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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:40 pm
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My friend wasn't allocated any of her 4 preferred schools last week. These included Parmiter's and QEB for which her DS achieved a score above the published cut-off. I expressed surprise at this and suggested she contact the admissions teams to enquire as to why no offer had been made. She said this would be because she had not put either of these schools as her first choice and that if other candidates had the same test scores but had ranked them as their most preferred school then they would be given the place ahead of her DS.

My understanding has always been that should two applicants be tied on scores, the place would be allocated to the student living closest to the school and the rankings expressed in the original applications were irrelevant. Am I missing something?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:55 pm 
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StAlbansMum33 wrote:
She said this would be because she had not put either of these schools as her first choice and that if other candidates had the same test scores but had ranked them as their most preferred school then they would be given the place ahead of her DS.


I disagree with your friend:

https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/servic ... laces.aspx

"All applications are considered at the same time. Admission rules are applied equally, regardless of how you ordered (ranked) the schools on your form."

Are they in catchment for Parmiters?

"95% of the places available will be allocated to applicants from the following post code areas:
WD3 to WD25; AL1, AL2, AL3, HP1, HP2, HP3 and HA6"

If they are in catchment for Parmiters and scored above 228 then they should have been allocated a place. If they scored 228 then there could have been a number of children on the same score, in which case places will have been allocated in order of proximity to the school.

QE has no catchment. Scores are allocated top down. Where more than one child has the same score then places are allocated in order of proximity to the school.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:00 pm 
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StAlbansMum33 - You are correct. Equal preference requires the admission authority to consider all preferences received for a particular school (first, second, third, fourth etc.) equally and, where the school is oversubscribed, apply the oversubscription criteria. Where more than one preference can be met the local authority will offer the highest ranking preference.

Priority is not given to first preferences over any lower preference . Oversubscription criteria dictates priority for places


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:15 pm 
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Yes, definitely in a priority postcode for P. Thanks for your replies, I was beginning to doubt myself!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:18 pm 
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Possibly your friend was mistaken as to the score her dc got....?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:34 pm 
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I had this very discussion this morning with a friend from work. Her dd just got a place at their first choice local comprehensive. Her dd's best friend didn't get a place at either that school or the other local school - and she said they were kicking themselves for not putting the other school first. I could see she was really struggling to believe me when I was explaining it wouldn't have made a difference.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:10 am 
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Until I looked at this website 2 years ago when my DS was in year 5, I didn't realise that the equal preference system existed, I find it rather strange that such an important decision for parents that it really doesn't seem to be common knowledge. I have of course had to explain numerous times to plenty of other parents of how it works and that each school on the CAF does not know what position their school was on the form.

I was flabbergasted to hear that apparently the headmaster of St Michaels RC school in Watford stated in his talk during the open day last October that if the parents didn't put the school first then they would be unlikely to get it as it was oversubscribed*.

* I cannot verify this as I was not there, but a friend of my wife's texted her to say so.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:31 am 
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I think this is still quite common. Either they don't understand their own system, or what they mean is: Put them in your genuine order of preference & if you want to come here put it first, as if you put somewhere else first & qualify, that it what you will get. I'm perhaps being a little generous, and, of course, that's not what parents hear.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
This is very very common.

At the open evening talk I was sitting in front of a family who I knew were planning to put DAO first choice when the Head of one of our local schools said.

"We are an oversubscribed school so if you want to come here you have to put it first."

I immediately turned around and told them this was not the case and no school knows where they are ranked and that if they put it first DAO would be unable to offer them a place. They lived two streets from the school so would get a place.

Sadly they did not listen to me and put it first so even though their dc was ranked in the top twenty of the academic places they were not offered a DAO place.

Every single year I hear of someone doing this. When we were applying for primary the council held information evenings when they went through the CAF form. But that had all gone by the time we got to secondary application.

Another one was a family very local to DAO but not close enough for a distance place who sat Tiffin girls as backup. Their dd got a rank high enough for both schools but because the DAO rank was outside the 65 they thought it was not high enough and put DAO 2nd.

They then had to move down to near Tiffin and do it all over again for their ds plus find a good primary school for him.

Had they put their first choice DAO first even if their rank had not got them in on allocation day they would have been on the waiting list and got a space when it reached their rank. But because they put it second they did not receive an offer.

Another parents with three siblings put DAO 3rd because their rank was in the 70s so lost the place. They are now doing it all over again with their second dc as the eldest one is now in private school.

I could go on and on................................DG


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