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City of London Girls full and withdrawing offers - anyone heard similar and advice?

(218 Posts)
NL2016 Wed 22-Feb-17 21:14:50

Admissions office of the City of London Girls school is now saying that they have had the target number of girls confirming acceptance and are downgrading firm offers to those who have not yet accepted back to the waiting list, all before 6 March deadline!!! any one heard anything and any advice how to handle this situation is appreciated!

Notcontent Wed 22-Feb-17 21:26:11

I think most schools do this and it should have been expressly stated in the offer letter. The way it works is this - say the school has 60 places. They know that most girls will have offers from more than one school - so they might make 75 offers, knowing that statistically it is very unlikely that all 75 will accept.

The letter I got from another school said exactly that - but I only realised when I came back from half term - I emailed them to accept that night!!!

Notcontent Wed 22-Feb-17 21:27:57

Sorry, I have no advice except to say that hopefully some who have accepted will change their mind. I have to say I think it's really bad practice!

Ciutadella Wed 22-Feb-17 21:36:18

Gosh, I don't think I've come across that before - though I have known of schools making a 'have you made your mind up yet?' call before the deadline. But I've always assumed that is so they can offer the place to people on the waiting list if they get a 'no'. Withdrawing/downgrading the offer before the deadline is something I have not come across though.

Missinglalaland Wed 22-Feb-17 21:44:05

I believe that City started doing this two years ago. People have been caught our each year. I am surprised that they haven't made the initial offer letter clearer by now.

Eastlondmum Wed 22-Feb-17 21:54:47

This was mentioned in the offer email. However it still caught us by surprise, especially as it is the first 11+ journey for us, we come from a state primary and you have no idea by how much the school as over offered. We (clearly wrongly) had assumed a fair amount of people would have waited for the offers holders open morning if not for national offer day (for grammar schools) before making the final decision and also co-ed school offers only came out on Friday.
We received the same upsetting email from CLSG today and still haven't had the heart to tell DD. We had been for a tour of the school just this morning as my husband is away next week for work and could have not attended the offers holders next Tuesday. What happens now? How likely is that anyone will change their mind and thus lose their deposit?

scabby1 Wed 22-Feb-17 22:04:37

Last year the offer email clearly set out their position re withdrawing offers once the target number of acceptances had been achieved. In addition to this we received numerous emails letting us know how close they were to achieving their target eg we have now received half of our target acceptance number, we have now received over three quarters of our target ....Has the school stopped sending such emails?

Eastlondmum Wed 22-Feb-17 22:10:21

They did send an email yesterday to say they had reached 65%. Around 9:30 this morning they sent another saying 85%. I missed this one as I was chatting to my DD on our way to City for the tour. Just after 11am they communicated that they had reached 100% ...

NL2016 Wed 22-Feb-17 22:11:04

The least it is a questionable practice, at least morally, and may not be legal, if the offer is firm and there is a clear deadline then they have to adopt. Why overoffer that much and what happens to those on initial waiting least, no chance for the?!? What's the point of open morning then?! At least that how other schools do e.g. Latimer Upper.

Eastlondmum Wed 22-Feb-17 22:19:11

I share the same feelings entirely.
And it is so unfair for the kids. We are lucky to have other offers, but really not sure what to tell my DD tomorrow

scabby1 Wed 22-Feb-17 22:20:38

Tbh I wouldn't have expected 65 percent full to 100 per cent full in the space of a few hours. Last year we couldn't decide between City and Godolphin and as a result we went to both schools offer holders tour. We rejected our City offer a good few days after the tour, so it does appear that people have moved far quicker this year.
It is a horrible position to be in.

ChocolateWombat Wed 22-Feb-17 22:23:13

I think it is an unreasonable practice. People should be given the chance to hear if they have received a state school offer. They should make fewer offers to start with and should be able to make some kind of judgement about what is appropriate based on previous year's experiences of take-up of offers.
I haven't heard of this before and hope it doesn't become more widespread. If it does, people who can afford to lose a term of fees will accept and later decline their place....but not everyone can afford to do this, and they may well lose some excellent candidates. An offer should be an offer until acceptance day. If the only emails sent saying they were near their limit were yesterday and today, that wasn't enough time for anyone to gather more information and it would be very possible to miss all of those messages and miss out. I can see why they do it, but don't think it is necessary to fill their places and do think it is unreasonable.

In my view, one of the features of the independent school market is needing to over offer.....and good schools learn from the past and know how much to over offer, whether to run waiting lists and their length and then manage to fill their schools without going vastly over. Why can't this school manage to do these things that other schools do? What is so different about them?

ChocolateWombat Wed 22-Feb-17 22:28:13

Notcontent, would you mind naming the other school that is using this practice too please? And does anyone know of any others that do this too? I am really shocked as I have never heard of it.
How awful for the children who have been celebrating their success in gaining an offer (and the parents too) to then lose it.

I really feel for those of you in this position. Are there other offers you are holding too,mor was it just state you were waiting for?

Eastlondmum Wed 22-Feb-17 22:34:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pradaqueen Wed 22-Feb-17 22:40:46

Op and @eastlondon mum. I know it is hard, and I sympathise with your position but the email was really clear...I accepted a place yesterday by scanned signed copies on email and deposit transfer after getting the 65% email yesterday as this meant that there were no more than 26 places available and I figured it might trigger a panic....i couldn't do it before as my DH was away with work and we needed both signatures. Sod's law was that one of her other schools upped her scholarship offer after I had accepted the place but I think city is the right place for her. Every year there are people who accept the place before getting the state/grammar offers (partic HB) but the max cooling off period to cancel the contract you have is 14 days so it is tight. Generally you will lose the deposit but you may be liable for the first terms fees if you don't read the small print properly. I do hope that you get what you want. Just email the registrar and explain that if offered, you would accept. Maybe send the paperwork in anyway and the deposit to show good faith?

NL2016 Wed 22-Feb-17 22:44:02

No other schools are doing that and several who learn incl G&L and Putney are furious at being undermined this way.

We also have G£L and we're waiting till open morning to finalise the choice. It is ridiculous to school that used email through the process alike most other schools that sent postal correspondence to say that they prefer hand delivered acceptance forms....

Scabby1 - how do you like Godolphyn? Any key observation points?Appreciated !

Notcontent Wed 22-Feb-17 22:45:08

ChocolateWombat - the other school is Channing in Highgate. I am also new to the whole 11+ thing (I am not even British) so was very surprised.

In fact, the email I got did not mention this - so I went on holiday for half term and only got the posted offer when I got back - imagine the panic when I read the letter!!

Eastlondmum Wed 22-Feb-17 23:06:22

Hi Pradaqueen, I understand the maths but still this system makes no sense to me and seems grossly unfair. Why overoffer by this much? Why favour those for whom potentially losing 1.5k deposit is insignificant?

Stressedstatemum Wed 22-Feb-17 23:12:54

I agree with the outrage. We are deciding between Channing, South Hampstead and City. DD doesn't want to do the tube, so City is out, but prefers SHHS although Channing is closer.

I personally found the 'exploding offer' really off putting and a sign that the school cares more about its own status - as in look how popular we are - than about the girls. SHHS clearly state that in line with good practice they of course honour all offers up to the deadline. That is how it should be.

Missinglalaland Wed 22-Feb-17 23:23:23

Three years ago City had so many girls accept that they had to lay on an additional class that year. City is in a very tightly constrained, grade 1 listed building. They literally can not lay on an additional class again until that bulge Year graduates. Additional portable classrooms, etc are just not possible in the Barbican.

This is how they have chosen to manage their constraint. I completely understand why you are frustrated.

Pradaqueen Wed 22-Feb-17 23:23:29

I know you are annoyed @eastlondonmum but The reality for most of the super selectives is that they are chasing the same girls. I don't think this favours those who can pay at all - a great number of City girls receive financial assistance and they did not have to supply the deposit. It was waived. If you do play school contract roulette, you will get burned at some point. All schools over-offer to a degree and as much as CLSG doesn't want to think that this still happens even after they withdrew from the consortium, many kids still sit multiple (too many) exams. They were clear at the open days that most who sit their school exam want their school. CLSG is very fair in advising parents of the progression in acceptances - and to be fair, it is new to them how many will accept outside of the old consortium. Other schools do not advise acceptances, but your child may still not have their offer honoured. As an example, most people I know with a SPGS place accepted and paid pretty much the same week. The situation will be no different there, it is just not advertised. The final acceptance deadline is the 6th but no school says explicitly you have until that date to make up your mind - it is the date upon which they will withdraw their offer to your child. My DD held three offers and today I released the other two so that someone else can take the place. There was only two (very different) that we genuinely had to decide between but I knew CLSG was the right school. You must know honestly which school you want for her?

Pradaqueen Wed 22-Feb-17 23:26:52

@missinglalaland makes another good point - you cannot swing a cat in the Barbican so they have to manage carefully. I do hope that the list moves for those waiting. I still maintain sending in the paperwork now would stand you in good stead given that there will be a preference to that waiting list also...

Peanutbutterrules Thu 23-Feb-17 00:34:16

I think that's awful. If they can't do a bulge class then they should only over offer by a few places and go to waiting list if needed. Its unlikely they won't fill up, but I suppose they would worry about their reputation being damaged by going to wait list. Seems cruel to withdraw an offer, and the countdown email clearly cause down right panic in parents.

MrsNuckyThompson Thu 23-Feb-17 06:32:37

But if they are the first to offer (or earlier than others) it's very likely that people WILL have hedged their bets and accepted even if they have another first choice to take a wait and and see approach. And yes, they will be prepared to lose a deposit as a result.

Different situation but we did this at a younger stage when the three schools we were after all made offers st different times with our favourite - of course - being last. So we paid deposits on the on the other two just in case and then let them down later at which the place becomes free for someone else

So don't lose hope.

ChocolateWombat Thu 23-Feb-17 07:21:37

I understand the difficulty of the Barbican location and that having to put on a bulge class is the nightmare of school bursars, which they try to avoid.

However, these are issues for all schools, not just CIty. Other schools seem to manage without using this practice. They carefully judge the amount they over offer by and use a carefully managed waiting list - managed in terms of length, but also in terms of regular contact with parents to maintain goodwill when it looks as if they might draw on it. Through these approaches, they manage to fill up, avoid bulge classes most years and avoid giving parents the sense that they have no concern for the difficulties this process delivers.

I guess that if state school offers are out next Weds, parents could have accepted until 2 weeks before and then still got out under the 14 days cooling off period without making a loss. How ridiculous though......and I suspect that quite a few will have done this and come state school offers day, City will find some of those acceptances turn into people pulling out
Under the cooling off period. Just another complication in the process!

I appreciate that the info is out there. It really is 'buyer beware'. There's no scope for parents snoozing is there....not in the applying, the run up to exams, the doing the exams, even after receiving offers. It's all very much a business.

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