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Applying for reception places

(20 Posts)
fifitot Tue 01-Sep-09 21:16:04

Well I need to do this this year for my DD.

I wnat to get her into the school which is around the corner to us but the form asks for a number of choices. i don't really want to have to go to any other school but should I put down some or just leave blank?

Help! This is all new to me!

piprabbit Tue 01-Sep-09 21:21:38

You don't have to put more than one choice, but if the application to your first choice fails then you will be allocated a place in any school with places. It might not be located conveniently for you, or have a teaching style that you like.

I think it's best to choose at least a second choice as well - so that if the worst happens and you don't get a place at your no.1 school you will hopefully get a place a in a school that you are OK with.

I did this, didn't get my no.1 choice but had chosen 2nd and 3rd choices. I began the appeal process, but was lucky enough to get to the top of the waiting list for my no.1 school just before appeal time. I would have been OK with my 2nd choice though.

fifitot Tue 01-Sep-09 21:24:12

Thanks - thought that might be the case. I have a school in mind for second choice but will be sooooo annoyed if don't get first choice! It's just around the corner! (Plus it's a good school)

Clary Tue 01-Sep-09 21:25:08

Check out how likely you are to get in to your main choice. Are you in catchment? Are they expecting a lot of siblings (who may have priority)? Is it a year with a lot of kids (they can tell from nursery figures)

I only put one choice for all my DC as there was only one school I wanted them to go to. Have to apply for DS2's junior place this autumn and will only put down the school his siblings go to.

It might be a dangerous game tho! (I know we are OK with DS2 as his is a v v small year).

hocuspontas Tue 01-Sep-09 21:29:49

If your chosen school is oversubscribed and you don't have a 2nd or 3rd choice, your allocation will go to the bottom of the pile and you will get a place after all other applications have been processed. The LEA have to offer you a place at a school but this could possibly be miles away and in the school that nobody else wants to go to!

fifitot Tue 01-Sep-09 21:39:03

Just looked at 2006 ratings on local primary schools and with 100% was the local Catholic school. It is a brilliant school but we aren't catholics. Can I still put her name down?

Clary Tue 01-Sep-09 21:44:52

You can put a Catholic school down but if you are not Catholic I guess you are less likely to get a place.

Do you want her to go there? Is it local to you?

Where are you? If not in London for eg, then your round the corner school should surely be yr catchment school -in which case I would be very surprised if you didn't get a place. A lot of needless fear is engendered by people talkign about catchment area children not getting in to schools IMO.

Last 2 yrs in my city that didn't happen to anyone at primary level.

Clary Tue 01-Sep-09 21:45:40

What I mean by that last sentence is that there was nobody who put their catchment area school first choice who didn't get a place there.

fifitot Tue 01-Sep-09 21:47:04

I am in Manchester. I am around the corner from my first choice and the Catholic school is around the other corner!

There are about 2 others in the area I would consider but not sure if I am in their catchment area or not.

God this is hard work! Thanks for your replies and any further advice most welcome!

Clary Tue 01-Sep-09 21:50:55

well, put down as many as you like if it makes you feel secure.

It won't make you any less likely to get the first choice IYSWIM.

Clary Tue 01-Sep-09 21:51:28

BTW where I live you are only in the catchment or normal area for one school.

I understand this varies from place to place tho.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Tue 01-Sep-09 21:54:12

Yes, check the admissions criteria for all the schools you're interested in. Putting only one choice would be a very risky gambit, as others have said.

I remember how nerve-wracking it all was. Good luck!

Rollergirl1 Wed 02-Sep-09 20:42:43

I am interested in this as I am also about to start applying. What I would like to know is how likely is it that you may not get any of your three choices? I am not sure if I have to be strategic or not. The reason I ask is that my first two choices are catholic schools, one we are in the parish and one we are in the neighbouring parish. However we won't have the stamp from the parish priest for either so will be quite far down the admissions list. The 3rd school is non-denominational but is very popular and only has an intake of 30 children a year. It is also not our closest school so once again I think we would be quite far down the admissions list.

Is it likely that I won't get any of them or could listing both the schools at least ensure that they would give me my 3rd choice, which I would be happy with?

Our two closest schools are not good and are 90% special needs so def don't want DD going to either of them.

hocuspontas Wed 02-Sep-09 20:52:30

For choice read preference. They are your 3 preferences. If they are all oversubscribed then you won't get any of them! I would read your admissions book very carefully to see how places are allocated. Some areas if you put a school as 3rd, then your application is dealt with after the children who have it as a 1st or 2nd 'choice'. Other areas will allocate on the admissions criteria regardless of whether you have put it 1st, 2nd or 3rd. If your catholic schools are popular there is no point in putting them down at all if you are not catholic IMO.

Rollergirl1 Wed 02-Sep-09 21:26:34

Sorry, should point out that she is a baptised catholic. But we won't have the stamp from the local parish priest. I have checked our LEA and we have as much chance for admission at our 3rd preference as someone who has listed as their 1st.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Wed 02-Sep-09 21:52:33

It's as hocuspontas says. There's no guarantee that you'll get a place at any of your three preferences if you're a long way down the criteria for each of them. But only listing one or two schools doesn't give you any extra "leverage" and, if you name three schools which you're unlikely to get into, you may end up being allocated a place in whichever school still has places.

Rollergirl1 Wed 02-Sep-09 22:18:48

So what do I do? Are you saying that I should list schools that she is more likely to get in to rather than my preferred? If I do that then she definitely has no chance of getting in to them.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Wed 02-Sep-09 22:31:33

It's tricky.

You first need to calculate (as best you can) your chances of getting a place at any of your preferred schools. If, say, the first two categories in the admissions criteria are siblings and children with letters of recommendation from the parish priest - and in recent years all the places have gone to children in these two categories - then, if you're not in either of those categories, you know your chances aren't high. You can get information on recent admissions from the LEA or from the school.

The allocation system means that if your don't get a place in any of your preferred schools you'll be allocated a place in any with vacancies. That, I guess, is even more of a gamble than listing a school on which you're not very keen.

I think you have to decide how far you're willing to gamble. Naming three schools in which you're unlikely to get a place could just pay off if, say, there are fewer siblings than normal in the year's intake but it could go horribly wrong. And there's always the possibility of staying on a waiting list and later moving to the preferred school.

Rollergirl1 Wed 02-Sep-09 22:48:04

It is tricky and it's really giving me a headache!

I know what you mean. I actually think there's little point listing both of the catholic schools and think we should ditch the one that is not our parish as we are even further down the criteria list. Tis a shame though as that is listed as outstanding with Ofsted (the reason that I have even considered this school is because our next door neighbours son went there about 3 years ago and they are not practising catholics, although think the admissions rules have changed since then). And then list another school as our 3rd that would still be better than the other 2 that I would really hate her to go to.

UnquietDad Wed 02-Sep-09 22:50:49

I would say that if you have a genuine, practical "choice" (and lucky for you if you do - most people don't) then don't put your child down for a god-bothering school if you are not especially god-bothering yourself.

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