Please help me understand the nuances of the admissions criteria(10 Posts)
These are the admissions criteria for our LA. OK, so I know that admissions Priority groups 1 and 2 are looked after children, special medical or social needs etc. It's the bit that comes after that I need help with.
Priority group 3 - children living in the normal area of the school
Priority group 4 - children living outside the normal area
"Children in higher numbered priority groups will be offered places ahead of those in lower numbered priority groups. All applications within each priority group will be considered equally ( i.e. all applications, regardless of order of preference )."
Question - the bit in bold confuses me. What is the point of putting schools in order of preference on the application form, if they don't take that into account when considering applications?
"If there are not enough places for all the children in one of these priority groups, we will give priority first to those with a sibling at the school in September 2016 and then to those living nearest the school."
Question - does this mean that child X who lives outside normal area of school (group 4) and has a sibling in the school, will NOT have priority over children in group 3 without siblings, but WILL have priority over children in group 4 without siblings? - Basically, the order goes: catchment area + siblings, catchment area, not catchment + siblings, not catchment?
What the bold but means is you will be judged equally against someone else applying, dispite where each of you ranked the school in your preferences.
This means someone who selected it as second choice could still get in ahead of you if they live closer (fur example) even if you listed it 1st choice.
The only time preferences make s difference is if you have qualified for more than one school, then you will be offered your higher preference. You can only be given one offer.
I see, so the person who listed the school as second choice might get in ahead of me if they were higher up the priority criteria, and if they did not qualify for their first choice school - but if they did qualify for their first choice school as well, they would be offered that school?
Blimey it's so complex <head explodes>
Yes you're right. If your child lives out of area with a sibling, they will only be considered for a place once all children in area have been placed.
Yes, that's the right reading of the criteria.
Okay how it works - roughly is:
Each school (or LA on behalf of school) ranks all (or to a certain number, eg 2x admission number) all people who apply. This goes back to the LA.
The LA then uses the preference criteria to offer each person the highest offer they qualify for.
So if A applies for XYZ school. And B applies for ZUV.
A is high up the list for both X and Z, they are offered X. And B will probably move up the list for Z, and may then be offered it.
It all involves complex computer programmes.
Lots of people do seem to think that if you put a school higher on your preference this affects what ranking you get - and a long time ago (9ish years ago) this may have been the case, but it no longer is.
The whole point of the bit in bold is that it makes applying easier (or should do). You simply put your preferred schools in order of preference. You don't have to worry that you might miss out on a school if you don't make it your first preference.
It is really important that you do put them in order of precedence though, because if you qualify for school A & school B, you will be offered school A and withdrawn from the pool for school B. So you can't then say 'ah but actually I prefer school B now' and choose that instead (unless the school has spare places after everyone has been given a place).
Also be careful about how many different admissions criteria apply. It is rare that all the schools in an LA will either be under the LA or have the same criteria. Academies have their own as do faith schools and selective schools. I am looking at six schools for secondary and all have different criteria, exacerbated by fact I am looking at different boroughs for some too as you can apply for schools in neighbouring areas, subject of course to.....admissions criteria.
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