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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:33 am 
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We currently live out of County and we recently found out that we may inherit a property near Aylesbury in the next 12 months or so. Our DD is in yr5 so we are investigating the schools in the local area and happened across this fine site.

From reading this forum, my initial elation at the prospect of sending our DD to a GS has since plummeted when I read about the proof of residence requirements. We would like our DD to complete y6 at her current school and then move to Bucks in the summer of 2011. From what I have read, this means one of two things:

1. Take the 11+ in Oct 2010, but cannot satisfy the proof of residence requirements.

2. Take the 11+ when we move to the area in summer 2011 and risk the schools being full (AHD, SHF)

It looks ominous :-(

Travelling from our current home is not an option (35m). We know the Bucks address where we *may* be living in summer 2011, so I wondered if anyone knew if there was any flexibility in the proff of residence requirements, or, could suggest a suitable plan of action for us. The obvious one is to move early, but we'd her to finish her primary schooling at her current school.

Many thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Snorter

Welcome!

Firstly, be warned - there is absolutely no flexibility at all in the proof of address arrangements. Every year the rules just get tighter and tighter due, unfortunately to an increase in fraudulent applications. (That does not just apply to Bucks, of course.)

The better news is that SHF has not been full in Year 7 in recent years. If you look at the Allocation Profiles here http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/11-plu ... rofile.php you will see that the school has been "All Offered" for the last few years, and this year was no exception. This year's figures will be added to the table shortly.) That means that taking the 11+ in the summer, once you have moved would probably be fine. (N.B. The reason it is not full is because of the proximity to two single gender schools - the same pattern is obvious elsewhere in Bucks.)

A word of caution though: Have you checked what the alternative schools would be if she did not qualify, and what the chances are of her gaining a place? That is always the problem with moving into Bucks - it can be "out of the frying pan, into the fire", and Aylesbury tends to be a case in point.

You need to do very careful research before taking any decisions.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:11 pm 
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Sally-Anne wrote:
A word of caution though: Have you checked what the alternative schools would be if she did not qualify, and what the chances are of her gaining a place?


Do you mean fail the 11+? If so, then the nearest school is Waddesdon, which we would be happy with, she'll do well wherever she goes. I assume Waddesdon would not require proof of residence, or if it did for a catchment place, then we would apply on the Church criterior.

Having said that, we think she'll pass and our main issue is with obtaining a pace at such a late stage (summer).

Thanks for your help.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:32 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Snorter

Yes, I mean "fail" - we use the word qualify, because "fail" has such negative connotations.

I wish it were that simple on alternative schools! Waddesdon is hugely oversubscribed each year - last year there were 380 applications for 140 places. All the places go on March 1st each year, and by the summer you could live next door to the school and be the most ardent church-goer and still not get a place.

The Admission Policy for the School for 2011 admissions is here http://www.waddesdonschool.com/index.php/admissions

You could appeal, but I have no idea if you might be successful. The school conducts it's own appeals and we have never had an appeal come up on here. The school has gone over PAN every year in recent years, but I suspect that there are reasons for that within the admissions policy - siblings section (K) and rule 6 - special cases.

If she qualifies (passes) in the summer, you will get a place at SHF based on every shred of past data, but please heed the warning and look at what else might happen. There are some schools in Buckinghamshire that sadly leave a great deal to be desired.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:23 pm 
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It's not simple is it? :D

That admissions policy for Waddesdon was very useful. Their proof of residence section appears much more flexible than the 11+/LEA(?) version, in that you have to provide proof you will be living in catchment by the time the school year starts and not at the time of application.

Although they were oversubscribed they were still able to offer places for applicants under section 2 (Church). Hope for us on two fronts.

It represents a good compromise should she not get into AHS/SHF.

Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:28 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Snorter

I am afraid that you need to dig deeper still.

Waddesdon's policy is not more flexible than that of Bucks CC. They delegate their Year 7 Admissions to Bucks CC, and therefore Bucks CC rules apply first. The school's own Admissions Policy (almost entirely the faith criterion) applies additionally.

Note the following point (the bold type is mine) in the Admissions Policy:

Quote:
Parents seeking admission for their children are asked to verify that the address they provide is their child's permanent residence at the time of completing the application form, will still be at the start of the term in which the child is to be admitted and is also the address at which parents are living.

There are two application forms - the school's own form and the CAF (Common Application Form), both of which you submit in autumn 2010. The CAF and the evidence of home address that you provide with it (by mid-November) are used by Bucks CC to determine the allocation of school places on 1st March.

The rule I quoted above takes precedence over the later statements about moving in to the area - they are "additional proofs", not get-out clauses. You will note later on that there are rules about second homes, etc, and those would disqualify you.

Unless you are living at the new house permanently by mid-November (the address deadline) your church commitment will not help you either because places awarded on the basis of church commitment (and all other criteria) are decided as follows:

Quote:
Deciding Factor: In the event of over subscription in any of the categories, places will be awarded first to those in public care and then according to the proximity of the pupil's home to the school measured by the shortest distance. This is to be a straight line to the Founder's stone from the pupil's home. Distances are measured using a computerized geographical mapping system which is administered by the Local Authority on behalf of the Governing Body.

Please bear in mind once again that all these criteria apply for allocations on 1st March, and the school has a substantial waiting list every year. You might rise to somewhere near the top of it by moving in the summer, but it would be unlikely to produce results within 4 - 6 weeks.

A transfer appeal is very unlikely to succeed at such a late stage, especially if several appeals had already been allowed in the main round.

In the case of foundation and faith schools who have additional entrance requirements it is always wise to check with the Admissions Officer at the school directly what your position would be and get confirmation in writing.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:18 pm 
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Sally-Anne wrote:
The rule I quoted above takes precedence over the later statements about moving in to the area - they are "additional proofs", not get-out clauses. You will note later on that there are rules about second homes, etc, and those would disqualify you.


In that case, the 'moving into the area' clause seems pointless. Under what circumstances would it apply?

My reading of the deciding factors is that it's decided by distance within each category, so if 1000 applied in cat 2, then it's nearest wins. They stated that they were able to offer places to all category 1, 2 and most of 3. Do you read it differently?

Am I correct in thinking that we can still complete a CAF form in Oct even though we are out of County and still be offered a place at SHF? i.e. the proof of residence is only for catchment/over subscribed decisions which doesn't appear to affect SHF?

Thanks again for all your help.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:30 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Snorter

Snorter wrote:
In that case, the 'moving into the area' clause seems pointless. Under what circumstances would it apply?

Hard to say, but I would imagine that there have been cases where parents have done things like signed a lease on a rented property but not withdrawn their other children from schools in the original area, suggesting that there was no intention to move house. I think it is a "catch-all" clause.

Quote:
My reading of the deciding factors is that it's decided by distance within each category, so if 1000 applied in cat 2, then it's nearest wins. They stated that they were able to offer places to all category 1, 2 and most of 3. Do you read it differently?

I wish that was guaranteed - I have just looked up the Allocation Profile for this year, as of March 1st, and it reads as follows:

Quote:
All applicants offered under rule 1 (catchment) and some under rule 2c (strong commitment to the Church ofEngland) to a distance of 8.687 miles.

There was a really significant squeeze on places this year compared to previous years. (I should have checked that earlier for you - we could have saved some bandwidth between us!)

Quote:
Am I correct in thinking that we can still complete a CAF form in Oct even though we are out of County and still be offered a place at SHF? i.e. the proof of residence is only for catchment/over subscribed decisions which doesn't appear to affect SHF?

Based on all historic data (past performance is no guarantee, etc), absolutely! That is the good news.

You may find this incredible, but I know of cases where a child has been living abroad - 1,000 or more miles away from Bucks - and they have been allocated places at a Bucks GS, simply because there are more places than preferences. (Needless to say the intention was to move to Bucks - usually back to the family home after a period as expats - rather than commuting. :lol: )

The only reason I am pressing the point so hard is that the most heartbreaking cases I see each year are those where a child has worked hard and qualified, but they and the parent get the shock of their lives on Allocations Day because they are given the "wrong" school.

It is always because the parent has failed to understand the rules - they have put the schools in the wrong order on the CAF, not realised that the address evidence has to be submitted, put the form in late, etc, etc.

That scenario should not apply to you if your daughter qualifies for SHF, but it does apply to Plan B, and that could catapult you quite unexpectedly into an unwelcome Plan C.

You may feel that the schools in Plan C are more appetising where you currently live, and therefore prefer her to sit the 11+ this October from your current address and then move if she qualifies? There are lots of ways to attack this, but do make sure that you really understand all the implications.

Sally-Anne


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