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Help! Put the order wrong in eadmissions!

(21 Posts)
JustAnotherMumAndDad Mon 16-Nov-15 21:45:41

I don't know how it happened, but we've just realised we put the schools in the wrong order on our eadmissions form for DD. The school we wanted in fifth place is in second, and the one we wanted in second is last! Logging in to the Web site now gives no way of changing the order or anything else about the application. Are we stuck with this or is there any way to change the order around?

Many thanks for a fast response, we are now panicing (she'll definitely be accepted into this school, but we don't want her there unless she is rejected from the others!!).

celtictoast Mon 16-Nov-15 21:53:08

Phoneor email the local authority education dept for advice?

admission Mon 16-Nov-15 21:57:14

I am afraid that the probability is that you have little way forward from this. The cut off date for on time applications is 31st October. Applications after this time are usually treated as late applications which means that you will be considered for school places only after the on-time applications. This would quite possibly be an even worse situation than your current position.
Many LAs do have a further cut-off date, normally early in December, for situations like moving house. The only thing that you can do is phone up the LA admission office and plead your case for the change to be made. What you need to be very careful about is ensuring that if the LA admission office say yes they can do it that you get in writing from them that they will do this and you will still be accepted as an on-time application.

JustAnotherMumAndDad Mon 16-Nov-15 22:14:53

I will get in touch with them tomorrow. It's trully galling -- I don't know how we managed to do this! We had the applications submitted (for both DD and DS, twins) by the 24th of October, and thought everything was good! It's only luck that my wife glanced over the confirmation today (one of her friends had asked what schools we had applied to and she checked), otherwise we would not have noticed! Surely there must be some provision for correcting mistakes. I will call tomorrow and plead my case.

JustAnotherMumAndDad Tue 17-Nov-15 11:43:56

Well, they open at 11, 42 minutes on hold and then the call dropped. I emailed them and got an autoreply that they will try and reply within ten working days. I phoned again and got a recording that they are currently very busy and requests are taking 15 working days to be processed. So I guess we just sit and stew...

ButterflyUpSoHigh Tue 17-Nov-15 11:50:51

Didn't you get an email with your preferences on? We only get 3 here but I got an email that listed the 3 schools in order.

Copperspider Tue 17-Nov-15 11:51:42

A friend changed the order of the schools on her daughter's secondary application - she was told that as long as the original application was on time, and she didn't add new schools to the list, it would count as on on time application. Different LAs may well be different, and do persevere trying to contact them, but there is hope!

BirdintheWings Tue 17-Nov-15 11:54:15

So you have the order you want on your son's application but not your daughter's?

If he gets the place at the school you want, you might at least have sibling priority for a late application.

JustAnotherMumAndDad Tue 17-Nov-15 12:24:00

They are applying to different schools mostly. We have three children, DS1 is currently at the London Oratory and DS2 has applied there as his number 1 preference -- we're hoping he will be accepted under sibling priority.

DD is DS2's twin, and we have mostly applied for girls schools -- except that we think her chances of getting into her number 1 preference are quite low, and we somehow managed to put her number 2 preference as number 6!

I've sent an email with the details, and I guess all we can do is wait for them to reply...

JustAnotherMumAndDad Tue 17-Nov-15 12:24:51

Copperspider, thank you very much for that encouragement -- I have heard from a couple of people that it's possible now, so we're keeping our fingers crossed!

tiggytape Tue 17-Nov-15 18:03:20

As prh advises don't become a late applicant by changing the list order now. Be very careful before you ask the council to make changes and be 100% certain that it won't cause you to become classed as late.

Some councils allow late changes and additions before a set date in November or December "with good reason". So if you live in one of those areas and have good reason you may be allowed to change the order on the list and still be treated as an on-time applicant.

However other areas have no real period of grace. The deadline is the deadline and any changes made later result in the entire application being redefined as "late." If that happens your form won't even be looked at until all the "on time" children have been allocated their places which means you will only be left with what's left after everyone else is placed (in cities and busy areas this usually means schools miles away or unpopular schools that nobody else wanted).

So do ask but don't agree to go ahead until you have it in writing that it won't make you a late applicant as that would be at least as bad and possibly worse than getting your 5th choice and later having to join the waiting list for your 2nd choice.

JustAnotherMumAndDad Tue 17-Nov-15 18:12:03

Well, my local council is Brent -- does anyone happen to have any experience with Brent Council and their policy? I was unable to get through to someone on the phone today despite multiple attempts, which doesn't bode well!

tiggytape Tue 17-Nov-15 19:06:45

This is directly quoted from Brent's Secondary School Admissions Guide 2016 (online from the link here)

Late applications and changes to your application:
You must submit your application to Brent Council by 31 October 2015. It is vital to get your application in on time as there is considerably less chance of getting a place at your preferred school if your application is late.Applications received by 31 October 2015 will be processed first.
Applications received after 31 October 2015 will not be considered until all other applications have been dealt with, unless there is supporting evidence to say why the application is late. This information must be received by 11 December 2015

The following are examples of exceptions that will be considered:
If your family moved house after the closing date you will be asked to provide either:
Proof of living at the new address or

A formal tenancy agreement from a letting/estate agent, which comes into effect on or before 11 December 2015

So at first glance, I would say that they don't seem to have a very open policy regarding simply changing your mind unless something else about your circumstances have also changed and therefore when you request a change you need to be 100% sure that it won't negatively affect your application and re-class you as being late.

tiggytape Tue 17-Nov-15 19:08:25

But on the flip side - they do have a second deadline (December 11th) which they will accept as being "on time" as long as you can convince them with "supporting evidence"

JustAnotherMumAndDad Tue 17-Nov-15 19:13:11

Ok, that's actually quite encouraging...I guess it's all about convincing them that this was an honest mistake (and considering the relative popularities of the schools in question, I think there's a good argument to be made!).

admission Tue 17-Nov-15 22:33:39

If you have made a mistake on one of the forms and not the other, I would use that as part of the argument. That you made a mistake and to penalise the twins who are very close and would be distraught if they were not going to the same school is very harsh.

JustAnotherMumAndDad Wed 18-Nov-15 13:26:11

Just to follow up, I finally managed to get through to Brent Council's admissions department on the telephone today, and they said that there is no problem with fixing the order of preferences; as long as we don't change the schools applied to, the application will still be treated as being "on time". They will respond to my email within 10 working days, and will confirm the change of preferences. Thank you everyone for your support!

celtictoast Wed 18-Nov-15 14:38:14

That's great, glad it could be sorted.

tiggytape Wed 18-Nov-15 17:04:26

Good news - glad you got it sorted out.
Just to be certain (because school admissions always use a paper trail if anything's disputed later) send them a lovely email thanking them for all their help and telling them how relieved you are that they confirmed today the order can be changed to [insert new order of list] and still be treated as "on time"

That way, as well as a genuine thank you, it it also serves as proof just in case no email arrives in 10 days and you are told something different at a later date. You can prove what you were told today.

JustAnotherMumAndDad Wed 02-Mar-16 13:03:33

Just to follow this up (now that offer day has been and gone), I did get an email from Brent within 24 hours, and DD got a place at her second preference school (the one we accidentally put as last). So they definitely changed our preferences for us :-)

tiggytape Wed 02-Mar-16 13:16:53

That's great news - I'm glad it all worked out

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