We have recently had to apply for Jamie's place at senior school and as in my title this is no less than a minefield. The school where we want to send Jamie, the school which is our nearest school is over subscribed many times. It is a good school, has good results and has excellent facilities, as well as being the natural school for Jamie to attend and the school where lots and lots of his friends will be going. But and here is where it becomes difficult it is not straightforward that Jamie will get a place at that school.
Many factors come into play when they allocate places, some which are understandable and some which are not. So we filled in the online form - made our 3 choices, you have to put 3 even if you only have 1 school which would be suitable. The other two choices we made would have involved Jamie having to travel to school via car.
One of the main factors in placement is living within the catchment area, and our choice SBE was the only school in whose catchment area we lived, but only just - from looking at the map, we felt we were really on the cusp of the catchment so we were a little concerned with that. Families who have children at the school have priority, as do children with disabilities (understandable) and children in care who live outside the catchment (didn't quite understand this one) and several other categories too.
You apply for the place in October, but do not find out until March so it is a long time to wonder about it!! Everyone is supposed to find out on the same day 1st March and I was told that you find out via email (which I think may be what happened previously) so I spent the day checking in regularly and getting more agitated as the day wore on and the email didn't arrive. When I went to collect Jamie I overheard that you could check out online so I checked when I came home. What a relief it was to find that Jamie was going to the school that he and we wanted to go to.
After that it was then just to wait and hear if all of his friends had got into the school too, but I guessed that if Jamie was in they would be too, because of where everyone lives. I gave my friend A a quick ring and told her you could find out online, she gave us a ring back a little while later to tell us that G had got in too. Jamie and G have been friends ever since nursery school so it was a very happy household all round. Overall it was just a great relief to know that Jamie's next school step is now settled. We will just be waiting for all the paperwork, uniform requirements and his visits to the school. It's also very scary that my little baby will very soon be heading to the 'big school', but I am so happy that he will be there along with all his friends.
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