2020 case study - ordering your preference schools

Mr M made a secondary application for his daughter as follows –

  1. School A               out of catchment upper               
  2. School B               out of catchment upper               
  3. School C               other LA upper

Mr M isn’t particularly keen on his catchment upper school (School D) and doesn’t include it. He thinks that his daughter will always get a place later on if he’s not able to secure one of his preferences.

On 1 March we let Mr M know that unfortunately the schools he listed were all oversubscribed and we were not able to offer a place. With all his preference schools full, we offer a place at the closest school that has a vacancy at that time, which was not a catchment school.

The school offered happens to be further than Mr M wants his daughter to travel. Mr M would actually now rather have a place at his catchment school but School D is full (of catchment and non-catchment children that listed it on their original application). Mr M cannot state a new preference for School D until the third round of allocations and may still not get a place in later rounds if enough places are not freed up.

Buckinghamshire residents have the opportunity to list 6 preferences. Think carefully before not including your catchment school(s) amongst your preferences. There is no guarantee of a particular school but you have priority for your catchment school. Bear in mind that if your preferences aren’t very realistic, and you do not list your catchment school, you may be allocated a school much further away than you are willing for your child to travel.

 

Mrs S made a secondary application for her son as follows –

  1. School E               out of catchment grammar school
  2. School F               out of catchment grammar school           

 

Mrs S’s son has qualified for grammar school so Mrs S decides not to list any upper schools. She also really likes two grammar schools that are out of catchment and thinks she might be lucky and get a place as she knows that children have gone to that school from her area in the past.

 

On 1 March we let Mrs S know that unfortunately the schools she listed were oversubscribed and we were not able to offer a place. The rest of the Buckinghamshire grammar schools were also oversubscribed so we cannot offer a school for her son.

 

Mrs S wishes she had included her catchment grammar school on her application and not taken a risk in leaving it off. She now has to wait until the third round of allocations to even state it as a preference and may still not get a place in later rounds if enough places are not freed up.

 

If Mrs S had stated her catchment grammar school for her son, she would have been offered a place in the first round of allocations as they were able to make offers to all the catchment children and some children out of the catchment area.

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