decision on 1st March? Anyone want to sit and sweat it out with me?

(418 Posts)

Urgh I am starting to feel queasy. I just want to know now. PFB (dd1) doesn't care which school she gets into and dh is being irritatingly pragmatic.

Is anyone else twitching nervously?

Bati Tue 19-Feb-13 09:46:04

Last week i was getting completely stressed over remembering my log in details, so I thought I would do a trail run, only to find that our allocations office have completly removed the on line applications bit from their website
This got me thinking about if they had completly sorted all the kids allocations out and attached it to the on line applications so they have had to remove everyones log on bit so no one finds out early.
In the end I ended up phoning them to find out what happens if I cant remember my passport, would i only have 3 attempts and be blocked ( also secretly hoping they would accidently let slip which school my dd has got)
There response was unlimited attempts and there is a thing you can follow if you have forgotten your log on details and they will email them to you.
There wasnt any hint of allocated school

tiggytape Tue 19-Feb-13 09:52:37

They're not allowed to hint Bati.
In fact your DC's primary school will also know the outcome a bit before you do but they're not allowed to hint either.
National Offers Day is now the standard day for all areas and the LAs all have to announce the results at the same time.

ChippyMinton - Aren't Surrey part of the pan London system? If so it will be 5pm on March 1st.

gazzalw Tue 19-Feb-13 09:55:00

Nice try Bati, but I seem to remember getting the impression that all the allocations are not really entirely sorted until Offers Day or close to it (seem to recall seeing some type of timetable to that effect).

ChippyMinton Tue 19-Feb-13 10:02:46

Tiggytape, yes, part of pan london. Does that mean that the emails are sent then or that I could log in then and no earlier? Not that it matters in the great scheme of things!

gazzalw Tue 19-Feb-13 10:10:46

I seem to remember DC's Head last year swearing blind she didn't know the schools allocation but we knew she was lying! It think it's a tad unfair that the Heads get to know before parents and children -what's that all about Tiggytape?

ChippyMinton, I seem to recall last year that it was on the strike of 5.00 pm that the allocated school details were available online on the Pan-London site. And yes the official emails didn't arrive until some time later...(a matter of hours methinks).

Nooo do the heads really know before us? Why?

areyoubeingserved Tue 19-Feb-13 18:57:25

Feeling quite calm, before the storm perhaps ;) Quick question we shall (most probably) be appealing at one GS as DD missed out by a very small margin and had I believe mitigating circumstances. Anyway she shall of course go on waiting lists for the GS's she passed but just wondered IF she is very fortunate and gets a place from say her '3rd preference' GS waiting list after March 1st, would that then mean it cancels out all her other waiting list places at her '1st' and '2nd' preference GS? Am guessing she shall get allocated the comprehensive and then go on waiting list for the 3 GS's. Is probably VERY unlikely but wondering if she accepted a '3rd choice' waiting list place, could we still hold on for a GS higher up our preference list and hope she may get a place further down the line? I suppose knowing where she is on the waiting list/s help to see what probability of her getting a place is. She passed 3 GS exams, but due to ooc criteria/over subscription not feeling to confident she'll be allocated one.

As for the appeal, mostly because I don't want any 'what ifs' in the future. Is a school appeals are very rarely upheld but have to at least go for it. Then again I could of course be appealing at the GS's she passed at anyway! Oh the joys!!

tiggytape Tue 19-Feb-13 21:18:10

if she accepted a '3rd choice' waiting list place, could we still hold on for a GS higher up our preference list and hope she may get a place further down the line?

Absolutely. The norm is that you remain on the waiting lists of all higher ranked schools than the one you are currently offered.
So if you're offered your 4th choice on March 1st, you stay on the list for schools 1,2 and 3. If you're then offered your 3rd choice from the waiting list in April, you turn down the 4th choice, accept the 3rd choice and stay on the wait list for schools 1 and 2 and so on..
Always email / phone to check you are on the list though. In most cases it is automatic but just be doubly sure.

Re Grammar School appeals - the overwhelming emphasis where the pass mark has been missed is on proving academic ability. Mitigating circumstances can be considered but no matter how compelling these are, it will not overcome the need to prove a child is at the correct level for the school. Mitigating circumstances also vary by nature. If it is something like a bereavement, they will ask for evidence of impact (eg recent dip in school scores) and take this into account. If it is something like being sick on the morning of the exam, they may question why the child was allowed to sit the exam and perhaps not make allowances to the same degree. If it is something like special needs where no adaptations were made for the test day, the panel will consider whether the school knew about the additional needs before the exam took place or not and whether it failed to make necessary adjustments.

If you end up appealing for a GS wheret she has passed the test, proving academic ability isn't the concern. She has proved she has met the required standard. In those cases, it is good to focus on how the school is the best match for the child eg ethos, curriculum, clubs, opportunities. You mustn't criticise the school offered though - just demonstrate why the GS is best meets DD's needs and interests.

areyoubeingserved Wed 20-Feb-13 00:46:44

Thanks so much tiggytape, really really helpful so thank you very much for that. Yes appreciate the special circumstances don't have the same weight as her academic ability. She was out by what would have equated to maybe a couple of questions and is strong level 5a at school
( doing the level 6 extension papers in May) doing very at school, high spelling/reading ages, YG&T. She also passed 3 other GS exams and had an indie offer (due to finances have had to decline) Was 'expected' to pass, have strong support from head and class teacher who shall be writing supporting letters and I do have documented 'medical' evidence and a SC form was handed in on the day. Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing and I did question whether I should have taken her, and postponed exam, she begged (almost) to be taken on the day she's one of those that 'enjoys' in her own way tests/exams and so I trusted her judgment. Hey ho, I like a challenge and so although I know is the longest of long shots want closure really if that makes sense.

Thanks again for explaining the waiting list thing, lets hope I have just one appeal in my hands smile Keep practising how to word our reasons for appeal letter, have heard both keeping it short and to the point the best, and yet others also say make it as lengthy and 'wordy' as possible as you may not get the time on the day to explain your reasons.

Good luck everyone else waiting!

SoImpatient80 Wed 20-Feb-13 09:59:33

Quick question, if DD doesn't get her first/second preference does she auomatically go on the waiting list of these or do we have to contact the school and add her name?

Just wish the 1st would hurry up so we know one way or another. This is my first going to secondary (can you tell lol) didn't realise the waiting would be so stressful!

tiggytape Wed 20-Feb-13 10:12:20

Normally it is automatic and normally the school's website (if it is an academy) or the LA (if the school is a community school) will confirm this. But even if it says it is automatic, always double check - follow up any offer with an email confirming you'd like to remain on the waiting lists for the higher ranked schools named. If it is an academy, tell the school. If it is a community school, tell the LA Admissions people.

Don't expect any immediate movements from waiting lists though. Offers are made March 1st and people have at least 2 weeks to accept or decline places. After that time any 'refused' places start to be offered to those at the top of the list. But some people take a long time to reply and have to be chased. And some people who get a waiting list offer will decide not to accept it and take time to tell the council this. Don't panic if nothing much happens in the first few weeks.

tiggytape Wed 20-Feb-13 10:13:20

((says she who was camped out by her letter box for the whole of March, April and beyond last year!!))

SoImpatient80 Wed 20-Feb-13 10:19:50

Ha ha thanks tiggytape We have everything crossed she gets her first choice GS but we are relying on the distance criteria after LAC, medical needs and then siblings so it could go any way sad just like to be prepared and ready for any eventuality x

One week to go. Hopefully we will know before he goes to school in the morning!

HarrogateMum Fri 22-Feb-13 08:13:10

How do you find out what yr birth rate is for the year?

I asked our admissions office at the council, back when DS1 was starting primary, and confirmed it with them when I was doing the Secondary application for him.

Might be worth ringing yours?

gazzalw Fri 22-Feb-13 08:42:41

I think historically it's the last of three low-birth rate years in a row (this year's Year 6, current Year 7 and current Year 8) before the huge upturn in the birth rate...

Technically speaking the 'fun' with secondary school admissions has yet to come hmm.....

HarrogateMum Fri 22-Feb-13 08:43:29

Boooo my eldest are in yr 3 ....

I would agree with that, it's what we were told too.

It's one of the reasons I am hoping we get DS1 into the boys school - if we do, the sibling rule will mean DS2, in YR2 at the moment, will have the option of going there too, if we deem it the best fit for him closer to the time.

I looked it up on the ONS website. There was a dip in 2001/2002/2003 then it creeps steadily upwards.

gazzalw Fri 22-Feb-13 08:51:12

And as I've flagged up already, you don't see the Councils rapidly expanding existing or building new secondary schools..... yet.... They will undoubtedly wait until there is a crisis for places before they act...

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Fri 22-Feb-13 08:54:11

The birth dip is sickening for me, because DD, who's in a lowbirth year is likely to end up going to a single sex school and hence DS will have to fend for himself in the chaos of September 2015 entries without a sibling leg-up <sulks>

Exactly the same here manky, dd2 and dsd are both in year 4, they all really want the girls school. If we get dd1 in now then the sibling rule pretty much guarantees them places.

tiggytape Fri 22-Feb-13 09:26:44

Same here BoringSchoolChoiceNickname - DS finally got a place last year but there is no sibling link so we have to go through it all again soon just when the birthrate is higher than ever.
The real 'fun' in our area starts for those born 2008 and onwards - there is a steady increase from 2001/2002 onwards but then from 2008 it just booms. We'll miss that fortunately but still be in one of the 'steadily increasing' years.

It worries us because we failed to get a place initially in a 'low' birthrate year so goodness knows what it will be like in future year groups.

gazzalw Fri 22-Feb-13 09:33:43

Well our DS goes to a grammar school out of Borough so no sibling rule will apply for DD (7). There are girls grammar schools around too but not sure at this stage whether with increased competition, DD will make it. The half-decent non-selective girls school in Borough is on the other side of it. It's quite possible that although historically all girls from within Borough have been given places, because of the rising birth-rate and its increasing popularity, by the time DD gets to that stage she might not even get a place.

DW is already starting to agitate about it..... and it's still four years off before we get really angsty.

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