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Taking my chances with over-subscribed schools?

(16 Posts)
MrsSnape Thu 18-Sep-08 22:02:21

I would not be willing to send my son to ANY of the schools in my area. Therefore I am going to need to choose 3 that are a) not in the catchment area and b) are hugely over-subscribed...now which do I put as first choice?

School 1 - A few kids in my area have managed to get in this school, its not too far away and is a pretty good school. Chances of getting in are pretty 50/50.

School 2 - A VERY popular all boys school, VERY hard to get into but one of the best schools in the city if you can manage it. However chances of getting in seem slim, last year 356 applied and only 64 got in!

School 3 - No chance of getting in at all but could have grounds for appeal on the basis that family members go there and I would be relying on them for child care whilst I work...?

So which would you put as 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice?

magentadreamer Thu 18-Sep-08 23:09:24

Regarding school no3 - I doubt an appeal body would grant a place just on childcare arrangements unfortunately. If you have a 50/50 chance of getting into school number one then I would put it that one first.

I don't know if you've ever used parentscentre.gov.uk but you might find alot of useful advice in the subsectin choosing a school it's in the education section if it does come to having to go to appeal - one of the regular posters there works in school admissions and is incredibly helpful. Hopefully you won't need advice on appeals!

sunnydelight Fri 19-Sep-08 08:25:23

I'd do 1, 2, 3 as you've listed them above. There is no point in wasting your first choice on a school that you have no chance of getting into as then the people who have put your 2nd and 3rd choices first will have priority over you, making your chances of getting a place even less.

Don't know how common it is, but both Brighton &Hove and E. Sussex LEAs specifically say that childcare arrangements are not grounds for appeal. I would be amazed if they were anywhere.

janinlondon Fri 19-Sep-08 13:01:39

In the order you list them, but do you have a plan B?

MrsSnape Fri 19-Sep-08 15:29:20

Plan B would be to homeschool until he got a place into either 1, 2 or 3! (Whilst also taking steps to move into the catchment areas).

MrsMattie Fri 19-Sep-08 15:33:17

In the order you have listed them, but I think you're taking a huge chance, to be honest. Your grounds for appeal are very shaky, and if the schools are that heavily oversubscribed you will have a slim chance of getting in on the waiting list / via appeal, anyway. You face a very real chance of being given a place at whatever they've got left when all places have been allocated.

Are the nearest schools all that terrible? Where are you in the country?

Blu Fri 19-Sep-08 15:38:50

They don't take childcare as a reason to appeal at primary level, let alone secondary!

Blu Fri 19-Sep-08 15:39:22

Ca you move into catchment now?

AbbeyA Fri 19-Sep-08 15:51:09

I think you want the order that you have listed them, but you want to think very seriously of alternatives, your chances will be slim.

mazzystar Fri 19-Sep-08 15:57:29

My understanding is that the order doesn't matter which order you put your choices in, unless there are places available at more than one school in which case you get the one highest up your list. [though this could just be my local authority - am prepared to stand corrected].

Have you visited the other schools, talked with parents?
I only ask as I am currently doing the primary school schlepp and was very pleasantly surprised by the local one with the stinking reputation.

MrsMattie Fri 19-Sep-08 16:04:26

You're right@mazzystar. The schools never find out your preferences. They simply allot a place (or not) based on the criteria laid down by the LEA, or in the case of faith schools and some grant maintained schools, in their admissions policy. The LEA uses your preferences to determine which place to offer you in the event that more than one school offers you a place.

We've also had a complete change of attitude over primary schooling for our son after viewing the local schools ourselves. The one with the so-so Ofsted is absolutely lovely - small, homely, dynamic head teacher, lovely staff with high morale. The 'exceptional' school was, in reality, scarily huge (stonking great 3 form entry reception, couldn't imagine a 4 yr old in the massive playgroundsad), full of sparkly equipment and obviously very target driven, and just seemed very cold and showy. Didn't like it at all.

Understand it is slightly different with secondary schools, though. Results do start to matter more.I'm dreading it!

MrsSnape Fri 19-Sep-08 17:24:24

We're in Hull.

Here is the 2008 results table and our local schools are henry cooper (right in the middle of very rough estate which he'd have to walk through on his own) and Endeavor (recently out of special measures but more recently given notice to improve again.

http://content.thisis.co.uk/hull07/hulltable08.jpg

Henry Cooper doesn't have a website (or one worth mentioning anyway) but Endeavors website is:

http://www.endeavourhighschool.co.uk/ Out of the two, I think this one is the lesser of two 'evils' despite the worse gcse results...?

I am hoping to move into catchment area of 'Kelvin Hall' (also on that table) but it is looking unlikely to happen before he starts secondary school.

AbbeyA Fri 19-Sep-08 17:24:27

I don't listen to the reputation.They can have a poor reputation and have changed beyond all recognition, having a visit on a normal working day is the only reliable way to find a school you like.

MrsMattie Fri 19-Sep-08 17:29:10

Have you been to see the schools? Met the head teachers?@MrsSnape. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Also, does it matter that one of the schools is on a council estate? hmm.

MrsSnape Fri 19-Sep-08 17:31:23

It does in these circumstances because I'd worry about him walking through there on his own, especially dark nights (after school clubs etc)...I wouldn't walk through it on my own so I wouldn't expect an 11 year old to. I'm not a snob, I live on a council estate myself but I wouldn't feel safe him walking through this one by himself...although I suppose plenty of kids do...? I don't know.

mazzystar Fri 19-Sep-08 18:01:48

how will he get to the schools that are further away?

if your ds was part of a group of kids walking to school would you feel happier about it?

i think i recall from your other posts that your ds has been bullied? is there any provision for this within the process?

i think if i were you i would go and look at the better of the local schools, just to hopefully put things in perspective.

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