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Curious about Friends school place allocation

(13 Posts)
harryhausen Fri 13-May-16 12:46:48

This is a purely nosy question. This is a wonder I've had since my dd and her friends had their school places allocated in March.

Where we are there's a very sought after secondary school. It's a former private school and is small (for secondary). It's often in the papers for being the most over-subscribed school in our area. It's often mentioned that it could fill each year seven times over. It works a lottery system - so no catchment etc.

My dd's friend put this school down as her second choice and got the place. If it's so oversubscribed (and it has its own supplement in the schools application form) and works on a random lottery basis, how can someone receive it as a second choice preference?

*just to say, this is not sour grapes on my part as my dd didn't even apply to this school. I really am simply that nosy grin

BabyGanoush Fri 13-May-16 12:48:53

Magic?

I don't know, I got DS into an oversubscribed out of catchment school and I must say I have faced quite a few nosey questions and even (badly concealed) anger.

Did not do anything clever or tricksy. We just got in somehow.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 13-May-16 13:09:29

As it's a lottery they made it out of the hat - someone has to.

jo164 Fri 13-May-16 13:12:18

Because she didn't qualify for her first preference but was lucky enough to be selected in the lottery for the other school. Your child's name is entered into each of the 3/6 preferences you put on your form and you are offered the one highest up your preference list that your name appears in once the admissions criteria have been applied for each school. She obviously wasn't high enough up the admissions criteria for her first preference but got 'lucky' in the lottery.

t4gnut Fri 13-May-16 13:15:46

Obviously did not get onto list for first choice so went into the big hat for second choice - its a lottery, clues in the name.

steppemum Fri 13-May-16 13:17:31

jo is right.
She must have not qualified for her first preference.
Then her second is treated as first, and she got lucky in the lottery

MyNightWithMaud Fri 13-May-16 13:18:46

School allocations are on the basis of equal preference - you don't get any more weighting for putting a school first and don't get any less for putting it second, third or fourth etc.

BoboEK Fri 13-May-16 13:25:59

Can't you just say which school :-) ??

meditrina Fri 13-May-16 13:30:47

It's an equal preference system.

So all applicants would have gone into the hat for the lottery and then would have been ranked in order. It's exactly the same as ranking for a school by category/distance.

Then when there is a list for all schools, the LA turns that into a single offer per applicant. If they have qualified for more than one, they will be offered the one they list as highest preference.

So your friend would have failed to qualify for school1 (because if they had they would have been offered it), did qualify for school2 (because they were offered it) and may or may not have qualified for schools3/4etc (disregarded as school2 offered).

Totally normal.

harryhausen Fri 13-May-16 13:34:16

BabyGanoush, hopefully I'm polite enough to not even dream of asking her parents.

I guess just thought as it was so oversubscribed that virtually everyone puts it as their first choice (obviously with the exception of my friend) so was confused as to why they wouldn't have 'filled' all places with first choice applicants. They can't discount people due to distance etc.

Obviously I'm totally wronggrin

titchy Fri 13-May-16 13:44:07

Because they don't allocate all those who put it as first choice first. They allocate EVERYONE who put it on their form at the same time.

Being able to fill up seven times doesn't actually mean anything in admissions terms, only in PR terms! Schools often say that, when actually they mean for example that 350 people listed the school and they have 50 places. What they quite often omit is that 348 of those people listed it as their last choice.....

harryhausen Fri 13-May-16 13:48:06

Ok thanks. I get it now smile

SaturdaySurprise Fri 13-May-16 13:51:39

Our local comp does this to show how popular they are. They say that all these people applied for the school, but that only means that it was on the application somewhere.

We applied for this comp, but put it 5th. Most local people apply for it - some as first choice and some as a back up.

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