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Is there anyway I can find out which outstanding secondary schools have places flexible about area an hours travel from Bootle

(17 Posts)
Brighteyes27 Sat 16-Apr-16 23:32:58

Is there anyway of finding out which outstanding secondary schools still have places for Sept 2016? Can live anywhere an hours drive or train journey from Bootle. Or what chances do you think I have of getting a place under appeal if new to the area in a small area with two outstanding secondary's both oversubscribed and the next nearest school is over three miles away? I would love to live in a safe area ideally on or near the coast but would settle for a safe area with a community villagey feel with some or most amenities within walking distance. Thanks

Brighteyes27 Sat 16-Apr-16 23:35:19

Areas we were looking at but don't really know seem to be controlled by about 7 or 8 local authorities some are more helpful than others. We are not Catholic don't want fee paying and unsure about single sex schools.

PettsWoodParadise Sun 17-Apr-16 07:28:17

There is no simple quick solution. You will most likely need to contact each LA and also possibly the schools themselves.

Brighteyes27 Sun 17-Apr-16 08:25:08

Thanks Petts Wood the schools are reluctant to give anything away. LEA's are just saying put a form in and we'll let you know if there are places. But at the moment we don't have an address and have a choice of areas we could live but ideally would like to live in a nice area close enough for the kids to walk to school. But no point committing to an area if the only available school is not a good one or up to a 75 minute commute away each day. It's hard enough moving the kids without making their school day unnecessarily long or sending them to a failing school as they have enough to contend with, with moving.

PettsWoodParadise Sun 17-Apr-16 13:44:06

Most people when they move are in this position and it is rare for a good school to have places. Saying that I am used to the melee that we have in the SE. What happens in most instances is that you find a school whose oversubscription criteria has proximity near the top of the list and buy close to that. Accept you many not get that school to start with - it happened to my next door neighbours - then accept another school but stay on wait list for the school you want. Being close means you will jump to the top of the list - it is rarely about how long you've been on the list. Then if a space comes up for one child but not all accept the place as often sibling criteria means your other children go very top of the list. I know people so traumatised by the whole school moving thing they've turned down fab jobs as they just don't want to take the risk. The system is very far from working for those who want/need to move and have children in school already.

paddyclampitt Sun 17-Apr-16 15:46:02

Hi Brighteyes

I take it he got the job then?

Brighteyes27 Sun 17-Apr-16 16:29:20

Yes paddy clampit. Really don't know whether he should B&b it or risk moving us all down & so hard with school situation 😱 Thinking which area to live etc.

paddyclampitt Sun 17-Apr-16 16:58:24

What about the rural villages around Preston? That's in the catchment for Lancaster Grammar schools and there are some great schools nearer!

meditrina Sun 17-Apr-16 17:17:05

"Is there anyway of finding out which outstanding secondary schools still have places for Sept 2016?"

If a school currently has a vacancy and no waiting list, then they must give it to the next person who applies, irrespective of where they live. So you can apply from your current address (but your DC will need to take up the place in a timely fashion, usually a couple of weeks). So perhaps you need to list all schools you see as possibles, then ring to ask. If it's a year 7 starter place, then you are not getting a straight answer because the shake down of waiting lists following this year's offers will still be going on, and a place they say they have today may not be there in a few days time. For other year groups it might not be as changeable.

'Or what chances do you think I have of getting a place under appeal if new to the area in a small area with two outstanding secondary's both oversubscribed and the next nearest school is over three miles away?"

Next to non-existent, I'm afraid. Schools are not permitted to hold places back just in case there are new arrivals to the area. And secondary age pupils will be expected to be able to travel independently (transport costs will be paid if over 3 miles, indeed transport might be provided depending on what the public transport is like).

As it sounds like you would be making an in-year application, then if the school is full the chances of appealing successfully on grounds of error seem remote. You would have to make a case on the 'balance of prejudice' ie show the detriment to your DC by not attending this school is greater than the detriment to the pupils already there from being in a bigger class. That does mean that you need to know a lot about the school and what it uniquely offers that benefits your DC so much.

tiggytape Sun 17-Apr-16 18:32:18

As meditrina says, schools don't hold back spaces and if they are full, you'd need to win an appeal to get an immediate place. You can also ask to be added to waiting lists and these are held in admissions criteria order (so the closer you live to the school, generally the higher you'll be placed on the list). Some move very quickly especially in urban areas and in larger schools.

An appeal based purely on wanting any local school as long as it's outstanding is not going to be a strong appeal.
Appeals are always about appealing for the school you want not against the one you've got. And you have to be really specific.
So saying "I want this school because it is outstanding" won't help.
However saying "I want this school because it is all on one floor and my child uses a wheelchair" or "I want this school because my child is a gifted at music and science and this is the only school that has an orchestra and a choir and offers GCSE music alongside triple science" might help.

Appeals are balancing acts. The school will state their case and say how taking extra pupils would be detrimental to resources and other pupils. They may have very strong grounds for saying this (tiny classrooms, tiny lunch hall, limited computers etc) and the appeal panel may therefore decide a parent's case needs to be very convincing to win. Or the school might not be too full at all and have a weaker case in which case, it is easier to win. Therefore even the strongest appeal case is never a guarantee and it is always best to approach them as part of a wider plan of looking for an acceptable school and weighing up options.

GreedyEdie Sun 17-Apr-16 18:42:15

Have you thought about Wirral? I'm afraid I don't know about the appeals procedure, but the grammar schools and Birkenhead academy are all entrance exam. You could also live by the coast.
Here's a list of the outstanding secondaries in the area.

GreedyEdie Sun 17-Apr-16 18:49:52

Also don't necessarily put too much stock in an 'outstanding' OFSTEAD. Just going from above list as an example, one of those schools (school A) is known for being really rough. There's another that's a good school B with a good rep not on that list (because it didn't get Outstanding presumably). But I wouldn't hesitate to send my DC to school B over school A every day of the week.

Brighteyes27 Sun 17-Apr-16 19:11:45

Thanks guys obviously any appeal would have more substance than that and I can argue black was white and have evidence to prove it if I have a mind to he's now decided against us all moving. The school carry on and uncertainty on top of moving house and starting a new job and finding a pt job for me is just too much especially to ensure all was in place to ensure starting in September.

paddyclampitt Sun 17-Apr-16 19:57:09

Or Preston? Part of it is in the catchment for Lancaster Grammar for a residual place. Failing that, several excellent schools near the city itself.

paddyclampitt Sun 17-Apr-16 20:00:50

Tbh Brighteyes, I think that's probably for the best. Whilst Liverpool is a great city, I think the culture shock for you and the kids would be staggering!

paddyclampitt Sun 17-Apr-16 20:02:33

Not sure why I wrote my message about Lancastar Grammar twice - I thought I didn't actually send it the first time!! Sorry!

Heifer Tue 19-Apr-16 22:53:11

GreedyEdie - am hoping that you have mixed up Birkenhead High School Academy (a 3-18 Girls School) with Birkenhead Academy (mixed secondary) as I've never heard of BHSA being described as being rough before.

Admittedly the school has changed a lot since changing from a fee paying private school to anon paying academy several years ago, but still a long way from rough :-)

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