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Placing Request

(7 Posts)
Whydidyoucallmethat Mon 18-Apr-16 21:43:40

Just really started to think about this as our schools went back today and the horribly complicated English system is all over mumsnet. Dd is in P6 at our local, catchment school, which I am very happy with. I'm much less happy with the high school she is due to attend. It's very small and I think it will limit her subject options. It's also recently been in the news a couple of times recently, not for positive reasons and has very poor results. There is another high school a few miles away which has a much better reputation and has come within the top 20 schools in scotland for results. I know that parents will be fighting to get placing requests there and was trying to think of ways to maximise our chances. Dd is musical and already goes to the central schools orchestra. We do it all privately as there is nothing in school and no orchestra or music groups in the local high school. The other high school has music groups, though no orchestra and also has a string instrument teacher going into the school. I do feel it is a bit unfair that our council tax subsidises music lessons but only for those who attend certain schools and that we have to pay so much more to do it all privately. Is this a reasonable argument to try for this school - she will have so many more opportunities musically there. What's the best way to word it? I don't want to insult the local school. I've never had to do a placing request before so any advice would be gratefully received. We are in lanarkshire if that helps.

prettybird Mon 18-Apr-16 22:22:30

When I did my placing request for ds, I stated that he'd be able to play rugby at the school I wanted him to go to (it was also the first year of it being funded by the SRU as a School of Rugby) and that it was also still in walking distance from our house.

As they accepted all placing requests that year so I believe I've no idea if that helped.

But if you state it the way you have: the desire to play in an orchestra and study music, then you're not dissing her catchment school in any way.

As Toby Ziegler says in West Wing, it also has the benefit of being true! grin

OneMagnumisneverenough Mon 18-Apr-16 23:02:45

Both my children go to high school on a placing request. I wrote a very long we'll thought out piece for the relevant box but have been told that they probably didn't read it. Possibly because they awarded all placing requests, but also because of the way they allocate the places.

Basically they fill places from catchment children and then allocate on their criteria list in order. For our council, first of all the start with applications from within the council area. Then it's looked after children, special needs, one parent families, siblings and then by distance. If after all that they still have spaces then they repeat that with out of council applications. They info on the form only comes into play where you have two applications with the same criteria and only one space left, for example two children the same distance from the school.

We had in ours about the bullying my son had suffered but as I say it was unlikely that it was even looked at.

I'd start by speaking to the school to see how often they've been able to accommodate requests and how many they have to turn away, then I'd,carefully check the allocation criteria. What you are suggesting will certainly do no harm to your application but it nay or may not be considered.

prettybird Tue 19-Apr-16 08:37:50

Absolutely agree with contacting your preferred secondary.

Dh and I visited ds' now secondary when he was in P6. It was through talking to the depute who gave is a tour (who is responsible for transition and S1s) that we knew that to date all placing requests had been accepted.

I'd been worried because in the school handbook, it looked like the school was at its capacity. She said that there was a degree of flexibility in the capacity.

LunaLoveg00d Tue 19-Apr-16 08:41:04

Agree with One Magnum - we are in the catchment for a very popular East Dunbartonshire secondary and they get loads of placing requests each year. Unlike England, it appears to be the local council who administer the placing requests in Scotland and schools don't get involved. There should be something on your local council website about placing requests and which criteria they use. We are close to the borders of Glasgow City, Stirlingshire and West Dunbartonshire and I know that placing requests from East Dun children are ranked higher than children who live in other Council areas, irrespective of distance.

Two children who were placement requests into my son's Primary school (both lived at an address in Glasgow city) didn't get into the secondary last year. One had siblings higher up the school.

At least with a placing request you know you're not giving up the right to your catchment school so you really have nothing to lose by asking.

Agree too that the English system is hugely complicated and sounds completely mad.

OneMagnumisneverenough Tue 19-Apr-16 10:14:54

Also to add that on our council website it has a list of schools where they have had to turn down placing requests so in effect discouraging you from applying. It is completely out of date. The school my children go to is generally in the top 5 in the UK for exam results and it suggests on the website that it is not likely you will get a space. Whereas the reality is that they were desperate for placing requests due to their falling school roll and needing sufficient pupils to ensure their staff numbers and the ability to offer a decent timetable. They haven't turned anyone away in years. Same with a local primary which is also on the list, in recent years they were able to take any amount of overspill from the catchment of another smaller school which needed expanded. It is always worth asking. We sweated for months with DS1 waiting on the outcome, which in reality was always going to be that he was accepted but we didn't think to ask the school.

Rangirl Wed 20-Apr-16 06:49:56

Certainly worth a go Second what a pp said about checking with the school you want as to the likelihood of getting in My understanding is that it is relatively easy to move within a local authority area but much more difficult eg to get in to East Rem or East Dunbartonshire from say Glasgow

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