Choosing primary schools and catchment areas

Discussion in 'Parents Forum' started by p1tse, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. p1tse

    p1tse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,974
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +83
    What needs to be considered on choosing reception/ primary schools?

    Also how do I find out about catchment areas?
     
  2. shodan

    shodan
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    12,000
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    shoeburyness
    Ratings:
    +7,441
    For the catchment area you may have the information on the website for your local authority. For primary schools I would look at what's nearest (you don't want car journeys if you can avoid it, especially with young kids) and recommendations from friends and family who have kids in the area.
     
  3. p1tse

    p1tse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,974
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +83
    I can't see anything on local council site
    South Gloucestershire
     
  4. craig1912

    craig1912
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Messages:
    1,765
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +486
  5. p1tse

    p1tse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,974
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +83
    Thanks
    I obviously didn't know what to look for
    Great link and going through 100+ pages
     
  6. p1tse

    p1tse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,974
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +83
    They mention an "area of prime responsibility"
    So those without don't have catchments?

    We're in the middle of a house sell wanting to move closer to other schools which makes it more difficult
     
  7. pilgrimkenna

    pilgrimkenna
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,702
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Ratings:
    +119
    do some reasearch on the school, ask the la in previous years has it been oversubscribed? it may be you can obtain a place without being directly in the catchment area.

    some schools (voluntary aided) will give priority on faith rather than cathchment also.

    it is worthwhile being realistic with your prospects fromthe outset and expressing more than 1 preference. going on previous years should be enough to gauge deman/success for schools. it is most likely that the school may have an admission limit of 30/45/60 meaning that there is no scope for flexibility because of class size legislation.

    good luck
     
  8. p1tse

    p1tse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,974
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +83
    Thanks

    Doing some reading around, websites, school prospectus, ofsted etc.

    A lot of ofsted intro starts with school size, ethnic mix, English as first language and disability mix
     
  9. pilgrimkenna

    pilgrimkenna
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,702
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Ratings:
    +119
    hi. the other thing i wouls say is that whilst an ofsted can give a good steer it is not the be all and end all. the best way of geting a flavour for a particular school is to visit during a normal school dy, met the head teacher and senco and ask questions, , let your child get a feel for a school,

    lfsted is a snapshot report at a given time, sometimes 3 or 4 years ago now as outatanding schools dont have ofsted in regularly if there are noproblems.
     
  10. p1tse

    p1tse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,974
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +83
    thanks

    its all quite scary really, as its such an important decision

    house on market too wanting to get closer to schools but not shifting :(
     
  11. pilgrimkenna

    pilgrimkenna
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,702
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Ratings:
    +119
    well good luck, if you ever need any advice on admissions, give me a shout.
     
  12. p1tse

    p1tse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,974
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +83
    Thanks

    Is this your area of work, past, present experience, parent etc.

    Above link by craig1912 shows number of intake and refusal
    We don't fall in a catchment area

    With schools having Area of prime responsibility I assume those in area have first choice
    But those that don't have area of prime responsibility do it by distance factor?
     
  13. pilgrimkenna

    pilgrimkenna
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,702
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Ratings:
    +119
    hi. yes present work. 10 years in education dept. transport and admissions. ill look at the links tomorrow. but it does soud like that yes.
     
  14. pilgrimkenna

    pilgrimkenna
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,702
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Ratings:
    +119
    ill have it all to do in 3 years time my boys only 13 months.
     
  15. p1tse

    p1tse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,974
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +83

    Don't suppose you had a chance to look

    Big IF but if our house was sold stc how does that stand from our position

    Also are initial applications accepted and refused by schools first or governed by authority
     
  16. pilgrimkenna

    pilgrimkenna
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,702
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Ratings:
    +119
    will look today. different authorities vary. but documentary evidence of an address maybe enouugh to satisfy the la that you will be loving at that address. also worthwhile checking with the la as a lot have a processing date after the deadline where they will accept a change in address, this is to be fair to anyone movng post closing date and before the offer date.
     
  17. pilgrimkenna

    pilgrimkenna
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,702
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Ratings:
    +119
    and it depends on the type of school as to who the admitting authority is. increasing schools are being academies now under the academies bill. these are semi independent schools responsible for admissions decisions. same as voluntary aides faith schools, the governing body make decisions not the la.

    the la will be coordinating the admissions which is its statutory function and will publish a prospectus detaililing types of schools, deadlines, etc. check to see when this is published. possibly october or november.
     
  18. pilgrimkenna

    pilgrimkenna
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,702
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Ratings:
    +119


    https://consultations.southglos.gov...69.1/PDF/-/PropAdmArrSept2013SchYr2013_14.pdf

    Hi this is the document that you are interested in, although I can only see it in the consultation stage and not the determined final policy. I would contact Glos and ask for a copy of the determined document or the link to it. on mobile so couldn't browse very well.

    In that scheme it does make reference to late applications being considered in change of circumstances.

    what you will need to do is make sure you apply before the original deadline and submit a timely application. If your circumstances change, I would speak to admissions and see where you stand, I would say it would be reasonable for them to consider your change in circumstances as if you were moving away or into another LA those circumstances would be considered in order to enable you to apply elsewhere.

    The bit about prime areas is correct, it is basically what is defined as prime area, and those in that area are given priority and distance used if needed.

    VA Schools and academies may (will) have totally different criteria. Which schools are you looking at?
     
  19. Bl4ckGryph0n

    Bl4ckGryph0n
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Messages:
    41,359
    Products Owned:
    11
    Products Wanted:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    ::1/128
    Ratings:
    +14,837
    Mine go to a voluntary aided school in another counter with a different education authority :)

    We had a scare with my youngest as for the first time ever it was oversubscribed in the top criteria but after being in the continued interest list and for us a lucky nasty instant divorce of another family meant my youngest got her place now as well. During that scare we were looking at moving but in the end I'm glad the buyers pulled out as I like where we are.
     
  20. p1tse

    p1tse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,974
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +83
    Thanks going to read linked attached

    We don't lie in an area of prime responsibility and with local schools having area of prime responsibility or I know others are oversubscribed makes me feel nervous

    Do local authority have a defined tick list I.e distance to school first etc.?
     
  21. Bl4ckGryph0n

    Bl4ckGryph0n
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Messages:
    41,359
    Products Owned:
    11
    Products Wanted:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    ::1/128
    Ratings:
    +14,837
    It really depends on the school concerning as well, I'd look on their website for the admission criteria...

    The DfE sets the code and guidance, but on a local level it can be implemented differently as long as they do it inline with the code/guidance...It is useful information but only really when you are in a dispute or are a governor and are changing the admission criteria locally..But anyway here it is...

    School admissions - current codes and regulations - Schools
     
  22. pilgrimkenna

    pilgrimkenna
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,702
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Ratings:
    +119
    i think you need to look at the schools you are interested in and see if they have set their own criteria and familiriae yourself with which category you would be for each choice.
     
  23. pilgrimkenna

    pilgrimkenna
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,702
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Ratings:
    +119
    to be fair, the local autority would have set a fair scheme in line with the code of practice (2012) its now really down to them to apply it correctly of course...
     
  24. p1tse

    p1tse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,974
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +83
    Thanks both
    A lot of reading :)

    I read on the link you have to put reason of choice, is that the case and what do people put?

    I live on a new estate near bs16 1qY
    So not in an area of prime responsibility

    First choice would be a place a few miles away if doing it via google maps
    Bromley Heath infant
    This I know is a desirable choice with over subscription, so will no doubt struggle

    Other choices not sure.
    Nearest would be frenchay but it's catholic and in area of prime responsibility

    Some other nearest options just not keen on, either due to stats, ranking or what we have heard
     
  25. pilgrimkenna

    pilgrimkenna
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,702
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Ratings:
    +119
    hi you can put reasons however, unless exceptipnal social, or medical they are likely to have no bearig on the decision. initially it will be determined by the oversub criteria.

    it sounds like you are going to striggle initially die to demand on places and the popularity. after initial allocation if u havemissed out there will be waiting list process and an appeal process to follow, although it would be worthwile seeing of it would be an infant class size appeal and if it is you may decide not to put yourself tjrough that process due to a legal class size limit and no flexibilty from the appeals panel including them not being able to factor in your circumstances.
     
  26. p1tse

    p1tse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,974
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +83
    Thanks again
     
  27. p1tse

    p1tse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,974
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +83
    We will require breakfast club and after school club, I understand not all offer this.
    As these are requirements does it pay in our favour if the school is further away or will they always go by distance first?

    Also I've been reading on some local options, some being more village feel versus some bigger ones with better facilities. What sort of facilities should I have in mind?

    I was reading one old feedback saying one smaller school gap had mixed age classes, what does that mean?
     
  28. pilgrimkenna

    pilgrimkenna
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,702
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Ratings:
    +119
    the wrap around care requirements wont be taken into account for you sadly. the la have a requirement to find a school place locally, regardless of what it offers. if they cant offer you your prefered school they will offer the nearest available with places. that is why it pays to use all your preferences. you dont gain by putting one school on your form.

    mixed classes are common in the current economy. lets say a school has an intake at receptin of 10. these 10 children in receptin could well join 10 year 1 and 10 year 2 in a class of 30 vs a school with an intake of 30 who will most likely teach by year group of 30 reception Aged children.
     
  29. p1tse

    p1tse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,974
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +83
    Thanks
    More scenarios running through my head
    I.e if we don't get top 3 preference choices and then get given a school without wrap around care etc.!

    I can now see why house prices are pushed up by school options and proximity
     
  30. Bl4ckGryph0n

    Bl4ckGryph0n
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Messages:
    41,359
    Products Owned:
    11
    Products Wanted:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    ::1/128
    Ratings:
    +14,837
    tbh you worry too much imo ;) If you want to have full control you'll have to go private, otherwise things will be absolutely fine or just make a minor adjustment. Sure it was a big shock when we didn't get the place we wanted, but it wasn't the end of the world, the 'only' satisfactory school in what I would call a rough part of town turned out actually better in our experience than the school we wanted and had for our eldest in many ways. And then in a strange series of events everything just fell in place....

    Chill, relax, you can't control it all, as such there is no point trying...
     

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice