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Getting a "foot in the door" at desired secondary school

(7 Posts)
MrsSnape Thu 10-Jul-08 23:21:19

Please don't flame me for this, I'm desperate to get my bullied son into a good secondary school.

One we have had our eye on for years is the all boys military style school in the city centre, excellent exam results, excellent discipline...very hard to get into.

Last year over 300 applied and only 56 got in.

Apparantly they have no catchment area but pick 14 children from 4 areas around the city. So the whole city is covered but only 14 from each "sector" get in iyswim?

They also have to sit an exam, apparantly to ensure a mixture of abilities but I reckon its more to weed out the "Not so clever" ones to keep their exam pass rates so high.

Anyway, our two local catchment schools are hellholes and DS would be crucified at either of them so its essential to me that I get him in this school.

What can I do? can I do ANYTHING other than put his name down and hope for the best?

I have emailed the school and asked what criteria they use when offering places, I have also asked if me and DS can visit the school in the near future. Was this the wrong thing to do?

LadyMuck Thu 10-Jul-08 23:26:11

I think that finding out what the admission criteria are is essential. Once you know that then you can plan accordingly. Might be worth a namechange and posting about the specific school?

cornsilk Thu 10-Jul-08 23:28:37

I think visiting with your ds is good - it shows that you're keen and they also get a chance to meet your ds who sounds like an absolute star.(I read your other thread on active convos)

psmith Thu 10-Jul-08 23:32:14

My cousin tried and failed to get into a similar school last year. Their website published how many children from each band from the exam results would be offered a place. They took the top few from each band so for eg the top 5 would get in but not the 6th, then the people who came 20th to 25th etc. (does that make sense?) They also said that they give priority to children who can demonstrate that they would benefit from going to that school. My cousin is a 'looked after child' so we thought he might get in for social reasons but he didn't. If your ds is statemented then you may me able to get a place based on it being the most appropriate school for his needs. Sorry I'm not much help.

harpomarx Thu 10-Jul-08 23:35:16

I think I would seek some professional advice in relation to the bullying issue - and any aspects of your son's behaviour that worry you. I would then, when the time comes, approach the school with the reasons why you think your son would benefit so much from the school and back it up with any professional opinions that you have received in the meantime.

QueenMeabhOfConnaught Fri 11-Jul-08 14:43:38

Agree with harpo - try and get a professional onside. Does the school's admissions criteria mention anything about special needs (thinking of the bullying here and any effect it has had on him)?

MrsSnape Mon 14-Jul-08 10:44:36

Thanks for the advice,

I have just had an email back from the school telling me to name them as our first choice. He will then be invited to take a CAT test which doesn't have a pass or fail, it's simply to see what ability everyone is at and we have also been invited to an open evening in October grin

I still don't see how the "few" are chosen but I'm going to go along in October and find out as much as I can.

Thanks again

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