I think it is also worth adding that the Masterclass program and Aptitude test make no difference to a child being admitted to The Priory LSST unless they are one of the children who successful obtain one of the 25 places based on aptitude . .
Yes, indeed, this was what I hoped to convey when i wrote:
Large numbers take the aptitude test. Many children also take tests near the end of Year 5 to get places on the Master Classes which they run. Although this will have no impact on whether you get a place in the normal allocations, it undoubtedly helps to have attended master classes and possibly also to have attempted the aptitude test if you have to appeal for a place.
The local authority write the rule book, not the school.
As an Academy it sets its own admissions policy in agreement with the DofE (DCSF as was) and it must be lawful. It and the LA must follow that policy and its oversubscription criteraia when allocating places.
What I will say is the Masterclass gives you a very strong case at appeal and both children who failed to get a place on general admission were both accepted at appeal. When LSST are already educating your child and both parent and child have given up Saturday mornings to attend classes, it is very difficult for an appeals board to turn a child down. It also helps if you know if your child passed the aptitude test even if they didn't get one of the 25 places.
Anecdotally this seems to be true. It is not unknown for a child who has attended the Masterclasses to fail to get in on appeal, but it is highly unusual.
It worth knowing that SAT's results are irrelevant as they don't sit the exams until May when the place have already been offered in March. The Primary school also has no communication with the Secondary school as to how strong the children are academically until applications are offered and accepted.
SATS predicitions should also be irrelevant at appeal as the Academy is an all-ability school and appeals panels should not take into account academic ability ( or attendance or whether the child does do their homework on time or not). Nevertheless many parents present evidence of academic ability and good behaviour at appeal and, anecdotally, it appears that clever, well-behaved, regular attenders get through more often than those without such a glowing profile....
Unfortunately the geographic software used for measuring distance from door to door isn't great either. My stepson got in over a child who was closer than he was however if you use software 'as the crow flies' and freely available on the internet it actually showed he was closer by 0.03 of a mile so he luckily got a place. It seems to measure the central area of the postcodes. You have to ask if the local authority is really going to go through all 300+ applications looking at each children exact distance from door to door though just for one school though.
There will inevitably be slight variations between various electronic mapping systems. It is not possible to measure the distances for 3 different schools for each of nearly 8000 children other than electronically so it is generally agreed to accept the measurements given by the system chosen - for the LA this is Microsoft Mappoint. The admissions policy for the Academy does not I think specify the system but it is quite possibly the same. The measurement does not use postcodes but a post office mapping point for the individual property.
he will automatically get a place based on the siblings policy thankfully! Siblings get places over children who are located closer to the school.
Sibling priority does come before distance. It is important to know, however, that having a sibling in the Academy will not guarantee a place. In some schools in some years the number of siblings is greater than the number of places allocated to the primary school. When this happens those siblings living closest to the school as the crow flies will get priority for places.
Thank you for trying to debunk some of the rumours which fly around admission to this Academy. You are quite right that many appear to believe that the Academy is able to select its pupils for normal admission when in fact it must follow its own non-selective admissions policy.