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Secondary School Admissions

(16 Posts)
ridiculoussingle Thu 11-May-17 13:18:11

I have a general question about admissions, don't know if anyone can help me...

Say 2 people are applying for the same oversubscribed school.
A put it down as 2nd choice, and didn't get into their 1st choice school.
B put it down as 1st choice.

All things being equal, A lives nearer. Who gets in?


B lives nearer but is further down the admissions criteria. Who gets in?

I know it's early for next year, but I want ds to go to a school that will be oversubscribed and I don't think he'll get into as we live quite far away. Especially as his year seems to be a bumper year, we've missed all first choices all the way through...
But we prefer that one to another school that is heavily oversubscribed but I think he will get into as we live near it. If I put the actual preferred school as 1 (the one I really don't think he'll get into on distance), will that wreck the chances of getting into the second choice school?

any advice is really appreciated!!

TeenAndTween Thu 11-May-17 13:28:59

A in both cases.

The lists are ordered according to admission criteria, irrespective of where you put the school on the list.

Then a line is drawn on each school's list according to the number of places available.

If any child appears above the line for two or more schools (ie they have qualified for 2 or more schools), then parental preference comes in to play. The highest preference school is kept and the children are removed from the other lists they were above the line for.

This obviously creates spaces so the children all move up one, so new people get above the line.

And so on.

Changebagsandgladrags Thu 11-May-17 13:30:49

A gets in because they are higher up the criteria.

Put the one you like the most first, even if you think he might not get in. If you satisfy the admissions criteria and there are places available you'll get offered your first choice.

You still have the same change of getting in to your second choice school as you would have had you put it down first (but you'll get your offer based on how you listed your preference).

So with DS last year we had:

1st choice: Heavily oversubscribed but we satisfied some conditions
2nd choice: Out of catchment but under subscribed, everyone got a place.

We could have put our third choice: High demand but we satisfy (probably) on rural distance.

We got offered our 1st choice. Now, if we hadn't, we would have been offered 2nd. They wouldn't have looked at our third choice, so if we wanted that one, we would have needed to put it second.

PatriciaHolm Thu 11-May-17 13:33:50

Always put schools down in your preferred order.

Your preference ONLY comes into play if you are eligible for offers for more than one school, then you are given the offer from the school that comes higher on your list.

The local authority take all the people who want each school (regardless of where on the list you put them) and rank them according to the criteria, creating a list of those eligible for offers for each school. Then they see if anyone appears on more than one list for an offer. If they do, the person gets the offer from the school highest on their list.

So you need to put your schools in genuine order. If you qualify for an offer from both schools, you would get the one higher on the list.

ridiculoussingle Thu 11-May-17 13:45:41

thanks for all your replies.

So even if a school is heavily oversubscribed, if you live nearer / are higher up the criteria you'll get offered it even if it's your 3rd place and there are a hundred people further away with it as their 1st place?

There are rumours (as there always are) that if you don't put (our 2nd choice) school as your first choice then you stand no chance of getting in. So that must be totally untrue??

PatriciaHolm Thu 11-May-17 13:48:43

"So even if a school is heavily oversubscribed, if you live nearer / are higher up the criteria you'll get offered it even if it's your 3rd place and there are a hundred people further away with it as their 1st place? "

- yes. If you don't qualify for your 1st and 2nd choices but you do for your 3rd, you will get offered it, even if there are people who put it as first place not getting offers from it - it's all down to how you meet the admissions criteria.
And yes, the rumours are bollocks ;-)

ridiculoussingle Thu 11-May-17 13:51:54

oh wow, so that will definitely change our order of application!

Patricia I thought they were bollocks, but you never know! Thanks for clarifying grin

Thanks for your advice smile

ridiculoussingle Thu 11-May-17 13:55:16

And I guess that makes sense, as isn;t there an appeal criterion that the LA has made an error if someone lower down the criteria gets in and you don't (sure i read that!). SO in those cases, if B got in and A didn't then A could appeal?
Of course I'm totally assuming that ds would get into our 2nd choice school!

soapboxqueen Thu 11-May-17 14:10:14

If A new about the mistake, yes assuming they were both under the same criteria.

Essentially the order of your preferences makes no difference, whatsoever, to your likelihood of getting a place at one of your preferred schools. Which is why it also doesn't matter if you write the same school 3 times or only fill in one choice on the form. You might qualify for all 3, 2, 1 our none of the schools.

TeenAndTween Thu 11-May-17 14:18:54

Which is why it also doesn't matter if you write the same school 3 times or only fill in one choice on the form.

What I hope soap was trying to say is that it doesn't increase your chances of being allocated a particular school by only filling out 1 choice of by putting the same school down 3 times.

It does matter , since you aren't using up all your choices wisely, so if your preferred school can't place you, you will end up with whatever school has spaces right at the end even if it is miles away and rubbish.

soapboxqueen Thu 11-May-17 14:26:59

Tween Since the OP was about gaining entry to one preferred school eg children A and B applying to one school and who would get preference, I think my point stands.

This post wasn't about overall application strategy.

TeenAndTween Thu 11-May-17 14:33:39

soap I was just clarifying in-case anyone read your comment out of context.

SoulAccount Sun 14-May-17 12:10:30

It's called the 'equal preference ' system and is law in England, so is the same in all LAs.

Put your schools down in your genuine order of preference. The beauty of the system is that there is no disadvantage to putting your top choices first. You will still stand the same chance of getting your 'fall back' school if it is behind your top choices as if you had put it first.

Many people misunderstand the system and spread incorrect rumours. Head Teachers and other school staff also seem to frequently advise parents that they must put the school first to get a place.

SoulAccount Sun 14-May-17 12:19:36

Common Myths:
-This misunderstanding about the Equal Preference system, the erroneous belief that they look at all the 'first choice ' applications first.
- That listing one school more than once increases your chances: no it doesn't
-That if you only list one school you will get allocated that school. No, only if you met the published admissions criteria and were high enough up the list
- That they have to give you one of the schools on your list. No, they are preferences, not choices and if you don't meet the criteria high enough up the rankings for any of your preferences they will allocate you a place from any unfilled school once all other places are allocated.
- That the LA are desperate to fill undersubscribed schools so if you put a less popular school down at the end of your list (maybe as your fallback), they will allocate you a place there even if you would have qualified for a higher preference. This would a) be unlawful and b) be immediately successful on appeal so pointless, and c) doesn't happen, it is cooked up by rumour mangers and those determined you can play the system. You can't.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sun 14-May-17 21:33:52

I have heard head teachers say 'if you want your child to come to this school then you must put it first.'

Technically this is correct because if you want your child to go to school A but put school B first because you think that you stand a better chance of being offered school B and you qualify for school B then you will be sent to school B (because you put it first). What people go away thinking is 'I must put school A first in order to get a place because they will only give places to people who put them first.'

nocampinghere Mon 15-May-17 11:41:55

head teachers want you to put their school first, they like to say our school had "x number of first preferences"

but it makes NO difference to whether you get a place or not.

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