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Hampshire Secondary School Application form questions

(9 Posts)
iholt Wed 24-Oct-12 00:06:18

I know that this question has been asked a number of times (through searching the forum), but I'm not sure the answers are clear enough for me, so I was hopeing someone would be kind enough to help.

1) The form allows you to select 3 secondary schools. We will be out of catchment for all the 3 we want (catchment school has a poor reputation and we can't afford to move). On the form there is an additional information box. Reading through the threads it appears that unless you have supporting evidence for admissions criteria (SEN, sibling etc), this is redundant. Is that correct? If so, how do you know for certain? I would like to save effort in writing 3000 letters about how brilliant my DD is, if it makes no difference. But, what happens when there are 2 children out of catchment living the exact same distance away, yet only one place, how is the choice made? Alphabetically?

2) Should we put out catchment school as one of the choices, just incase we don't get a place at the other 2? If we dont do we run the risk of being placed somewhere far away. Bearing in mind that the catchment school had 142 places last year and only 54 were taken up.... that is a pretty bad sign to me (alongside the shockingly bad by comparison A-C %s).

Sorry for the long post, I hope someone can provide some insight.


tiggytape Wed 24-Oct-12 09:27:03

1) You are correct. The only thing that matters is how well you meet the admission criteria. Nothing you can write in the box will help unless it is something that proves you should be in a higher admission category

If there is a tie for last place, the school has a tie-breaker (which must also be published). It is usually distance (and they measure to 3 decimal places so the chances of it being the same are slim). If distance is genuinely the same, it is normally a name out of a hat in a draw witnessed by an independent person to make sure no 'backdoor selection' can take place.

2) Yes you really should. If all of your 3 choices are long shots (and you can find this out by looking at their last distance offered last year to a person in the same category as you i.e. out of catchment no sibling) then you run the real risk of not getting any of them.

The risk you might be willing to take (and it is a risk) is putting the 3 schools you like and hoping that, if you don't get them and get a council allocated school instead, it will be your local one not a distant one. The reason this might work in your case is that less than 40% of the places were taken therefore the chances are, when the council searches for your nearest school with a place to spare, this one will be the obvious candidate. It generally isn't a good idea to do this because if that local school get filled up in March, you'll be left with a poor school many miles from home instead of a poor school on your doorstep.

The reason it is still a risk is that populations are increasing each year and people are more informed now about their realistic options so the school that was empty last year may not be this year.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 24-Oct-12 13:13:11

I suspect you live near me!
Did your catchment school have an arts festival last night?

For my DCs I put - feeder school, social reasons (riding, dancing, swimming)
and then crossed my fingers.
But yes, put your catchment on as backup.

NB in Southern Hampshire, what happened last year is NOT a good guide to this year because of newly opened housing developments

iholt Wed 24-Oct-12 21:08:52

Thanks everyone.
We're thinking we'll risk it... famous last words, otherwise that really only leaves 2 choices as I'm really not sure about the catchment school as a 3rd choice.
Which is Quilley BTW.

goldygumdrops Wed 24-Oct-12 21:13:20

I guess it will depend on what school you want. If its Thornden- probably not a chance. If its Crestwood, you will probably get in.

tiggytape Wed 24-Oct-12 22:20:42

One last thing to consider before taking such a risk is: has anything happened that might change the popularity of the school you hope to avoid and make it less likely to have spare places after March?

You don't like your local school so don't want to list it as your 3rd option but, is it possible that if none of your 3 choices work out, your local school will be full up and not able to take you (even though it was empty last year).
Things to consider are: has any new housing gone up (i.e. more children chasing fewer places), has the local school got a new Head or a better Ofsted report to entice people to apply, has it got better GCSE grades this year, has anything about Quilley's facilities changed that would mean a lot more people might like to apply to it?

If any of these apply, the risk is that your local school may be full up by March and you will be forced to accept a school miles away if the 3 you list cannot take you.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 24-Oct-12 22:44:59

one of my day jobs involves looking at population change in small areas in Hampshire.
Feel free to message me with the names of your choice schools and I'll check what the population is likely to be doing by March ....

ProPerformer Wed 24-Oct-12 22:50:14

OP do you by any chance live in the Basingstoke area? If so PM me.

ProPerformer Wed 24-Oct-12 22:51:58

(I work in that area in schools!)

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