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(12 Posts)
Leivaman Sat 29-Sep-12 13:16:53

Hi mums

Quick quesstion that I'm sure one of you can help with.

My son (after an appeal) attends St Thomas More Language college (school) and it's time for us to choose my daughters secondary school. She wants to go to the same school. My dilemma is whether on the Wandsworth Secondary Schools application form to include another school in case St Thomas More don't accept her. I guess my question is simply can I rely on the sibling criteria that the school would automatically offer her a place because her brother attends?

Thanks for your help in advance


AngelEyes46 Sat 29-Sep-12 13:50:48

Put another school - it won't do any harm. Normally a sibling would 'win' if a criteria is over-subscribed. Where do you fit in the criteria, i.e. are you practicing RC etc. (letter supported by your priest)?

crazymum53 Sat 29-Sep-12 15:03:31

If it's a faith school they do not always guarantee places for siblings. Regular attendance at an RC church or baptism into the Catholic faith may be a higher priority for admissions than siblings. Therefore I would include at least one (preferably 2) other preferences on my application form.

Leivaman Sat 29-Sep-12 15:15:25

It is a catholic school and both my children are baptised and recently had their communion. Do you think that is sufficient for the school?

Leivaman Sat 29-Sep-12 15:16:22

I will however take your advice and include a couple of other schools.

Madmog Sat 29-Sep-12 17:19:42

Our local comprehensive no longer goes on the sibling criteria. First to get a space are special needs and children in care. After that it's purely done on distance. We were able to state why we were choosing a particular school, so you may decide to mention that the fact that it's easier/better to have two children at the same school.

So on the above basis, I would certainly put another choice. That way, if you don't get your first, your second will be taken into account when allocating spaces for that school.

tiggytape Sat 29-Sep-12 18:14:07

It doesn't look as 'safe' for this school as for others. For one thing they have a fair banding policy in place so offer places in a set ratio based on scores achieved in a test to ensure the school is a true comprehensive.
If DD is in an undersubscribed band then that helps but if she is in a band with hundreds of others, there may be those that trump her on the tie breakers.

The rest of the criteria are faith related. Do you also meet those criteria?

Having a sibling only really seems to help as a tie breaker for over subscription in the categories they list which are:

1. Catholic looked after children and Catholic children who have been adopted (or made subject to residence orders or special guardianship orders) immediately following having been looked after
2. Practising Catholic children from practising Catholic families whose practice of their faith is supported by a written reference from their parish priest of the parish or ethnic chaplain of the community in which the family attend Sunday Mass weekly and a Baptismal Certificate.
3. Any other Catholic applicants
4. Other looked after children and children who have been adopted (or made subject to residence orders or special guardianship orders) immediately following having been looked after.
5. Catechumens and members of an Orthodox Communion.
6. Children of other Christian denominations whose practice of their faith, and that of their parents/guardians, is supported by a written reference from their priest or minister in the community they regularly worship.
7. Any other applicants

In practice it may be that the sibling tie breaker wins out in most cases but I don't think you can rely on that totally and would definitely need to fill out other options on your form.

CalmingMiranda Sat 29-Sep-12 21:06:19

yes, put down other options, and at least one that you would be very likely to get a place in, too.

There is no disadvantage in putting down other schools, but a big potential disadvantage if you don't!

If your children fulfill the 'catholic' criteria for the school why did you need to appeal?

OddGoldBoots Sat 29-Sep-12 21:13:17

It's always a good idea to put down more than one school, I've been around here for a few years now and have seen the anxiety it can all to often bring when you don't.

tiggytape Sat 29-Sep-12 21:58:46

CalmingMiranda - the school also have a fair banding system (everyone sits a test and a set number of each ability are admitted) so you can be unlucky and be placed in the most populated band and then not get a place.
As with all schools, if there are far more applicants than places it is perfectly possible to meet the criteria and still not get in which is why tie-breakers exist.
Also in this case, you only meet the Catholic criteria by proving you attend Mass weekly which not everyone manages.

Blu Sat 29-Sep-12 22:46:05

I think Tiggy has laid out all the reasons why it might be an idea to list some other options!

Belt + Braces = peace of mind.

Leivaman Sat 29-Sep-12 23:22:56

Hi Calmingmiranda

Bit complicated about why I had to appeal.

Basically the school's administration Department lost the priests letter - thankfully I had a copy of it at the appeal which surprised all of the appeal panel and though the school initially put my son on a waiting list for admission in 2013, because of a cancellation they offered him a place 1 week after he started classes at another school. We're all very happy with the outcome though as we ended up getting him into his first choice...phew....

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