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 Post subject: Preference System
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:54 pm
Posts: 31
How does this work.

So we have put following preference

a. Preference 1 : School A.
b. Preference 2 : School B.

Say daughter gets School B, but there is good / reasonable chance but no guarantee she will get School A school as she is in waiting list. We want School A.

So do we confirm the place for School B and can we drop it later on; as and when School A offers the place?


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 Post subject: Re: Preference System
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:26 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
Posts: 4019
Location: Reading
Yes you should definitely confirm you want school B, as if school A never comes up you will be without any school place.
Check whether you go on school As waiting list automatically or need to tell them that's what you want, and what actually happens if and when a place becomes available. (Different areas do it slightly differently). If a place comes up at A then you will be given it automatically and the place at B given up, or you may be asked to confirm you still want it and may be given a short amount of time to decide.


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 Post subject: Re: Preference System
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:26 am
Posts: 1324
Location: Watford, Herts
To further what Tinkers said, accepting the school offered will not affect your chances at your first preference school, nor your chances if you decide to appeal. So you have nothing to lose by accepting it, whereas rejecting it would be running a terrible risk for no benefit.


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 Post subject: Re: Preference System
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:45 am
Posts: 183
Location: Kingston upon Thames
Definitely accept, otherwise you wont have any school place.

You will probably not find out your position on the waiting list for about 3 or 4 weeks. Only then will you realistically be able to estimate a likelihood of an offer at A occurring.

If offer A eventually happens, you can accept it and drop B. Remember a place could still come up after school term has started in September.

It is also possible to be added to waiting list for school C (even though it was originally eliminated as you got a higher preference offer at B). This should only apply if you have now changed your mind about ranking of B and C.


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 Post subject: Re: Preference System
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:16 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:45 pm
Posts: 1488
Just one more thing to add - once you confirm with school A you are on their waiting list, it's worth giving them a call maybe once a fortnight. It may sound like making a nuisance of yourself, but I know of parents who moved up faster on a waiting list because they kept asking the school all the time where they were. I'm not sure it is supposed to make a difference, but I was told it did.... Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Preference System
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4599
PurpleDuck wrote:
Just one more thing to add - once you confirm with school A you are on their waiting list, it's worth giving them a call maybe once a fortnight. It may sound like making a nuisance of yourself, but I know of parents who moved up faster on a waiting list because they kept asking the school all the time where they were. I'm not sure it is supposed to make a difference, but I was told it did.... Good luck!


This can't possibly be true, they have to follow their published criteria, surely?


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 Post subject: Re: Preference System
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
Posts: 4019
Location: Reading
It should not make any difference at all for state schools. The waiting list adheres to their published admissions criteria. Any deviation from that due to parents ringing in or whatever would open them up for all sorts of trouble.

It's possible it might make a difference at Indies though, so may be that's where that comment comes from


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 Post subject: Re: Preference System
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 4581
Location: Essex
Tinkers wrote:
It should not make any difference at all for state schools. The waiting list adheres to their published admissions criteria. Any deviation from that due to parents ringing in or whatever would open them up for all sorts of trouble.

It's possible it might make a difference at Indies though, so may be that's where that comment comes from


Yes, there has been a lot of advice to ring an indie for which your child is on the waiting list and tell them that their school is the only one you could possibly send him / her to - and since the general belief seems to be that when a place is turned down, the head looks at the kids on the waiting list and decides which one s/he would like to invite to fill the void, rather than there being any kind of demonstrable oversubscription criteria, perhaps flattery does work? Absolutely not with a state school, though, as Tinkers and scary mum have also pointed out. Unless it's Thomas Telford, I suppose - I seem to recall that the admissions criteria there include (or did when I looked) the HT perusing the child's year 5 school report and deciding whether or not he thinks he would like to have him / her in his school.

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 Post subject: Re: Preference System
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:45 pm
Posts: 1488
I believe it is mainly indie schools where HTs have a lot of discretion over who they want to see in their school, but I can't tell whether it never happens in state schools. I was once told by someone that keeping in touch with the school was helpful in her getting a place for her DC from a waiting list. I wasn't the one who experienced this so can't comment on how it was possible;I agree though that strictly speaking the system should run on autopilot based on the official over-subscription criteria.

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 Post subject: Re: Preference System
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:08 am
Posts: 403
Independent schools have a great deal of freedom in terms of being able to select based on behaviour, a keenness to attend, being a face that fits etc.

State schools have absolutely no such discretion at all and, even at an Academy school, a Head is not going to flout admissions laws to alter the list order.
Legislation prohibits tinkering with the lists to select some children over others and doing so would open the flood gates at appeal. Popular schools attract lots of appeals. Appeal panels examine who has been admitted from the list especially if there is any question of an error let alone blatant cheating. If a child has wrongly been denied their place from the list, they would win their appeal as would everyone else who got wind of this cheating and who'd lost out and subsequently appealed.

On the basis that no Head wants to either be in breach of admissions laws (professional misconduct at the very least) or have to accommodate dozens of successful appeals, the list moves quickly or slowly only influenced by how well each child on it meets the admissions criteria and how many children offered a place turn it down and how quickly they do this.

edit: Just to add that keeping in touch can speed up good news in one sense: If you ring fortnightly, an academy might be able to tell you that 15 people have rejected their places and the school are therefore now in a position to offer your child a place. However they don't do this directly. They tell your council that a place is now ready to be offered to you and your council then writes to you to formally offer you that place and ask you if you want it. Some councils do this almost straight away. Some take their time to get the letters out. So, whilst keeping in touch cannot speed up getting a place from the list, it can mean hearing about the good news a lot sooner than you might if you just sit and wait for the council letter to come.


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