I've heard some conflicting advice and I need your help please! My DD has been offered a place at both SHS and HSFG but isn't within the 120 for each. If we put HSFG first and then don't get it, SHS have said we jeopardize our place with them by not putting it first. Is this true? Apparently all those who did put SHS first, even if they are way below DD in the rankings will get a place. Can someone confirm if this is true or not?
What the school is saying is that if you don't put the school first, your chance of getting allocated that school is lower. That's because the LEA will try and allocate you your first choice.
What you're thinking "is that unless I put the school first, they won't consider me". That's not what happens*. If you don't get your first choice, and have put SHS second, it becomes your 'effective first choice' and you will be considered for a place equally along with all other first choices. This is all carried out by the LEA, and the schools have no knowledge of how you ranked them on the CAF.
* It did used to happen 8 or 9 years ago with one particular faith school, who said in their admission policy that the children had to have put the school first to be considered. At that time, results of the grammar test were not given out to parents until allocation day. What ended up happening was parents who really wanted a grammar but had this school as a fall-back were forced to put it first, ended up getting allocated it, then had to appeal for a grammar place even though their child may have got the highest score in the 11+. This is now expressly not allowed under the Schools Admissions Code, but the 'folk memory' of it happening still persists in Playground Gossip.