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 Post subject: waiting Lists
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:05 pm
Posts: 103
Okay, now the devils mind is getting back to work - another 19 days to go....and all sorts of possibilities are springing up.Confused on one such ....

Say for instance, you put Tiffins as your first choice and Nonsuch as the second on the CAF; You got into Tiffins.Nonsuch also wrote to say you were eligible for admission but did not get it because it was not your first choice. And if for whatever reason you thought, oh its going to be better to go to Nonsuch now ( movement plans not materialising etc...) , is it possible to get into Nonsuch at that stage? Their waiting list criteria says you get on the waiting list if you have not got a higher preference offer.

Any comments/suggestions / past experience ?

Thanks in advance
Queenma


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 Post subject: Re: waiting Lists
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:17 pm 
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Yes you can go on the waiting list (and to the top of it as well since you would have scored higher in theory than anyone else on the list) but I don't know at what stage. Whether it can happen on March 2nd or whether you have to wait until they start formally organising lists, I have no idea.

I know of people in this situation who haven't requested to go on the list of a lower ranked school but have been invited to do so by direct approach from that lower ranked school. Therefore I'd say that not only is it possible but in some cases it is positively encouraged! This must be very frustrating for those who see their own place on the waiting list slipping backwards but what's fair and what is allowed are sometimes two different things I suppose.


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 Post subject: Re: waiting Lists
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:10 pm 
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Queenma

Yes I can confirm from past experience that if your child does very well at any of the lower ranked schools they will directly invite you to go to the top of their waiting list!


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 Post subject: Re: waiting Lists
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:00 pm
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Location: RBK
To avoid these hastles, it is better to state your true preferences on CAF. As current system of admission is based on Equal Preferences, you wouldn't lose out. For example, if your first choice is Tiffin but the child has apparently done better in Slough, then you could get Tiffin if your child has done well there too, otherwise you would still get Slough. Nothing to lose if you put Slough as the second choice.


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 Post subject: Re: waiting Lists
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:49 pm
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I thought that if you achieved your highest preference school, all chances of going to any lower placed school were then out of the question. I thought you could only go on the waiting list of a higher preference school than the one you had been allocated and not the reverse. Which is why the CAF form has you place schools in preference order.

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 Post subject: Re: waiting Lists
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:44 am
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dlb in theory yes. In practice no. The Grammar schools are competitive not just to get into but between themselves. Each wants the brightest and best pupils for themselves. If their top scorers have chosen a higher option school and been successful in gaining a place there, the lower ranked Grammars will still approach them to try to effectively poach them away.

It makes a mockery of the ‘one child-one offer ‘ sentiments behind the whole CAF system though because the brightest children can end up with several Grammar School offers in effect. They get the initial offer from their most preferred one and then get invited to go on the waiting lists of different (lower ranked) Grammars with an almost guaranteed place there as well (since they’d go straight to the top of the list by virtue of their super high score).

And for those people who did not get their preferred school but instead find themselves 4th on the waiting list, they could in theory quickly slip backwards as other children jump ahead of them on the list. How many children in practice though are super high scorers AND have fickle parents who want to dither between Grammar School offers until the last possible minute is debateable. I suspect not many children have a combination of those two factors.


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 Post subject: Re: waiting Lists
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:05 pm
Posts: 103
[And for those people who did not get their preferred school but instead find themselves 4th on the waiting list, they could in theory quickly slip backwards as other children jump ahead of them on the list. How many children in practice though are super high scorers AND have fickle parents who want to dither between Grammar School offers until the last possible minute is debateable. I suspect not many children have a combination of those two factors.
][/quote]

I do sometimes get quite woried about the way people make such blanket statements about how and why people have to change decisions. You do not have to be FICKLE to change decisions - a lot happens in people's lives that has to be given importance above sticking to a decision you thought was right 6 months or more before it actually materialises !
Frankly although my query was purely technical and more wanting to know how it would affect my child if someone did what I have mentioned above (if she was on a waiting list etc..) , I was a bit taken aback with the last response. Also, does it not mean that if the Tiffins place is given up in the above instance in favour of a Nonsuch place,then someone is going to move ahead in the Tiffins waiting list - things are equal on the balance !

On the practical side, If the system has to be fool proof,then schools must not be allowed to write to individuals at all ! How much they will agree in the world of wanting the best,is another question all together...

Queenma


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 Post subject: Re: waiting Lists
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Queenma - I am sorry if you thought I was rude with the word "fickle"

I guess what I mean is this: All parents have to abide by the October 31st deadline when detailing their school preferences. The vast, vast majority of parents are stuck with those choices even if something quite dramatic happens in their lives that necessitates them contemplating a house move in the near future.
All parents get ONE allocation on March 1st (well hopefully they do - I have heard of some at Primary level who get none!). It might be their 1st choice, their 6th choice or a school that didn't even feature on their CAF form at all. If they are unhappy with this then they have limited options (waiting list or appeal) which may or may not eventually lead to a better school place for them.

It is somewhat unfair then that in an area where schools are massively oversubscribed, places are at a premium and where the system allows very little leeway for ordinary parents to change their mind or pursue better options even in the event of family upset that SOME parents end up with 2 or more offers for very desirable schools which they can mull over and pick between (and not all of these "2 offers" parents will have suffered some awful calamity. Some will just be fickle. They are only being given a choice because their child has scored so highly not for any compassionate grounds such as a need to move house).

I am not unsympathetic to people whose situation changes between October and March. I was just stating that lots of people face such changes without the option of being able to hang onto a couple of school options and mull it over. Anybody else changing their mind and informing the LA of such would be reclassed as a late applicant and penalised for this despite the fact that they may have very valid reasons for changing their minds eg bereavement or redundancy and house move.

Of course each child can only attend one school so eventually the parents have to jump one way or another and the rejected place will go to a very grateful person waiting on a list. But waiting on a list is no fun so I have a lot of sympathy for those parents and children too.


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 Post subject: Re: waiting Lists
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:06 pm 
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Posts: 197
I confess to being a fickle mum. I would of course rather not be, and in all likelihood I will not have the opportunity, but there is a scenario under which I would be playing the odds. Our first choice is our preferred school but it is possibly not that easy to get to. In the event that we are allocated a place I will be considering it carefully. The first thing I would do is to put us on the waiting list for our second placed school, immediatly.

Next we would try the journey at the right time of day to and from the school using the transport options which I have already investigated. I would want to see how many other children travelled the same route and investigate reliability etc. I haven't done this previously as taking a day off school on the off chance is not a sensible thing to do IMHO. I also would want DD to carefully consider whether she really prefers the school (still) and is prepared to make the jouney.

We would also consider moving. Whilst we don't currently have to move we have toyed with the idea for a few years but had no particular 'kick' to do so. This would be the 'kick' to consider carefully exactly where would be sensible to move to and investigate the financial and geographic implications.

I coud have done all of this prior to filling in our CAF but our decision process would have been a nightmare factoring in all the possibilities.

It's not ideal, for anybody, but it is what it is, and I would hazard a guess that there are many 'fickle' parents such as myself.


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 Post subject: Re: waiting Lists
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:44 am
Posts: 269
At the risk of inadvertently becoming the 'rude' poster on this thread (and I really don't mean to be rude to anyone - it is the system which allows 2 choices that is unfair not the parents who work within that system) ...I am just very surprised to hear that somebody would put a school down as first choice when they don’t know if they would want it or if the journey is feasible. I’d be terrified of getting a place there but NOT being so highly placed as to invite ‘poaching’ offers from the other grammars as back-up. In general, you cannot rely on a child scoring highly enough in multiple tests to grant extra flexibility once the results are known or factor this in as a possibility when filling out the CAF form. As everyone knows, any child can have a bad day and do better on some tests than others.

It sounds threekids that you have a lot of back-up scenarios planned and are able to be flexible so I am sure things will work out well and you will get a place that is both academically and geographically acceptable. I’d be a bit worried to think though that other parents who lack this flexibility treat the CAF form as a starting point rather than a final declaration of true preferences. Not that many people have children scoring so highly on several tests that they will have a theoretical choice of 2 schools after March 1st. For most people their allocation is the only option they will have and if they relied on being able to pick and choose after March 1st, they might come really unstuck.


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