The Utter Confusion of the School applicant Process!
Seeing all the back to school photos on my news feed has sent my tummy to a bag of nerves. This year we will be starting the School Application Process! To be honest It has come round so quickly (I guess it does for everyone). I feel I know very little about the process, but I know from word of mouth and news feeds, its a scramble for any place. I know also, all the local schools to us have been oversubscribed for the past few years. I’m guessing that’s a bad thing!
We live in an area that has one definite school in catchment. This school has a great reputation, but it’s a church school. They hold 30 places for worshippers and 30 places for everyone else (this may drop if they have over 30 church applications). Then they follow the standard allocation procedure. The School application process for this school is also directly through the school (do I still apply online also? I’m so clueless).
I wouldn’t mind Finlay going to a church school. Although I don’t currently go to church I am not an atheist. I like the values they teach and would like Finlay to learn about religion. To be to make his own mind up when he’s older. However, I don’t hold out much hope of getting a place if I am honest.
The next nearest that may be in catchment, I know little about. It has a good OFSTED rating, but the parent feedback put me off a little. It had the highest percentage of all the schools I was looking at with regards to bullying and how it was addressed. I also have heard very little about this school from word of mouth. This I find nerving and makes me think its not as highly regarded as some others.
Next, and to be honest just from my own research is my current favourite. I am unsure if we are in catchment but last year places did get down to distance and the furthest they accepted was 2.1 km away. We are about 1.9km. There may be hope for this one! I like this school as it promotes a lot of sustainability and Natural Values. They even have there own Honeybees on the Marshlands opposite!
Finally, we have a lovely little School that’s on route to work for both Chris and I. Catchment for this school seems varied, but from last years stats we live too far away by about 0.2km. I do know people who have gone their who live where I live. Each new year will tell I guess.
None the Wiser!
I guess what really worries me is we don’t fall into many catchments as such, that our preferences will not matter and we will be placed anywhere. Scary stuff, thinking this decision is in someone else’s hand.
All I know and have read is that children that have good supportive parents do better at poorer schools than those at good schools with less parental support. So I know at the end of the day, I have some input into how well Finlay achieves. What worries me though is I want Finlay to be at a school where he feels safe and happy, is this something these other schools will offer?
For now, follow this space as I try and decipher the School Application Process. Working out about open days, questions to ask, applications and anything else. Currently I know very little, if anyone has any advice, please comment!