London Oratory v Cardinal Vaughn - which do I put first on application ???(17 Posts)
We live in west London and are Catholics. DS is in Yr6, and we're about to apply for school for next year through the local council. Our two main choices are London Oratory and Cardinal Vaughn - but I don't know if either of them will consider DS if we don't put the school as first option.
What I mean is, suppose we put London Oratory first - does that mean if we don't get a place there (which frankly is very likely) Cardinal Vaughn won't consider us because we didn't put them first?
I feel like I'm going around in circles - as have asked both schools and they are being vague and/or non-responsive.
Any help or views would be really appreciated.
Schools don't know what order you've put them in. The Admissions Code has the force of law and explicitly forbids using order of preference as a selection criterion.
You should put the schools in your genuine order of preference - imagine you were offered places at all the schools, and decide in which order you'd place them. That's tge order you should put on the form.
Neither school should know where you have placed them. My understanding is, you apply to your local borough and they then send a list to any faith schools with the names of those applying. The schools then send a list back to the borough saying these are the children we would offer too, and in which order (based on info you'll have filled in on your SIF forms and given directly to the schools).
The borough then feed that into their system and the offers are made. We were always told they key thing is to place them in the order you would prefer because if BOTH schools do make an offer, the computer will take your first/highest place choice and offer you that.
Most catholic schools will also require you to submit a SIF (supplementary information form). This will ask for details about your catholic practice, but won't ask about what other schools you've applied to. You need to submit the SIF to the school by the specified date, as well as submitting the CAF to the Local Authority.
The school will then crunch the numbers and send the LA a list of all applicants in the order in which they meet the admissions criteria. The LA will in turn crunch all the data it receives from all the schools and individual applicants, and on 1st March will offer you a place at the highest ranked school that was able to offer your dc a place.
That's why it's so important to put your true order of preference.
That's so helpful - thank you so much for making that clear !
Sorry - I should have said thank you to both replies - first time poster so I'm just getting used to the system !
Thanks again (;-)
Personally, I don't give two monkeys about the London Oratory. In my experience it's the place full of hypocrites gathered under one roof. Don't know anything about Cardinal Vaughn though except it's academically better. But on the above basis alone, you should avoid the London Oratory like the plague and definitely put C V a million miles above the L O.
Other posters have explained the 'equal preference system' which is actually law for all admissions for state schools (including faith) in England . However schools themselves are often dishonest or clueless about how admissions work.
As others have said, list the schools in your genuine order of preference, and you will not be disadvantaged in getting a place at your second choice if your first cannot offer you a place.
Every school can ONLY make offers based on their published admissions criteria, not on how you placed them in the list. But they never get to know where you placed them, anyway.
However, you really need to list at least one school that is a 'dead cert ' for a place. Probably your nearest school.
There is a myth that surfaces from time to time that the LA have to give you one of the schools on your list. This is untrue. If none of the schools in your list can make you an offer according to their admissions criteria the LA will allocate you a school which has places once everyone else's listed preferences have been allocated, this may we'll be a less favoured school on the other side of the borough from you.
So always list a 'banker'.
Unlike "peteneras", I have direct experience of the Oratory school. All my children went there. We couldn't have been happier with it. Academically and musically it was great, and more importantly, the pastoral care was excellent.
With Cardinal Vaughn just make sure that you son goes to take the banding test in addition to submitting the SIF.
I can only comment about the Oratory. It was one of 20 schools that I visited in year 5 and 6. It was the only one where pupils, when asked said they didn't like their school (I asked that of pupils at all the schools). It didn't make my son's CAF form.
Re: The London Oratory
"It was the only one where pupils, when asked said they didn't like their school (I asked that of pupils at all the schools)."
It doesn't surprise me an iota, user 148...234. The London Oratory is the only school I know of that has been taken to court to be legally challenged by the DfE/parents over its admissions procedures on many occasions. This by itself should tell you volumes about the school, folks. I have, myself, gone straight to the Dept for Education in person to make a formal complaint about the so-called school which resulted in the DfE writing to the LO to demand that they completely re-write the school's prospectus the following year. This came after my request to meet the Chairman of the school's Board of Governors was rejected by the school.
Question: What do you call a Catholic school that says a child is "not Catholic enough" and overriding the local parish priest's own personal letter to the school confirming that the child had been baptised in his church at birth; that both the parents were Catholic; that said child had been attending his local Catholic primary school since the age of 5; and that the child had been an altar server every Sunday since a very young age?
Of course, in their blindness due to their state of being permanently possessed by the Devil himself, the London Oratory did not realise that what I was doing was in fact, giving them a gift by offering them my DS to attend their school. Little did they realise that the nation's very top grammar school in my backyard (and I mean very top as the apex); together with another top grammar school the other side of town, had already offered him places there. That's not to mention the world's most sought-after school itself couldn't wait to snap him up by offering him a full scholarship to attend.
The problem with the LO is that it is too much submerged in its own dark cesspool to see any sense or daylight. But what pisses me off is that their actions had resulted in DS distancing himself from the Catholic church ever since - something I shall never forgive the LO!
peteneras. Your son seems to have other good choices of schools. It might be time to let this London Oratory thing go.
You never know, going to a Catholic school may also have led to him distancing himself from the Church. There are a lot of "lapsed" Catholics around.
Good luck OP.
They're both excellent schools.
It's true that it is more difficult to get into both from outside the borough, but three of DS's mates got into the Oratory and one got into CV from their primary school in Richmond.
The Oratorty's sixth form is excellent.
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