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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:24 pm
Posts: 28
I was under the impression that we name 4 preferences in order and each school is told you have applied to them, but not how you ranked them. I thought the way it worked was that if they could offer you a place, they told KCC and KCC then gave you your highest ranked school. Is this right? If it is, then why do headteachers say at open evenings that you need to rank them in first place? We heard this last night at an open evening....


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 pm
Posts: 1706
Location: Warwickshire
It just means that if their school really is your first preference that's where you should put them, or you might get allocated a school you'd placed higher.

Some heads do seem to say this - either they've been saying the same thing since before the equal preference system came in and haven't updated their spiels, or they don't handle admissions themselves so don't really know how it works! Or perhaps they just like to say that thinking that you'll put them higher up your lists as a result.

It makes no difference though. All they get told is that you expressed a preference - any preference - for them but not which one it was.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 95
I think it's two-fold. Open evenings are essentially marketing events for the schools - they want to sell you their school and they want to make sure you choose them over the competition.

Secondly the point they make is valid in that if you don't put them first you might miss out by being allocated a higher preference school for your list. i.e. if you like school Y but are worried you might not make get in due to distance, score or some other oversubscription criteria, you still need to put it above, say, school Z for which you meet the criteria. Otherwise even if you make the cut with the school Y criteria, it won't be allocated to you because you'll be given school Z - your first choice.

Hope that makes sense.

Crossed posts with Okanagan!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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I think it is because they like to be able to say after the event how many parents put their school as first choice. It is for this same reason that some primary schools won't tell you that you have no chance getting in and will let you waste a space on the caf so thy can say "10000 parents listed us first choice; we need an extension, annex, new hall, new school, new brain etc etc".


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 3:36 pm
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I am with mystery - they want to be able to say thousands of parents put them first on the form.

You put schools on your form in the order you want your child to be considered for a place, and do not listen to any disingenuous talk from Heads with their own agenda :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:30 am
Posts: 110
Yes - they want as many children as they can get to choose from. Makes them look good if they are heavily oversubscribed with first choices.


Thankfully at the time of making offers they have no idea where you put them on your CAF, which is vastly better than a few years back when they did know and I understand some schools used to essentially threaten parents by telling them if they weren't first choice they wouldn't offer them a place!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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Some schools used to have clauses in their admissions policies which gave priority to children who had placed them first on the CAF. This was outlawed fortunately. Kent schools had this system long after many other authorities ---- what does that tell us about Kent?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am
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I am confused. I gather they don't know if you put them first, but they do know how many parents put them as first choice?
Also, does the order matter if you appeal?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:30 am
Posts: 110
The council know the number of first choices for each school and I understand they release that data but the schools have no idea about individual children.

So basically you should put the schools in the order you genuinely want them and you'll be offered the highest placed on your list that can offer you a place.

The whole 'place us first' is just schools trying to improve their position in the unofficial 'most oversubscribed by first places' competition!


I don't know much about appeals but if you place them in the order you genuinely want then any school you appeal for should be higher than you current offer. I understand there used to be a rule about having to have the school you are appealing for on your CAF but not sure if that still applies.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am
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The other thing I heard is that if you go on their waiting list, the council does reveal what order they were on. Is that true?


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