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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:25 pm
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Our local comp is heavily oversubscribed, however with the advent of a Free School in the local area places at the comp are being offered out of catchment this year for the first time in 3 years. This bodes well for us hopefully as we are far out from the school but still in catchment, and our younger child DS who is in present Yr5 we hope can go to this comp with his friends, not being grammar school material like DD, present TGS Yr9. Anyway, help please. Once the school has filled all its catchment places (and obviously the distance of the funny shaped edge of the catchment area varies widely in distance from the school, the school is actually at one far end of the area) they are now offering places at 529m outside the catchment area. But at the catchment area's shortest or longest point from the school?? Presumably all school use the same system..... after a few emails plus several phone calls I'm embarrassed to call the school yet again to clarify.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:54 pm 
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Location: Essex
Either the school website or the LEA's (or both, really) must state the point from which distances are measured. The information about the distance of x metres presumably refers to how far away the last applicant offered a place lives, so just somewhere that distance from the set point at the school - usually the main entrance. Exactly where that child lives is largely irrelevant; the next nearest person applying may be a metre further away but in a totally different direction.

Does this help or have I totally misunderstood?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:16 pm 
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The school published their initial distance offered at about 2.6km on offers day, but when I rang to ask what distance they are offering at now offers have been accepted/declined, I got a message back saying 529m. So I was very confused. I called back saying 2.6km plus a further 529m? they said no, we are offering 529m outside of the catchment area. The shortest distance from the school to the edge of the catchment area is nearly 1km, at the longest point about 5.5km.

I wondered if there was standard form used across all schools that an admissions expert could enlighten me with - but they are an academy, perhaps they are doing their own thing?!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:08 am
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Sometimes a school has a defined catchment area instead of just taking people who live closest in any direction.
Sometimes catchment areas are oddly shaped and not a neat circle centred on the school
So it is possible to live 2km away from the school yet be outside catchment area and therefore a lower admissions priority than someone 3km away who lives inside catchment area.
In that case, it isn't possible to look at distance offered from school to gauge your chances of getting a place. You'd have to know if you were in or out of catchment regardless of the actual distances involved. If you were out of catchment it is generally correct that people living further away but in catchment get places first.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:15 am
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Perhaps I've missed something, but you say "places at the comp are being offered out of catchment this year for the first time in 3 years". If loopylou is correct in saying that "it is generally correct that people living further away but in catchment get places first", then that would suggest that everyone in catchment who wants a place has been allocated one, otherwise they wouldn't need to make offers to out of catchment children. You say that you are "far out from the school but still in catchment". So if the above is correct, then you should have received an offer. If not, then they're making offers to children out of catchment when there are still children in catchment who want a place - which seems pretty odd to me. Does the school not publish any details of it catchment policy on-line?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:22 pm 
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Location: Essex
OP is talking about a year 5 child, I think, not one for whom s/he has applied for a place this year.

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