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Schools as Own Admissions Authority - guaranteeing places

(11 Posts)
smellylittleorange Fri 07-Nov-14 22:02:29

Been rather surprised when looking at secondary schools this year to have a couple of schools using phrases such as

"Governors are determined to admit any child who wants
to come, regardless of where they live or what school
they attend"

"all year 6s who apply are guaranteed to be offered a place"

Just wondered if anyone can shed any light on how they get round this - one school in particular is it's own Admissions Authority but the LA still does the processing. As far as I can see they do not change their PAN - although the HT did say if they had space further up the school they accomodate more in the new entry years .

I am not criticising - in our non selective area this has opened up a greater choice for me personally but just merely curious and if I'm honest a little bit worried as first preference school has said " almost guaranteed a place" "may have to go on waiting list until Govenors decide etc"

Am prepared for a bit of nail biting until end of March when all those who were hedging bets incase a independent school place does not come off decline fingers crossed

prh47bridge Fri 07-Nov-14 23:57:39

Schools cannot offer this kind of guarantee. If the Schools Adjudicator was made aware of this I would expect them to crack down on the schools concerned. It simply isn't realistic to guarantee a place to all Y6 applicants. What if every single Y6 child in the UK were to apply? They clearly couldn't accommodate all of them.

I'm guessing this is a deliberate attempt by the schools concerned to get themselves named as first preference by as many parents as possible. If they succeed I suspect some parents will be disappointed. If a lot of disappointed parents appeal it will put the appeal panel in a very difficult position as the school has clearly given the parents a reasonable expectation that their child will be admitted.

smellylittleorange Sat 08-Nov-14 00:06:52

DD actually had a leaflet in her school bag from a secondary saying that years 6s "will be guaranteed a place" i just wonder what the loopholes are that schools are getting round this - I think it is becoming more common

CalamitouslyWrong Sat 08-Nov-14 00:07:18

Even if they could guarantee it (and obviously they can't), I can't understand the logic. At best, it makes them appear to the ideal insurance choice for the last place in your list of preferences.

ReallyTired Sat 08-Nov-14 00:11:14

The school must be desperate for pupils. Most good schools are over subscribed.

CalamitouslyWrong Sat 08-Nov-14 00:11:56

Are they doing a feeder system with your DD's school? Because it could be possible in a feeder system where the PAN of the school exceeds the number of places in all its feeder primaries (presumably by a reasonably wide margin, in case there's an influx of local authority care applications) to pretty much guarantee places to any year 6 who applies from those feeder primaries (or feeder primary). You couldn't extend it wider than that.

I'm not sure what the value of using that in marketing would be. It would be better to emphasise the qualities of your school and have people wanting to come for something.

smellylittleorange Sat 08-Nov-14 00:29:46

That's what I can not get my head round "really tired" one of the schools I mention is oversubscribed but takes at least 40% of places out of catchment...the leafletting school "requires improvement" . Primary school is not a feeder but quite near.

calamitously I suspect your right about the the PAN

No not sure why the aggressive marketing policy confused

catslife Sat 08-Nov-14 14:21:39

I suspect they mean that they have been undersubscribed for several years.
A school is oversubscribed if the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available (PAN) regardless of whether you live in the catchment area or not. In many LEAs the tie-breaker is usually distance from home to school and for very oversubscribed schools living in the catchment area may not be enough.

admission Sat 08-Nov-14 19:00:28

The schools cannot make such claims and be legal under the admission codes. They are in effect by stating such claims making a massive rod for their own back if they subsequently said no to any pupil as they would loose any admission appeal in my opinion.
It is now perfectly legal for the school to admit over their admission number but this should be a decision made by the school as the admission authority when the preferences for the school are known.

charleneyxxx Sat 08-Nov-14 19:15:40

Sounds like beaverwood ( chislehurst school for girls ) which tells you a lot about a school meaning people are not crying out to get in there , hence the sound of desperation for guaranteeing places , I would defo look into their exams results and see how many people applied last year and got in as I have studied a few schools and the ones that say all places offered don't normally have good ofsted or good exam results .

prh47bridge Sat 08-Nov-14 22:08:30

*i just wonder what the loopholes are that schools are getting round this8

There are no loopholes. They are simply ignoring the Admissions Code and hoping that they don't get caught.

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