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Just filled in the online secondary school application form at last- What is the "(Optional) Reasons For Preference" box??

(11 Posts)
Treeleaf Wed 28-Oct-15 23:18:42

It says it is a place to give any "religious, philosophical or any other reasons" for choosing a school. I thought places at state schools were offered strictly according to the published criteria (SEN, siblings, distance, etc) but this question on the form seems to suggest that schools have some discretion to offer places on other grounds.
Anyone know what this is about?
Grateful for any clues.

Casbotsproudmum Thu 29-Oct-15 10:23:34

When I completed this last year I was told that if I wanted a girl school for DD I should simply add "Girls school" in the box, same if its a COE school.

SelfRaisingFlour Thu 29-Oct-15 11:45:24

You're right. The box is pointless. I guess it could be used to repeat that you're applying on the basis of sibling, SEN or whatever.

I know someone, who was agonising about what reasons to put in the boxes, but we all told her that it was not necessary and would make no difference.

PatriciaHolm Thu 29-Oct-15 13:16:14

Unless you have a concrete reason to be placed in another criteria than the normal distance one, then nothing you write will be taken into consideration. If you have ticked a special criteria box, you can explain your circumstances (e.g sibling, SEN), if you wish, but you will need to provide proof that you fit in the other criteria as well.

Treeleaf Thu 29-Oct-15 17:14:06

Thanks very much for your answers.

It's odd isn't it? There is a separate box for SEN & sibling, etc comments, so that's not it. CasbotsPM, your idea about single sex schools does sound plausible, but I imagine people would get litigious pretty quickly if the authority was seen not to stick strictly to the stated criteria.

We're told over and over that there is no way to 'play the system' so this is a bit mysterious.

Ah well, just got to get it done now!

prh47bridge Thu 29-Oct-15 17:29:48

The box is there because the Admissions Code says the form must provide a space for parents to give reasons. However, as others have said, unless you give evidence that puts you into a higher admissions category the information you put in the box will have no bearing on the admissions process. Admissions follow the published admission criteria. They are not allowed to make value judgements on your reasons for wanting a school.

Treeleaf Thu 29-Oct-15 19:28:35

Thanks for your authoritative answer prh47bridge. - That's clear.

littledrummergirl Thu 29-Oct-15 19:56:30

I guess where we live you would say if you are entitled to pupil premium as this moves the dc to the top of the qualifying places if they have met the qualification score.

ScentedJasmine Thu 29-Oct-15 19:58:43

Really littledrummergirl? That's new to me.
Is that Academies, community schools??

prh47bridge Thu 29-Oct-15 21:47:51

Any school can give priority to children eligible for early years pupil premium, pupil premium or service premium. This is relatively recent. I have seen very few schools prioritising in this way so far but it may become more common.

prh47bridge Thu 29-Oct-15 21:48:48

Just for clarity, any school wishing to give priority to such children must state this in their admission criteria.

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