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Kingsdale waiting list

(97 Posts)
sara75 Tue 05-Mar-19 16:23:07

Hello everyone, my daughter is 59th on waiting list for our first choice, Kingsdale, on the Banding list and 83rd on the scholarship waiting list. How likely do you think she is in getting a place? They apparently had 3000 applications this year and their intake is advertised on the website as 240...

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Natalia175 Tue 05-Mar-19 18:42:39

Hi sara 75. I applied to them as well, but it was my second choice and I got another offer, but I am very suprised with such a long scholarship waitlist. Is it after receiving a letter from them in October about full scholarship or half scholarship? Numbers just look very high. Sorry do not know more about it I am afraid

sara75 Tue 05-Mar-19 19:43:43

We got a half music scholarship

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maz99 Tue 05-Mar-19 19:54:51

My DD was mid 30s on both the banding and sports scholarship waiting lists 3 years ago.

My DD had a half sports scholarship, and we received an a place 2-3 weeks after offer day.

I didn’t know the had dropped their admission number that low... I do know that they went approximately 40 over the stated PAN for my DD’s year, so there may be some hope.

Also, based on what my DD told me, there were DCs still joining the school all the way in to January the following year.

HotpotLawyer Tue 05-Mar-19 21:22:42

Since Kingsdale admits by lottery within the various bands and categories, they shouldn’t actually have a numbered waiting list. They should do a new random draw every time a place becomes available.

This is set down in tne Schools Admission Code, I think, and us a statutory requirement for all schools that run lottery places.

And yet every year I hear of people gradually moving up one waiting list.

This could be seem to disadvantage you as you are a big number down.

I wonder if this could be the basis of an appeal?

onewhitewhisker Tue 05-Mar-19 22:03:21

hotpot I have wondered about this too. I can only think that what Kingsdale do is randomly allocate till they have filled up the places, and then continue randomly allocating till they have run out of children and the order you are pulled out of the hat, so to speak, would be your number on the waiting list (i.e. the first child out would be number 1, the final child to be offered a place number 240, the 250th child out of the hat 10th on the waiting list etc) and then after that the order is fixed. Which I imagine parents would prefer as at least this way they can have a stab at guessing the likelihood of being offered a place before September whereas if they reran the draw every time there would be no way to guess.

bibbitybobbityyhat Tue 05-Mar-19 22:12:04

My dd has a friend who was no. 4 on the waiting list in her band from the last day of term in Y6 and throughout the whole of year 7. She eventually got a place at the beginning of Y8.

Meanwhile, you read of people who were hundreds of places down the list getting a place after a couple of weeks.

Kingsdale's admissions process is still corrupt shrouded in mystery imo - and don't get me started on sibling places at a lottery school.

I suppose the one good thing is that now they have increased their numbers so hugely you have more of a chance of getting in. But to a school with 10 form entry (or whatever it is now) that has increased in size by at least 30% in the past few years?

Zinnia Tue 05-Mar-19 22:31:36

This is going to sound sarcastic and I really don't mean it to, but can anyone explain why this school is so insanely popular? I live in a completely different part of London but know people whose kids have just been through the admissions process with all the scholarships etc.

Attainment is good obviously but the progress scores are really average and the prior attainment figures suggest quite a lot of massaging of the intake. Am genuinely curious as to why it's so sought-after. Absolutely not meaning to offend those of you with children there or offers in hand!

maz99 Tue 05-Mar-19 22:46:49


My DD was on 2 waiting lists:banding and scholarship.

I believe the position on the banding waiting list is generated from the initial random draw.

I don’t think it would be feasible to have a random draw every time a place becomes available, because there are a lot of changes in the first few weeks after offer day.

Also, having a numbered position on the scholarship waiting list is quite valid, because positions are initially allocated to DCs with a scholarship that did not get a place via the banding lottery. Each DC is then ranked based on the internal marking/ranking of the scholarship they were awarded. This list will only change if DCs take up offers at other schools.

bibbitybobbityyhat Tue 05-Mar-19 23:08:02

Zinnia - it's not really insanely popular. There are no families in London who have a realistic chance of a place at 6 secondary schools. But as Kingsdale is rarer than hens teeth in that it has no catchment area or no closest distance admissions criteria and claims to run a true lottery - then lots of people stick it on their list to fill up a "choice". It is one of the most oversubscribed schools (which they love to trumpet) precisely because it is open to everyone.

maz99 Tue 05-Mar-19 23:09:32

@Zinnia, I can only offer my own opinion why the school is popular:

1) No catchment area, or furthest distance policy in the admissions criteria... children can come from the other side of London and gain a place in the school

2) Single academy school - this is a plus, when you live in a borough where most of the schools (not even just secondary) belong to a single MAT

3). A school that operates in a unique way (e.g sports & music scholarships are awarded before entry, can obtain art and/or maths scholarship after gaining a place at the school)

4) Small class sizes for core subjects (approx 24) - as well as some non core subjects due to option selections (in year 8 my DD only 8 and 12 students in her MFL classes)

5). Location - very nice neighbourhood and on the borders of 3 different LAs

6) offers a very wide selection of extra-curricular activities on offer (available options oon par with independent schools)

7) wide selection of subjects - my DD was able to do 2 MFLs in year 7 & 8 (German & Latin)

8) large school population (360+ in my DD’s year) - some people might not like this, but I think it’s great and so does my DD

Zinnia Tue 05-Mar-19 23:15:16

Thanks @bibbitybobbityyhat @maz99 that answers my question! smile

marytuda Tue 05-Mar-19 23:21:44

We went through this last year; starting at 71 on the scholarship waiting list and finishing at 17 early in September. We haven't heard from them since and don't expect to.
I took less note of our banding position since it was immediately clear we had no chance there, but I do recall we rose up it by at least 100 over the summer months.
Though I too wondered about the legality of this having read here that lottery places have to be reallocated every time a place becomes available.
Anyway based on last year OP I would say you are definitely in with a chance. The office there is quite friendly about it and will email you your position every few weeks if you ask them. They will tell you not to give up hope . .
As to why the school is so popular Zinnia . . . I think many people are actually attracted its evident (self) selectivity. I'm presuming applicants self-select via scholarship application to produce a mainly high-prior-achieving cohort (how else do they manage an intake which is disproportionately high-achieving based on KS2 prior achievement stats??). Plus its grounds and music provision look wonderful, coming from maybe some other cramped inner-city site (I think this is what appealed to my DC). It's in a posh area surrounded by posh schools; the assumption is that some of that "class" rubs off; the intake is whiter and more middle-class than at most London comps (very low PP) . . I think these things are attractive to many . .
And it is a good school I assume - but definitely over-hyped.
For the many other families like us who don't make it - rest assured London is full of brilliant, probably better alternatives. You just haven't heard of them yet.

marytuda Tue 05-Mar-19 23:37:21

bibbity makes good point about why just about all south London bungs in an application for Kingsdale - the no-catchment makes where we live irrelevant, for a change! You might do the same with several others . . .Dunraven, Graveney, whathaveyou - if you thought you had a chance.

maz99 Tue 05-Mar-19 23:41:33

I’m always confused by Kingsdale being labelled as over-hyped confused

Isn’t a school allowed to be sought after or oversubscribed? Even one that doesn’t get the highest results in the area?

I know yhat the headmaster’s speech on open day is a bit bombastic, but I’ve never heard of anyone else singing glowing praises about the school.

I think as far as state schools go, it’s a decent school... definitely not perfect.

Also, i can’t see how anyone could see the school’s intake as whiter than most other schools.. it isn’t... it’s 50% white and 50% black... maybe 5% either way. What I have noticed though, is that there aren’t large numbers of DCs from any other ethnic backgrounds.

meditrina Wed 06-Mar-19 00:04:50

"Though I too wondered about the legality of this having read here that lottery places have to be reallocated every time a place becomes available."

I do not know if this is how Kingsdale do it, but you can manage a lottery waiting list without a new draw. This is how:
- in the main admissions draw, each applicant is randomly allocated a number, from a list of numbers which is way, way longer than the number of applicants
- there are of course lots of unused numbers
- the DC are then ranked according to who has lowest (or insuppose higest, either way round works) that is the basis for offers and the waiting list.
- when more DC apply to join the waiting list, they are randomly allocated a number from the pool of unused numbers, and are slotted in to the WL accordingly
- the WL therefore 'behaves' just like all others, with DC ranked according to how they fit criteria, and those on the list may move up or down, depending on new offers being made (up) and new applicants getting a better number (down)

marytuda Wed 06-Mar-19 00:08:16

maz, it wasn't just the headmaster's speech . . It was more that Kingsdale has so many Open Days - 8 or 10?? It seems to be trying so hard to recruit applicants, which baffled me - this was 2 years ago or so, so I was rather naive about whole process . .. Why, when they already had far more applicants than they could place??
The school my DC is at now has just one Open Day in early Oct - blink and you miss it. It's a big deal; all the new Y7s are recruited to help out on the night. It's oversubscribed too, but nothing like Kingsdale.
Oh, and then there were the busses . . . Big adverts for Kingsdale on the side of the no. 3. Why does an already massively oversubscribed school need to waste precious funds on that??!

Natalia175 Wed 06-Mar-19 00:29:43

If you read the school financial statements (which I did as was looking for some additional infor on the school before applying), one of their goals and KPIs is smth like to be the most popular/oversubscribed school which they judge by the amount of pupils who apply. I do not know why they need it as does not seem to add any value to the school or the children, only adds lots of admin work. Nevertheless the music /math provisions looked great, so we put the school down as one of our choices.

maz99 Wed 06-Mar-19 06:09:12

@marytuda, why is having multiple open days a bad thing?

In fact, I think it’s practical & smart of them to take into account the number of families wanting to see the school.

For example, Harris CP, another oversubscribed school has for at least the last 20 years have had large numbers attending their open evening - to the point that police have to close down surrounding roads and I think even the nearest station is sometimes closed. How is that better?

Because of Kingsdale’s multiple open days, I was actually able to visit the school at a time that suited my work schedule. Whereas, I never got a chance to visit Harris CP as I was out of the country for work. Even though I knew that I would be in June preceding the open day, the school still wouldn’t accommodate a single visit. This tells me that the school is not inclusive or adaptable. FYI - Kingsdale do accommodate single visits., if you’re not able to visit on one of their many open days.

Also, Kingsdale isn’t the only state school to advertise on buses - I’ve seen adverts fir Harris, Oasis, and Coloma schools on buses as well.

marytuda Wed 06-Mar-19 07:46:58

It’s not necessarily a bad thing maz, I just found it baffling that they considered so much effort necessary. It was so full on that day - no attraction spared, and that on a whole series of dates.
I was naive then about how number of applicants is clearly an end in itself, irrespective of how many places they can offer, for many schools not just Kingsdale - hence the ‘superfluous’ advertising. I’m not sure why . . Does it in some way raise the academic standard of the intake? Probably- it’s the knowledgable parents who will seek out the popular schools. . .

marytuda Wed 06-Mar-19 08:08:21

Oh and on ethnicity of intake . . Maybe Kingsdale is only borderline inner-city and I really can’t speak for schools in the outer London boroughs - but in inner south London, 50% non white-Brit is definitely not average - more like 95%!

sara75 Wed 06-Mar-19 08:08:53

Thanks Meditrina, do you mean that I should refuse the offer they made to me (4th option) to be able to stay at the same level on waiting list?

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sara75 Wed 06-Mar-19 08:11:34

Thanks Merituda, we are 54 on Graveney waiting list

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sara75 Wed 06-Mar-19 08:13:48

Sorry I should have added 54th on Graveney waiting list based on the test result. She got 245 rather than the 252 needed to get in on offer day and the 248 predicted to get in by September. I spoke to another mum whose son got 245 last year and he was still 22nd at the beginning of Sept (predicted score for September was 246 last year)

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kateandsam Wed 06-Mar-19 08:29:05


My Son was offered a place at Kingsdale on the first day of school a couple of years ago. He started out at number 100 on the waiting list within his band, so I think you have a very good chance of getting in.

The list tends to move pretty quickly following the shakedown & then slows right down until the summer holidays when the school writes to everybody left on the waiting list asking if they want to continue & this is when the list dramatically changes.

I know of quite a few people that were offered during this period that started the list at around 50. So if you want a place please hold your nerve!

He absolutely loves his school!

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