Local Talk

Appealing to get into Dorothy Stringer

(24 Posts)
WouldLoveSomeAdvice Tue 06-Mar-12 12:40:42

Hello all smile

My DS was unlucky and did not get a place at Stringer as we and he had hoped. We are intending to appeal, and I was hoping a parent of a child at Stringer would be kind enough to PM me, so I can ask some questions about the school. I really would be most grateful smile.

Equally, if anyone has been through the appeals process with Brighton and Hove Council, I would love to hear about it. It feels somewhat daunting at present confused.

Thank you in advance smile.

lucjam Tue 06-Mar-12 13:02:50

Hi my kids are 9 and 5 so I don't know much but I do know that every person who appealed last year got a place (inc. my friends DD). Give me a year and i'll be posting about this too i'm sure. good luck to you hope you get in.

WouldLoveSomeAdvice Tue 06-Mar-12 13:17:33

Hi Lucjam
I know that last year all appeals were won, but it was a specific set of circumstamces. The school had announced they were going to admit extra 30 or so children this year, so the children last year won because Stringer acknowledged they did have the space for the extra bodies. It won't be the same this year alas!
In the past, about 7 or 8 children each year have got in through appeal, out of about 25-30 cases, so I'd love to improve my DS's chances smile.
Good luck for next year smile

WouldLoveSomeAdvice Thu 08-Mar-12 09:55:24

Hopeful bump smile

lucjam Thu 08-Mar-12 14:45:42

Sorry that wasn't very helpful info, I didn't know that about the places. Have you tried looking online at appeals and how to win them, I think you have to have a really solid reason as to why your child should attend this school. Can you think of anything that would set him apart from other appeals? Sorry I can't be more helpful.

noddyholder Thu 08-Mar-12 14:49:03

My ds went to stringer although he is 17 now and at college but I thoroughly recommend it he was v happy there and never ever had a bad word to say about it

pinkhebe Thu 08-Mar-12 14:51:50

Well if Varndean is the school you've been allocated, you've not been particularly unlucky either!

melodyangel Thu 08-Mar-12 19:40:29

Er as Noddy said, almost word for word.
And pinkhebe too actually.

But good luck with the appeal hope you get the result you want.

WouldLoveSomeAdvice Thu 08-Mar-12 20:14:40

Thanks for your replies smile. I know that Varndean is not a bad school; it is just that Stringer feels like a better school, and one more suited to my DS who is very sporty and academic. He is really upset that ALL his footie friends got a place and not him, he really has no close friends going to Varndean sad, and that is what is 'unlucky'.

I am not jumping up and down shouting that life is unfair that he has got Varndean, but we owe it to him to try and get him into Stringer imo. We knew we would get one of the two schools because we made considerable sacrifices to get into the joint catchment area, so I would have been jumping up and down had we not got either!

I can only find generic info about school appeals online, so I was posting hoping to get to talk to someone who knew the score on the ground. I can't imagine that none of the 2000 current V/DS parents aren't on MN wink.

Noddy and melodyangel - what do you think Stringer is particularly good at? What made it work so well for your children? Please PM me of you don't want to overshare on here of course. Thanks!

pinkhebe Fri 09-Mar-12 13:08:10

My friends went through this last year, and having had 3 daughter go to DS they were very upset to be allocated vardean. They didn't appeal in the end, they went for another look around Vardean, and came to the conclusion it would be fine (also a academic child). She's doing very well now. Another friends child is at vardean, and is on the football team - so they do play football there as well!

If your son is at one of the large junior schools in the area, they'll be loads of people in his position and they're very good at keeping former school mates in the same class.

You'll also find that they set for PE, so if your son is very sporty he'll be with other children of the same ability.

Added value is much better at varndean grin

WouldLoveSomeAdvice Fri 09-Mar-12 14:13:03

Ta pinkhebe. I've looked at value added. Varndean's was certainly lower last year, as were the academic results - markedly so sad.

As I said, ALL of DS's footie friends got DS, so while he may know a few kids who will be at Varndean, all the kids he spends time with now won't be there, which I think is tough-going when he is transitioning from juniors to seniors. He certainly doesn't know anyone else who he could walk to school with on his first day, for example.

Anyhoo, we will give the appeal a go and see what happens. Varndean wouldn't be a disaster, but DS would definitely be the better school for him, so we will see what they say...

As I said before, if anyone has anything that would help us, please shout smile.

noddyholder Fri 09-Mar-12 14:33:29

I don't think the parents I know with children at Varndean were ever as happy with the school as the DS ones.

pinkhebe Fri 09-Mar-12 18:08:12

sorry, I had 2 windows with the info open at the same time and got confused! but the information would be slightly skewed due to the recent change in head at vardean, and the new catchment areas not making a difference yet. I think this will be the first year that the changes will be noticable.

I was very suprised to see that only 5% start DS at a low level.

(at least you weren't allocated Bacca grin)

melodyangel Sun 11-Mar-12 16:55:39

Not sure I can give much advice as don't know any thing about the appeals process or what they are looking for but do feel free to PM me any questions you have.

As to what stringer is good at I would say that they we're rather good at it all but I was especially impressed with thier pastoral care.

ArcticRoll Tue 13-Mar-12 07:01:54

Hi my son and daughter are both at Stringer. Don't want to get your hopes up but I believe that everyone who appealed last year were offered a place and they took in an extra 30 pupils. The previous year I know quite a few appealed and know of only one pupil who was finally offered a place.
It's difficult if all your sons friends are going there and he isn't. Please feel free to message me if you want any more info and good luck! When looking at results bear in mind that for that academic year Stringer was still only accepting pupils from very small catchment which was v middle class whereas Varndean had a much more diverse catchment. I always think that Stringer' s results should be better considering their previous catchment.

RavenVonChaos Tue 13-Mar-12 07:11:40

Wouldn't touch DS with a barge
Pole. Dd went in at level 5 and plummeted by year 9. School not interested in the middle band of kids only high fliers and super sporty. Too rigid and completely useless at dealing with my daughter. Extremely disappointed. Governing body like a group of back slapping dinosaurs. Too big and run like a corporation.

cantspel Tue 13-Mar-12 10:38:00

I dont think you can argue that he will have no one to walk to school with as all his friends are going to DS. Vardean and DS are right next to each other and share the same playing fields.

WouldLoveSomeAdvice Tue 13-Mar-12 20:49:12

melodyangel - I will do smile

Arcticroll - I will PM you too! Yes, last year was an exception year because the school were taking on an extra class-worth of children this year. I know that appeals other than last years tend not to be successful, so we aren't getting our hopes up and haven't even told DS were are appealing. I take your point about previous catchment and results, however, I am mainly basing my judgements on what we saw when we went round last year; Varndean was OK, Stringer was fab!

RavenVonChaos - interesting to hear your views. It is uncommon to find parents unhappy with Stringer it seems. If we do end up with Varndean, I will take some comfort from what you say smile.

cantspel - don't worry, I wasn't going to use walking to school alone as a reason to appeal! I said that to illustrate how it is ALL of DS's friends that have got Stringer, and that he doesn't know anyone one going to Varndean well enough to know where they live iykwim. If he does end up at Varndean, we will have to get him to try and make friends with some of these other children obviously.

Thanks for all your responses; very kind of you to take the time smile

upthealdi Thu 15-Mar-12 09:43:02

Does anyone know what's happening with Brighton seconadary admissions now?

Saw in the paper they got such a wide ranging response to the consulation about moving the catchment areas they've put it all on hold!

I wonder if that's also linked to the fact that lotteries might be banned so they trying to work out what to do?

melodyangel Thu 15-Mar-12 11:16:46

upthealdi - No idea but also keen to know. Have been trying to keep an eye on this since the government said they wanted to ban the lottery systems. Please do post if you hear anything.

OttoRose Thu 15-Mar-12 12:01:14

WouldLoveSomeAdvice have you contacted your local councillors? They can help with schools appeals.

lidldarling Thu 15-Mar-12 12:08:30

We've just squeezed ours into y9 at Dorothy Stringer (compelling emotional reasons, orphan, etc.) and they are struggling to get him a table into the classroom so he can be in the sets he needs to be in. So, in my experience they will try very hard to accommodate a child when they feel it's the right thing to do.

Varndean has gone down a lot actually. The new head has not been popular and apparently the students feel he has taken the good feeling out of the school. Their results are shocking when compared to DS (55/75% A-C inc maths and english, from memory). But maybe that's just teething problems.

PaWithABra Sat 02-Mar-13 23:20:49

How did it go ?

A year later and we are in a similar position . Was really hoping for stringer but he is allocated varndean.

notsorockinhippy Tue 05-Mar-13 15:16:23

I'd be interested to know too, we are just now starting with all this & hoping for DS too, but swinging between trying for a scholarship for BC as we are concerned DD will get Varndean instead, interested in the pastoral care angle though, this could suit DD as she has health issues which would worsen with any stress - is amine field isn't it

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