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Academy schools waiting lists

(44 Posts)
schoolnut123 Wed 19-Oct-16 19:45:44

Desperately trying to move my child from private school to local academy school due to bullying. Both local academy schools have waiting lists but won't say how long. Is there anything I can do to get higher on their list?! First choice of academy can't offer place this current school year but can leave name on list for next year. No guarantees as we are not local to school. Every other secondary schools have huge waiting lists. Don't know what to do.

meditrina Wed 19-Oct-16 19:56:15

Schools have to maintain their waiting lists (during mandatory periods and all times beyond that if they choose to keep one for longer) in accordance with how well you fit the criteria.

You can inch relish get higher in the list by moving closer to the school. But even then you can still be leapfrogged by someone in a higher admissions category than you.

Your LEA has to offer you a place somewhere if you apply for one. Have you done this?

Because you cannot appeal for state school places until you have applied for them, and that is another route to securing a place.

meditrina Wed 19-Oct-16 19:57:46

'Inch relish' - that has to be one of the weirder DYACs!

Should be "only really"

schoolnut123 Wed 19-Oct-16 20:46:25

This is all new to me as my child has been in the private sector since the age of 2! We have put her name down at two academies, my son will apply to one of these for sixth form so I'm hoping that will make a difference in some way? I've contacted council who can only add her name to redland green or cotham but their waiting lists are over 20! These were the only 2 schools they could offer. Really don't know where else to try.

meditrina Wed 19-Oct-16 20:54:02

You'd DS being in the sixth form will make a difference only if it is written into the entrance criteria that there is sibling priority criteria and 6th formers are included in the definition of pupils conferring that priority.

But for secondary schools there quite often is no sibling priority (as they can make their own way there).

The LEA has to come up with a reasonably local state school place if you apply for one, but it doesn't have to be at a school you list in your preferences if those schools are already full. Would you accept a different school?

If not, then yes, you'll just have to stick it out on the waiting lists.

Unless you think you have grounds for appeal?

Blu Wed 19-Oct-16 21:04:04

The lists may well be over 20, but say you want to go on it, and then ask where you are in the queue. As a PP said , waiting lists are held in strict order of how each applicant meets the published admissions criteria. It isn't 'first come, first served'. They can tell you 'no availability at present' but I don't see how they can predict that no one will leave during this year!

Sorry about the bullying sad

Are there any other schools you could consider in terms of distance? View everything and go on the waiting list for all possibles.

schoolnut123 Wed 19-Oct-16 21:06:18

Ok thank you. LEA only gave me cotham or redland green as anything else local to us are now academies. But these schools have waiting lists of 20 +. They've basically told me that I'm on my own!

schoolnut123 Wed 19-Oct-16 21:11:52

Thanks Blu. One academy told me waiting list was 8 but when I submitted application I've been told that there has been no movement in the current year 8 so can be added to list for year 9 but as we are not very local to school, local applicants are priority. LEA say we have very slim chance of their schools - redland green and cotham as we are too far away. We are in Frenchay.

meditrina Wed 19-Oct-16 21:13:11

What year group are you seeking a place in?

Academies are their own Admission Authority, but it's still the responsibility of the LEA to find a place for any of their residents who requests one.

If they are telling you that all schools are full and they cannot make you any offer (have you formally applied, btw?) then you need to write to them asking if they would consider activating the Fair Access Protocol (a mechanism whereby they can force a school to go over numbers in certain circumstances -one of which is there being no school with a vacancy within a reasonable distance)

schoolnut123 Wed 19-Oct-16 21:17:57

Does the Fair Access Protocol only apply to non academy schools? I've added her name to 2 academies, downend school and john Cabot. Looked at Fairfield but not an option. Don't know if anywhere else. Any suggestions appreciated. Many thanks.

admission Wed 19-Oct-16 21:24:58

The FAP applies to all schools in the area by law, so academies are included.
Think you need to make a decision how desperate you are to move child. If it is desperate then you need to ensure that the LA is aware that you are removing / have removed your child from the independent school and they do need to find a place. I suspect at present they are doing little of nothing because they can claim son has a place at present.
The problem is that the LA have to find your son a place, either through the FAP or just general admissions but that could be any school within reasonable distance and reasonable distance is a bit of a moving feast as to what it is in real terms - up to an hours travel easily. It is also true that it is unlikely to be one of the better schools in the area.

BombadierFritz Wed 19-Oct-16 21:29:00

you could look up how ethical your academy is. if its run by a family who employ all their extended family and pay their own companies to carry out business they pay themselves for, perhaps suggesting you would like to make a substantial donation to fund new sports equipment/music centre/... would move you up the list. it would be a minor corruption in the greater scheme of things.

schoolnut123 Wed 19-Oct-16 21:43:00

Thank you for the advice. L.A were not helpful. First choice of academy will not give any indication of how long their list is - just that it's random allocation when space becomes available but from what I've heard getting a place there is like gold dust. Second choice of academy have said no movement what so ever is likely for year 8. Not keen on long commutes but nothing else this side of Bristol. South glos council say all their secondary schools are academies so I would have to apply directly to the schools as it's nothing to do with them.

Turbinaria Wed 19-Oct-16 21:59:49

You are applying for the 2 most popular state schools in Bristol as an in year admission so can understand why it's probably an outside chance your dd will get a place. With the academies just ring the ones your interested in and ask them how to apply and get onto their waiting list yes it's tedious but it depends on how desperate you are. Also isn't there there a new free school in Southmead which may have spaces though that obviously depends on which year your dd is in

schoolnut123 Wed 19-Oct-16 22:04:44

Apparently yes the most popular schools but never expected this to be so difficult! We are on waiting lists for 4 so will have to wait and see. Thank you all so much.

JoJoSM2 Wed 19-Oct-16 23:07:24

I'd also sencond the opinion that if your child is out of school then they would be prioritised compared to having a place. With the waiting lists, it's a trickly one because if, say, a looked after child comes along, they probably get a place before your son. Also the length of the waiting list might not tell you much as you don't know at what rate children might move out of the area to vacate the spaces. Having said that, miracles do happen - I have occasionally seen children get a place at some top schools.

schoolnut123 Thu 20-Oct-16 08:12:13

Hoping for a miracle! She's so unhappy she wants to move schools now! Not given notice to her current school as yet due to her not having anywhere to move to. 😔 If she's out of school completely then surely they'd just offer her a not so good school. We already have two of those relatively near by which we hated.

Blu Thu 20-Oct-16 08:58:19

If she is out of school they have a duty to find her a school place, yes.

Which is more important ? Being out of the school that is failing to protect her or getting what you co suffer to be the 'best' school, which you may not have got even if you had applied for Yr 7?

Is there another private school?
Why did you hate the nearby schools?

schoolnut123 Thu 20-Oct-16 09:44:28

So I've managed to get her on 4 diffferent waiting lists for academies (is there a limit?!) two other state schools that are quite close - one has a very bad reputation and the other aswell has having a bad reputation, waiting list is very long but I know friends who have had to remove their children from there for various reasons. Really worried I could end up putting my child in the same position elsewhere or even worse. There are other private schools elsewhere, to be honest not keen as now I've seen the facilities at local academy schools I don't really know what I've been paying for all these years!

reallyanotherone Thu 20-Oct-16 09:56:00

I've just been through similar, but not for bullying reasons.

Firstly i applied to the council for an in-year place. Formally refused my choices as they were full, and offered another school. For various reasons this didn't suit, so we have appealed.

When i was filling in all the forms for application and appeal they ask you why you are moving school. There is a detailed section for bullying- you need to send documentation from your current school showing you have tried to get it dealt with, emails and such.

So maybe try formally applying to the council, then going through the appeals process using the bullying as why you need a specific school- their anti bullying policy, any friends there, that sort of thing.

In out area though all admissions are managed by the lea, academy or not.

schoolnut123 Thu 20-Oct-16 10:04:05

So this has really confused me now. If I've applied for an in year place at an academy school, do the local authority have anything to do with it? Our choice of school say they have already taken two extra kids for year 8 so can't accommodate any more within that year group. She hasn't got any friends there, just wants to start over somewhere new. She's been struggling at her current school since year 7. but I'm hoping to get my older child into their sixth form but apparently that probably won't help our case either!

reallyanotherone Thu 20-Oct-16 10:08:17

Phone your local schools admissions office and ask. They have been very helpful for us. They will be able to tell you whether in year admissions are done by each school, or centrally, and how to appeal.

schoolnut123 Thu 20-Oct-16 10:17:54

Thanks so much for all the advice.

AnotherNewt Thu 20-Oct-16 10:24:36

"Not given notice to her current school as yet due to her not having anywhere to move to."

This will mean that you stand to lose a terms fees in lieu of notice (check your contract now) because you have to take up a state school place in a timely fashion, which usually means under 2 weeks.

If the LEA offer you the nearby school/s (which you hate) then if you turn it down, they have no obligation whatsoever to come up with another offer for you, nor can the FAP be activated on your DD's account.

The LEA have the responsibility to ensure that every applicant for a state school gets a place - not necessarily one of their preferences - but a place somewhere, so they have a role in co-ordinating admissions for all maintained schools (running the main admissions rounds, co-ordinating with VA schools and now academies as well, which are their own admissions authorities, handing the initial in-year application form, as you can name community, VA and academy schools all in one form)

If the desirable school is already 2 over numbers, then they need 3 current pupils to leave before they can admit from the waiting list. The only other way to get a place is to appeal for one.

(My guess is that the detailed section on bullying might be of more relevance if you were leaving one state school for another)

meditrina Thu 20-Oct-16 10:31:37

"but I'm hoping to get my older child into their sixth form but apparently that probably won't help our case either!"

No, it won't. It might, once the older child has secured a place (assuming sibling link applied between sixth form and main school) but nothing in admissions runs on future hopes or intentions (other than for Forces families in certain circumstances).

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