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Senior school applications survival tips

(11 Posts)
3asAbird Fri 23-Sep-16 13:54:12

Looking for tips from experience and those in the know as finding process tricky

We looked round 4 schools last year in year 5 glad we did

Feel like we seen more schools than ofsted

Read the admissions books cover to cover more than once

Done day visit and evening visit and seen some schools twice.

Spoke to all the delightful well behaved children hand picked for tours except one tour daytime last year where a couple if boys used parents tours a jolly get out lessons that's student support to go when we need to cool down innit as well as casually shout at teachers in the corridors it seems so lovely on the open evening sigh!

Some schools are so popular locally it's evenings only.

Having park over mile from school last week on a weekday evening then queue outside on pavement of busy road for 20mins to then squeeze in like sardines and veiw the maze of a school not fun!

We have few top performing schools random allocation lottery schools which again is like casino school admissions

We have 3 preferences only.

Last night was 3rd veiw for school we saw twice last year.

Sadly head year 7 now changed and she's telling all the parents if you don't list us as 1st preference you stand no chance as they oversubscribed

Ring admission today query as knew she was most likely wrong but dident wish to argue admissions at an open evening
Admissions admit equal preference system so what order makes no difference we might not get any of 3 we pick but I did manage to work out they were not oversubscribed at 1st round, confused admissions and they said I'm clearly very knowledgeable should apply for a jobgrin!

Just 2 more open days to go.
2-4 entry tests
Thankfully we non grammer
We can't afford private as backup preference.

Think we have our 3 just not sure we get our 3.

Freinds assure me there's plenty of movement and senior school appeals seem more easy to win.

Any coping strategies between now and march 1st welcome.
Seems like everyone wants to know what you looking at.
We reveiwing open evenings and all trying be strategic what we put down

For someone who detests maths I been working out probability on last year's figures basically around 10 percent chance getting 2nd preference.

Chances are very slim at preference 1 but have to be in it to win it.

catslife Fri 23-Sep-16 16:39:43

Agree that the Head of Y7 was incorrect and you are right, it's equal preference.
So place the order so that;
no 1 school you like most (even if only a small chance of place)
no 2 school that you also like but with slightly higher chance of getting in e.g. because you live a bit closer
no 3 school one of your closest schools that you have a high chance of being offered a place at (either your catchment school or one that is usually undersubscribed).

By the way, I wouldn't recommend applying for more than one "lottery" school. If the "lottery" schools have specialist places e.g. for music then make sure that you enter your child for the tests. I know people who have been offered music places even if their child doesn't play an instrument for example.
Also check the dates that supplementary forms need to be handed in. 2 "lottery" schools in my LEA have deadlines for these forms this weekend (24th and 25th September). If needed the forms can be hand delivered.

Alibobbob Fri 23-Sep-16 16:46:25

I have been told by two parents from different after school clubs that we now have to list 5 schools not 3. My head is going to explode.

3asAbird Fri 23-Sep-16 17:36:03

Ali bob never heard of 5 preferences think Birmingham and London.

Cats life seems we maybe same area

Done and done both forms.

Music test oct 3rd 1st round

Languages and verbal reasoning October 8th seems a lot of hoop to jump and many parents may miss the extra application forms .

Relooking bc tommorow and chances getting that slim over 900 applicants for 120 places 12 music and just 24 lottery last year.

They other one I approx work out at better chance but still slim

14 language which don't think be us and confused by test made up language.

Verbal reasoning something we need to go over.

Also confused how they can have equal amount numbers on each ability band and suspect bottom and top band be smaller than middle ability

Even then it's banded and complex percent split of postcodes honestly feel like I Need a degree in admissions to understand it all.

Part of me envy grammar areas least they have something to work towards.
Our church attendance not good enough for faith school criteria despite baptised and go to faith primary.

It's the safe least crap comprehensive I'm trying find a secure 3rd but not sure is a secure choice .

Could admissions rules on seniors different to primary so who knows.

GU24Mum Fri 23-Sep-16 20:40:07

Where we are, you can list six schools. If you think there's a chance you could miss out on all your preferred schools, make sure you fill all six preferences else the LA will effectively take a blank to mean "I don't mind, choose for me" which can make it hard to appeal if that's what you get. Good luck.

TheSecondOfHerName Fri 23-Sep-16 20:49:13

I have been through this process four times in the last six years.

Only include schools where your child has at least some chance of meeting the admissions criteria. For many parents in many parts of the country, this is a very short list (in some cases, only one or two schools).

Include at least one school where your child has a very high (almost certain) chance of meeting the admissions criteria.

List the schools in the order of preference.

catslife Sat 24-Sep-16 12:48:54

I think we are similar area OP but on slightly different sides of the city.
The problem with the lottery schools is that siblings do automatically qualify for places so the number of places available can be very small.
Personally I would say your second preference needs to be one with a much higher chance of being offered a place. Yes your first preference can be "aspirational" with only a small percentage of pupils being allocated places but having these type of odds for 2 out if 3 preferences doesn't seem that great no matter how good the schools look on paper / on Open Days / on their website.

FlyingFortress Sat 24-Sep-16 13:48:45

"900 applicants" means that they just named it somewhere on the application form - still means the school is probably oversubscribed, but in London with 6 schools to be named, it means that schools often have 1,000+ applicants each, but parents are always advised to list 6 schools, especially if there are any schools you really want to avoid. All 900 could have put it as 3rd choice,

There must still be a school that you are likely to get, possibly even more than one. If there is any school you want to avoid then you must name one of the "we'd be likely to get that" in 3rd place. Otherwise you essentially will be offered the nearest school with places.

Your first choice should be the one you want most, however slim a chance. So once you know that, and you know your ultimate "will have this school simply to avoid the one down the road" in 3rd place, you only have to choose a school for 2nd place.

Alibobbob Sat 24-Sep-16 20:37:49

There is a lot of info on the council website including how many spaces were available last year and how many pupils accepted places in each school.

Also listed is how many parents put the school as their first, second or third choice and how many places were filled from first, second and third choices (hope that makes sense). I also managed to work out how many places were allocated to people who didn't specify a choice.

As stated previously rumour is we have 5 choices this year which makes it even harder. We have a meetin in school the first Friday in October to explain the process to parents/carers

3asAbird Sat 24-Sep-16 22:46:15

I think my city needs 6 places.

Almost certain we decided risk 2 lottery preference as 2/ preferences cats life and our current prefered 3rd preference is another comprehensive outside of our local authority but short distance as we county border 250 yards to be exact from county line but it has historically been undersubscribed and better option than our 5 nearest schools within our county

Have 1 more school to veiw end if month in nearby city another la outside of where we live as historical data says we stand a chance.

Cats life nit sure if you seen local rag weekend headlines local academy chain could go bust plus requires improvement ofsted and we kind if feeder primary for that school!

The other local jewel in crown lottery academy has dire ofsted but ok results .
I do care about other things like pastoral care .

2 local bog standard leafy comps crap and achieve the same results as inner city comp.

The inner city schools despite being same city are different la so get high levels of finding per pupil within UK.

The outer edge and surrounding towns get lowest amount funding in uk so it's not exactly level playing feild .

Bc school have announced new school within north of city I doubt it's within boundaries of our local authority

Agree south city badly treated too but local independent schools wants to open a school to soith if city otherwise it's travel outside of city la and into 2 next la.

Either way there's massive growing demand and expansion and more places will be needed.

I have 3 kids so if I risk lottery and gt ut I get in more than 1 child.

I am fully aware I may not get any of 3 it's a risk but I know my home authority has offer me a place within my county .
I have home educated and waitlisted primary and moves 2 / 3 kods so feel un phased what will be will be I aim high

catslife Mon 26-Sep-16 11:10:38

Cats life nit sure if you seen local rag weekend headlines local academy chain could go bust plus requires improvement ofsted and we kind if feeder primary for that school!
Yes I have seen that article. It could merit a whole new thread in itself but the local paper isn't always that accurate with it's reporting. Of the 2 schools I would say TR is the better one and perhaps you should consider it. Schools local to me who were RI a few years ago are now Good so things can improve.
* I know my home authority has offer me a place within my county * True but it may be the school that you would least want / the worst in the area or even the whole LEA and could be some distance away from where you live.
At the end of the day it's up to you which preferences you go for, but think you are taking a very high risk with these options.

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