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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:56 am 
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Posts: 54
Hi, I am not sure if you can help. My DS sat and passed the Bucks exam with a view to gaining a boarding place at RGS. He also sat Reading, again for a boarding place.

His preference was for Reading so we placed them 1st of our CAF form. Once the results were out, we received an email from RGS stating that if we wished to be considered for a boarding place, they would need to be placed 1st of the CAF form.

I read their admissions code, and it does not state that it needs to be the 1st choice! but simply that it must be on the form.

We did not get Reading (but are 1st on the wait list). Given his score, we should have been allocated RGS. When I spoke to admissions I was told that they would take those boys who had placed them as their 1st preference even if our score was higher. This is also not stated in their admissions or over subscription policy as published by them.

My understanding of the way that the CAF form works has always been that it is equal preference so that you will not be prejudiced for placing a school lower in your preference list if you fail to gain places at higher listed schools. This seems to be what has happened in our case.

Do we have any chance at all at an appeal? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I feel that we have lost the place because we did not put them first. It seems to make a mockery of the equal preference system mad the advice to all parents to put the schools down in true preference order.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 3579
Hello,

Sorry you missed a boarding place at the rgs.

The writing it as first preference rule was always in the admissions policy for the boarding element, obviously I cannot check 2014, but it was there in 2012 (an raf friend's son boards, and they went through the quandary of whether to put the day place second and he would live with grandparents) the first preference sentence is there in 2015.

The boarding element was always undersubscribed in previous years, so some of the places got transferred to day places after selection. I always assumed this was why they had very strict admission policy, they do not allow you to continue pursuance of other places after accepting either. The boarders in my son's year are mostly raf children who's parents have been stationed abroad, a few children who have problems at home and have social care, and a few such as your son who purely prefer boarding.
The cat I think is a little administrations defunct, as the distance rule dies not apply, and there is no score preference either, I am not entirely sure why there is not a separate admissions form for boarders, I am guessing it is so they can be 100% sure the child either needs or wants the place.

Sorry again about your disappointment, perhaps someone will be along that knows the exact details of the first preference rule.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:07 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:34 pm
Posts: 930
Is there not additional criteria to prioritize children of military families and others with very mobile parents for wanting a boarding place? I know my best buddy has been very anxiously waiting for a boarding place as her OH is RAF. She has heard she has a place at Gordons so very very happy now. I think state boarding is getting more popular with service families so there may be more pressure for places.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 3579
They are top of the admissions priority list at rgs I believe. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7064
I'm wondering whether what the school means is that you can only accept one offer of a school place, and actual allocations can only be made on the basis of the highest ranked school for which you're eligible.

The DfE Admissions Code doesn't allow 'first preference first' as such:
Quote:
1.9 It is for admission authorities to formulate their admission arrangements,
but they must not:
a) place any conditions on the consideration of any application other
than those in the oversubscription criteria published in their
admission arrangements;
......
c) give extra priority to children whose parents rank preferred schools
in a particular order, including ‘first preference first’ arrangements;


The following clauses in the Code relate specifically to boarding places:
Quote:
1.9 It is for admission authorities to formulate their admission arrangements,
but they must not:
k) in the case of schools with boarding places, rank children on the
basis of a child’s suitability for boarding

1.40 Maintained boarding schools can set separate admission numbers for
day places and boarding places. A maintained boarding school can interview
applicants to assess suitability for boarding, but such interviews must only
consider whether a child presents a serious health and safety hazard to other
boarders or whether they would be able to cope with and benefit from a
boarding environment. To help with this assessment, they may also use a
supplementary information form, and information provided by the previous
school and by the child’s home local authority (on safeguarding issues).
These processes, and the timeline for them, must be clearly set out in the
school’s admission arrangements.

1.41 Boarding schools must give priority in their oversubscription criteria in
the following order:

a) looked after children and previously looked after children;

b) children of members of the UK Armed Forces who qualify for Ministry
of Defence financial assistance with the cost of boarding school fees;

c) children with a ‘boarding need’, making it clear what they mean by this.

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 3579
Hello again,

Have just had a quick chat with a school mum in the rgs loop so to speak.
She reckons that back a few years rgs could not even place all its catchment (oh I yearn for those days) and people tried to get in through boarding, when really they did not want boarding, but day places, and were trying to play the system and maybe transfer later. So their caf read something like 1. Challoners 2.rgs 3.rgs boarding. This meant that places that could have been swapped to day places and issued under normal admission criteria were taken by children who's parents would have preferred a day place, but had the cash to board if all else failed. We are only talking about 10 or so places here that were a little ambiguous from the 17 or so boarding places.

Hence the rules where by you must show a preference for boarding above all other, and there is no scope to transfer to a day place after admission. (Children who have been in care, and then go back home can btw, but that is another agenda)

So boarding admissions have their own clauses, with priority given to those in care bless them, those who can receive funding from military, and those in need, then all the rest.

I have mentioned on here before that my son has a close friend who's family life is "seriously messed up mum" and boarding has been a godsend for him, so I am really happy the places do exist.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:12 pm
Posts: 54
Thank you everyone for your comments. No longer need to consider an appeal as we were offered a place today :D


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8119
Audreylawyer wrote:
Thank you everyone for your comments. No longer need to consider an appeal as we were offered a place today :D


Splendid news!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11956
At which school?


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