you can't have the top preference. So, you won't lose out on the top preference just because you have also put others on the form. But you could end up worse off if you only put one and don't get it.

savoycabbage Mon 11-Aug-08 15:27:37

There is no point in only putting your first choice down. They aren't going to allocate you a place above anyone else if you haven't filled the form in!

Find out if your first choice is oversubscribed for this year so at least you know if you have something to panic about. Ring them up in September and ask.

There isn't a way around the system. I live in Derbyshire and on our form there was a section for you to say why you wanted to go to your first choice school and I phoned up to ask about it and they said that they don't read it, it's just to make you feel better!

savoycabbage Mon 11-Aug-08 15:33:46

I know someone who only put one school and she didn't get in. There was no space at what would have been her second choice school which was also her catchment school. So she got a place in the next closest school to her house.

She thinks she will get into her catchment school on appeal but you only can win on appeal if they have made a mistake, which they haven't.

It is quite stressful applying for schools I think.

hippipotami Mon 11-Aug-08 15:34:34

So your preferred school is the nearest to you ?(ignoring the RC one)

How far away is the next one (one of the two crappola ones?)
And then the last crappola one is 30 minutes walk away?

Sounds like you should be in with a good chance of getting the one you want.

Round here (Surrey) the LEA like to allocate people the school nearest to them regardless of what they put on the form. So if your nearest is a good school, you are lucky smile

savoycabbage Mon 11-Aug-08 15:37:52

Why should she ignore the RC one though? If that is her nearest school then that is her nearest school isn't it?

wessexgirl Mon 11-Aug-08 15:38:13

The RC one won't count as a 'catchment' so you can ignore that one.

You are in catchment for the school you prefer, so you should be fine. Do you have a copy of their admissions policy? It will tell you how they prioritise applications e.g. Everyone in catchment first, THEN everyone out of catchment with siblings THEN everyone out of catchment who meets x,y,z criteria.

Don't know Bath & NE Somerset specially, but round my way it's VERY unusual not to get into a school whose catchment area you live in.

I reckon you'll be OK wink.

wessexgirl Mon 11-Aug-08 15:39:26

Sorry, that should have been 'siblings at the school', not just 'siblings', duh.

savoycabbage Mon 11-Aug-08 15:41:04

The RC schools count as your catchment here. That's why I was confused earlier blush

wessexgirl Mon 11-Aug-08 15:41:39

Really, savoy? That's unusual, I think.

hippipotami Mon 11-Aug-08 15:45:11

The RC will take applications seperately, along with letters from the vicar. I don't think they go through normal LEA application process.
Also, as she is not RC she will not be allocated a place there, hence ignore the RC as it is not in the equation.

mankyscotslass Mon 11-Aug-08 15:46:16

Don't just put down your favourite. A friend of mine did that this year and ended up being allocated the only school in the area with places, which would have meant a two bus journey for her twice a day or taxis. She was devastated. She took it to appeal and although never got into her favourite did get a place at the next nearest school, so at least she can walk there.

mrz Mon 11-Aug-08 15:47:00

In my LA the sibling rule doesn't apply and it is common for children not to get a place in the school who's catchment area the child lives in. My school is oversubscribed and we turned away 6 children last year 2 of them with siblings in the school.
If I was the OP I would arrange to look at all possible schools because sometimes "reputation by gossip" isn't very accurate and it will give you a much clearer picture and a real feeling for each school.

cece Mon 11-Aug-08 15:48:15

RC schools aorund here don't count in the nearest school rule if you are not catholic. I have one that is near to me and i just filled the form in as though it wasn't there iyswim.

So not counting the catholic school is your preferred school your nearest school? Are there children in your road who go there? If so then I would say you have a good chance of getting a place. But I would also pop in and speak to someone in the school office about it all.

Also fill in all three choices on the form otherwaise you might end up with a school you definietly don't want...

mrz Mon 11-Aug-08 16:12:35

Have you looked at?

ThingOne Mon 11-Aug-08 16:27:20

SYB, I'm in Banes too. As far as I could understand there was something about your three choices all being equal. I can't quite remember it but I think it meant that if you didn't get into your first or second choice, you still had as much chance at your third as people who had put it first, or something. If you read the bumpf enough times it will make sense eventually.

I applied only to one school as I had no intention of going elsewhere but live about 150m from the school so knew we would get in.

I can't remember where you live. Was is Weston? Are there any other schools you could reasonably get to that you would have a chance of getting into? Do you know how many siblings there are going to be in the year? That can have a huge impact on the number of places available to "new" children. If you can find this out, even vaguely, you will have a better idea of what strategy to follow.

Good luck!

MrsMattie Mon 11-Aug-08 16:30:33

As others have said, you really should put down 3 choices or you may end up with a crap school miles away.

MrsMattie Mon 11-Aug-08 16:32:22

Also wanted to add - the schools don't know your preference and your preference doesn't actually count towards getting you in to a school. It just means that if you get into two or more of your 3 choices you'll be offered a place only at your first choice, iyswim. At least, that's how it works in most London boroughs.

SheikYerbouti Mon 11-Aug-08 16:32:29

I did look, but tbh it was so fecking confusing!

My school of choice has 60 places, RC has 30 places, crapola one had 54 - so I reckon I'm in with an OK chance for getting DS1 into preferred one.

God, it's so stressful!

SheikYerbouti Mon 11-Aug-08 16:34:16

There are 3 schools in my area.

The next one from here after those is about 50-60 mins walk and after that, you are looking at a hectic drive across the river or a good 3-4 mile walk

SheikYerbouti Mon 11-Aug-08 16:35:17

Yes, ThingOne, amd in Weston.

Now I'm worried, because most of DS1's peers art pre-school have siblings at our preferred school


MrsMattie Mon 11-Aug-08 16:37:44

I'm pretty sure it works the same where you are as it does in London. For applications to non denominational state schools they will take into account certain factors - namely how far away from the school you live, whether you have a sibling already attending the school, whether you are a 'looked after child' and in certain cases, whether you have a statement of special educational needs. For most people applying for the first time to a reception place for a child with no special needs, places will be awarded purely on the distance you live from the school. If a school is very oversubsrcibed (like most schools in my area) that distance will be very small (it's under 0.5 mile in my neck of the woods). Religious schools have their own additional criteria - usually a letter from the local priest / vicar etc as 'proof' that you are a regular church goer. If I were you , I'd put down the three nearest non-denominational state schools on your form, ranked in your order of preference, cross your fingers and think about going on the waiting list for your preferred school if you don't get in.

MrsMattie Mon 11-Aug-08 16:38:40

Your LES website might be able to give you more info by the way. My one shows no.of reception places per school, no. of applicants last year and furthest distance a successful applicant lived from the school, which helps you weigh up the likelihood of getting in.

MrsMattie Mon 11-Aug-08 16:38:53

sorry, LEA not LES

ThingOne Mon 11-Aug-08 16:44:57

Right. You NEED to find out about siblings because there aren't really 60 places up for grabs. Also look at booklet to see what distance away from school you have been able to get in over past three years.

eg Bathampton has 15 places. This year there were 12 siblings. There were twins living right next to the school. That meant one other place for "new" children. This was so extreme, with children being offered inaccessible schools, that they have decided to double the school entry. This is a very unusual situation, though.

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