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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:44 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:35 am
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Hi, I need to pick some brains. Mine is a little frazzled :shock:

My daughter is fairly settled on Fort Pitt for next September. Amongst other reasons, it's within easy walking distance. We intend to list only that one school which we know has location as its top criteria (after SEN and looked after children). My concern is that if we list a second choice, we might just get it. I know that last year, a girl who lives in Higham got into Fort Pitt so I don't anticipate a problem with my daughter getting a place, but I'm worried that I've missed something obvious.

Is it a dangerous game listing only one school? Any opinions you can offer will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:11 am 
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Quote:
Is it a dangerous game listing only one school?


Yes! :shock:

Quote:
My concern is that if we list a second choice, we might just get it.

???!!!!! :?

Having a second (or subsequent) choice school does not weaken the case of the first choice. If you don't list any alternatives and you fail to get the first choice, your child will only be allocated a school when everyone else choices have been filled. Bottom of the pile and last in line.

Even if you are 100% confident of getting your first choice school you should still list acceptable alternatives.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:43 am 
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louloustrumpet wrote:
Is it a dangerous game listing only one school?

If you are well within the catchment then this may be OK.
However catchments change from year to year and if you were to find that you were just outside then you would get no school. The authority would then allocate one, it is likely to be far away and very undersubscribed.
Having 2nd, 3rd, 4th choices does not affect a 1st choice in any way, you do not strengthen your case by having only 1 choice, IMHO it's just reckless.
Regards
SVE

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:17 am 
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Location: kent
Absolutely agree 100% with the above. We are fairly confident of getting our first choice (The one he desperately wants) But 'just in case' have put down others which would be 'ok'. When allocating schools they start at the top and work their way down (caf) You will get the one you are eligable for that is highest on your list. Putting one only will leave you with no other options if for some reason you don't get it


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:09 am 
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Location: Bexley
I have filled in every box on our caf. I really don't want the lower prefs but I have included them - one is the local sink school - so that my dd doesn't get allocated anything worse. :shock:


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:42 am 
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Every year parents in tears come before appeal panels, saying "We never realised the consequences of putting down a single preference. We thought it would be all right ....."

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:44 pm 
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Am I correct in thinking though, that if your child has been assessed 'suitable for grammar', it is acceptable to only list grammar schools on the SCAF. If this is the case, I probably have 4 I can list but would not want to fill the gaps in with other schools simply to fill all of the boxes.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:48 pm 
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Location: Bexley
Yes, as long as you meet the other criteria for them, eg distance, so you can be 100% certain you will get a place at one of them.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:30 pm 
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Location: Medway & Kent
Personally, I would fill in ALL the gaps on the SCAF form. You have nothing to lose. The LEA will not decide to give you one of your lower choices unless you don't qualify for any of the others. And of course, you can appeal for any school on your list.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:43 pm
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I'd love it if there was any benefit to filling all four boxes with the one school.......but....we know that doesn't help! I have the one local grammar as first choice obviously (actually, my ONLY 'choice') and will put one of the local comps as second choice. My other options around here though - just are NOT options, and I would homeschool rather than send my son to either of the other local high schools/academies. Now it's down to crunch time......arghhhhhh I hate having to make such an important decision with such limited choice. The other grammars just are not suitable transport/travel distance wise.
Due to my husband being a teacher a couple of years ago at one of the local comps (now an academy) where behaviour was absolutely attrocious, and he was known for not tolerating bullying of any description - alot of the really badly behaved students were excluded when it became an academy. These kids are now dispersed amongst a couple of the local high schools - and I honestly feel that my son's safety would be in jeopardy if he was at either one of them. After all, they had no problem beating up my now 20 yr old when he was in year 13 when my husband had the nerve to give a real trouble maker a detention. And that was with the Dad working at the school.......no fear!


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