On allocations' day my dd was 3rd on the waiting list. We live on the very edge of Harrogate and I know of at least one child in dd's year who lives in the next closest village (Killinghall).
I've located a map which shows the catchment area. Personally, if I had to do it again, I'd choose to live in-catchment. My nerves wouldn't stand up to it again.
The lad next door's going for it next year, fingers' crossed for him.
Statistically, of all those applying for it, whether they pass, fail or live OOC, they have a two in three chance of getting in (171 apply for 117 places).
The best place for information is to ring education at County Hall. The information isn't secret and they'll happily tell you.
If you're appealing on over subscription you need a really, really good reason why it HAS to be that school and no other. For instance, your dd studied astronomy and wanted to take a GCSE in it, you could concievably argue that, as Ripon Grammar offered this subject and no other secondary in the area does (to my knowledge, which is now 6 years old, so could be out of date
, needs researching) that only THIS school was suitable. Of course you'd have to be able to prove she already studied it, by attending a club or something.
When is hubby moving up. Is there any chance of dd moving up with him whilst ds stayed with you in situ.
Have you thought of applying for a boarding place for her. Most children tend to go home at weekends and some only do it for a year then change to day pupils.