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What Would You Do?

(26 Posts)
WhichChoice Sat 14-Oct-17 18:36:33

I'm just wondering what other parents would do really. We are currently applying for secondary school places and my head is spinning. I think I know what to do but I'm just curious, really.

DS has been offered a place at a secondary school as a result of a non-compulsory 'aptitude gor modern languages' test. This school is rated 'Good', the exam results are fine and we liked it on viewing the school. However, there is another school that we prefer that is heavily over-subcribed. 900 kids sat the compulsory banding exam, 12 places are offered to students who show promise in 'aptitude for MFL'. This school is rated as outstanding and it's exam results are fantastic. We loved this school when we visited. 1 in 6 applicants are offered a place after the usual criteria has been applied.

Would you just accept the first offer? Or hold out for a place at the superior school (which we are unlikely to get) and potentially forfeit the first school and get a place at another school?

HarrietVane99 Sat 14-Oct-17 18:40:55

What about other factors, such as distance/journey to school? I'd always go for the easier or shorter journey, if other things were equal.

BackforGood Sat 14-Oct-17 18:44:56

If it is possible so to do, then I'd wait until I had all the options in, to know if there was a decision to make or not.

lljkk Sat 14-Oct-17 18:44:57

What does your DD want to do?

lljkk Sat 14-Oct-17 18:45:24

oops... DS! Anyway, I'd try to go with the decision they felt best about.

WhichChoice Sat 14-Oct-17 18:45:28

Thanks for replying. There's less than 0.5 of aile difference in distance and both schools have dedicated buses.

clary Sat 14-Oct-17 18:45:36

I don't understand how you have already been offered a place? Or is this a private school?

when do you have to decide about the first offer? YY how far away is the other school and never mind 1 in 6 getting a place, how likely are you to get a place - ie do you live in catchment area etc?

WhichChoice Sat 14-Oct-17 18:47:19

He feels like me, if we get an offer from the better school we'd jump at the chance but it's unlikely a place will be offered on aptitude for MFL. He liked both schools but preferred the better one.

WhichChoice Sat 14-Oct-17 18:48:41

No it's not a private school. If it came down to distance which would be unlikely then the less well performing school would be nearer.

WhichChoice Sat 14-Oct-17 18:50:58

A few schools here offer a places on aptitude for music or MFL. If a student is successful in gaining a place based on aptitude then parents are notified before submitting the council application form. This is so you put the school that has offered you the place as your first choice.

clary Sat 14-Oct-17 18:55:59

Oh I see.

Well can't you put the outstanding school as first choice and then if/when (same word in German!) you don't get a place, your second choice will be the one where you have been offered a place?

WhichChoice Sat 14-Oct-17 19:10:46

Thanks clary. Unfortunately to guarantee the place on the less good school we'd have to put it as first choice!

Me and DH are going to ask to view the school that has offered the place again and we think we'll probably just accept the place. Parents of kids at that school seem happy with it so it may be best to just accept it.

It was easier in my day (when it were all fields) when you just went to the local comp!

Clavinova Sat 14-Oct-17 19:19:16

* Unfortunately to guarantee the place on the less good school we'd have to put it as first choice!*

No, you don't - who told you that? Neither school will know which order you place them on the CAF form unless you tell them. Just accept the language place and pretend you are going to put them first if they ask.

titchy Sat 14-Oct-17 19:26:36

You absolutely do NOT need to put them first in order to get an offer - that was made illegal many years ago.

Put the school you'd prefer first, safe in the knowledge that if you don't get a place you have one at the first offer.

Hersetta427 Sat 14-Oct-17 19:34:01

That certainly is different from how our county runs aptitude tests. You get told your score and the lowest score that was offered an aptitude place last year so although you might be confident if you had a very high score you still don't really know until offers day.

WhichChoice Sat 14-Oct-17 19:39:39

Wow, that's interesting! Some of the school's we've viewed have told us that to secure a place we'd have to put them as first choice. The 'outstanding' preferred school was particularly emphatic about that.

clary Sat 14-Oct-17 19:45:24

No, as others say, no one will know.

How it works is that the highest preference there is a place at is the one you get. So if there is a place for you at the outstanding school, you'll get it; if not, the other one will be a banker.

Schools that say otherwise are telling porkie pies. It doesn't surprise me tho that school staff know little about admissions, I know a teacher (primary, but still) who swore her son got a place at his out of catchment school "because he is really good at sport and they like that". Errr no, you were next on the list is all!

spanieleyes Sat 14-Oct-17 19:45:32

The "outstanding" school lied!

WhichChoice Sat 14-Oct-17 19:57:25

Well thank you all. Most informative! Funnily enough it's the high achieving schools that have peddled the lies of ''you must put us first!" at each open evening. Is there a league table that shows how many parents out that school as first choice then? So it gives them extra kudos?

TeenTimesTwo Sat 14-Oct-17 20:09:32

re you must put us first - It depends what other words they say around it:

If we are your preferred choice then you must put us first (as otherwise you may get given the school you actually put first) - this is reasonable

If you want to get offered a place by us then you must put us first - this is not reasonable as it implies that if you put them lower then you won't be considered by them at all.

WhichChoice Sat 14-Oct-17 20:14:19

It was definitely 'you must put us first or you won't be considered as we are massively oversubscribed'. Everything I thought I knew about the application process has gone out of the window.

BlueBelle123 Sat 14-Oct-17 20:41:01

whichchoice I don't know how admissions work so I could be completely wrong in my assumption. however, if everyone puts down 3 schools in order of preference and then the LA looks at everyone's first choice and allocates then if this school fills all its places at this stage then when the LA then looks at all the applicants who are left so effectively your second choice becomes your first it then allocates to school places that are still available....this would then make sense what they have told you....not sure I have put my point over very wellconfused

titchy Sat 14-Oct-17 21:06:28

That's not how it works bell.

Applicants are ranked against all the schools they put. If they are for example 102nd for school 1, their first choice, which has 100 places their rank at school 2 is looked at. If they rank 90th at school 2 which also has 100 places they have an offer for school 2. However before offers are posted the system then looks at all those with an offer for school 1 to see if in fact any of them had another school higher on their list which they also have an offer at. If so then they are removed from school 1's list. If there are 10 such applicants then the person initially at rank 102 is moved up to position 92 and thus offered a place. Their offer from school 2 is removed and everyone below their position on school 2s list moves up a place.

BlueBelle123 Sat 14-Oct-17 21:08:38

Actually following on from what I said, if your second choice is full then presumable LA will apply admission criteria, say distance from school so if you are closer that someone who was allocated in first round then you would knock them out, so actually the school is not right in what they are saying........You can tell I don't watch X-factor!!!

BlueBelle123 Sat 14-Oct-17 21:10:18

thanks titchy, posted before I saw your post!

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