Out of catchment area places

(11 Posts)
iklemma79 Mon 22-Aug-16 07:57:32

Hi there, just wondering if anyone had any experience of applying for out if catchment area places? My daughter is due to start next year and I would like to apply for out of catchment area not for anything like work or convenience just because I'd like a better school! We are from England and moved last year having no idea we wouldn't really have a choice in the matter!confused Any tips would be great thanks !

Datec Mon 22-Aug-16 11:49:49

My tip would be start looking at houses /flats in the catchment for the school you 'want'. Only way it's going to happen as schools are fit to bursting, and out of catchment really a thing of the past unless there are really exceptional circumstances. If you can't afford the area with the so called better school then Make your local school better. Or go private.
Sorry not to be the bearer of brighter news but even catchment children are close to missing out on places in some areas.

iklemma79 Mon 22-Aug-16 12:03:31

Arrrggghh! Hadn't thought it was quite that bad! Ah well will have to be the catchment one just no as moving and private schools aren't an option just now. Thanks for the advice!

KingLooieCatz Mon 22-Aug-16 13:24:33

Eh? Not all schools are bursting. Out of catchment is not a thing of the past. DS is out of catchment for his school, which has a good reputation. There is capacity at his school for more children, as there is at other schools in the city.

Do you have a specific school in mind?

The over-subscribed schools are not always significantly better, sometimes they just have a more middle class intake, which many parents find attractive.

Depends also what type of school is best for your child.

iklemma79 Mon 22-Aug-16 14:13:37

Thank you! We live in gilmerton and our catchment school is gilmerton primary which doesn't have the best reputation but I haven't been for a look yet so might be totally fine! Just want the best for my daughter really. Probably being totally snobby! But I would like to apply to liberton which is only 2 miles away and I get a way better feeling about the place. I think I will check them both out and apply anyway if she doesn't get then at least I tried!!!

Datec Mon 22-Aug-16 16:51:23

Absolutely nothing to lose! ! Liberton not as over subscribed as others in the city, there definitely are some schools struggling to meet their catchment intake..

Sametime Tue 23-Aug-16 11:10:37

Nothing to lose by applying. Coming from England as well, I can see the advantage in the catchment system rather than put down your six top choices and cross your fingers approach in England, but if you don't know about this when you move, it's hard. The other thing to bear in mind as there is no assessment until senior school and no clear Ofsted equivalent, you have very little information to go on. Everyone tells me my local primary school is considered good, but when I ask why, no-one can really say.

KingLooieCatz Wed 24-Aug-16 12:50:00

Scottish schools are inspected, but less frequently than English schools so a lot can change between reports. You might have to cut and paste the links.

www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20074/schools/1006/school_inspection_reports

You can also dredge up data on attendance and other factors here.

www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/School-Education/AttendanceAbsenceDatasets

Table 3.1 is attendance by primary school that notes e.g. truancy and exclusion. You'll want to better with excel than I am with clicky links. You can sort the data so you only see Edinburgh schools. The data doesn't paint the whole picture of course, I took attendance to be the most relevant, suggesting parents motivated to support their children's education. I had a quick peek and on the face of 2014/15 and all other things being equal, if I had the choice I'd go for Liberton to be fair (78 exclusions versus 5, 50 very lates versus none, could be one or two challenging kids racking the numbers up). That's not to say there aren't loads of happy kids doing really well at Gilmerton though, and an amazing bunch of teachers as well.

I also looked at school websites, for us breakfast clubs and after school were important. Might not be for you. Of course some schools might be busier arranging fantastic extra-curricular stuff than they are at putting it on the website.

If you're lucky the parents/parent council/PTA might have an open Facebook group, you can nosey what they're chatting about.

It is also not unknown for a prospective parent to come to a school at pick up time and chat to existing parents to find out what they think of the school.

It feels like such a huge decision, as we all want to do the best we can for our kids and starting school feels like such a huge step. But I bet whatever school you look at most parents would say they are happy with it.

iklemma79 Wed 24-Aug-16 13:51:27

Thanks for that info kinglouiecatz! Brill! I have previously looked at website/facebook for each school and gilmerton has neither so I have no idea! But I'm trying to arrange a viewing of both but may just pop down there as you at pick up time see what they are like! I will definitely be applying g for liberton and keeping all fingers crossed!! Thank you again

Groovee Wed 24-Aug-16 14:00:52

It does depend on the area. Our area people rarely get an out of catchment place when there are 75 catchment children.

Doesn't hurt to apply, it's a simple process and by the summer term you know if it was a yes or a no. My friend applied for out of catchment, appealed and still turned down but on the last day of the term got a call to say a place available for starting on such and such a date. Missed out on transition but the child knew their classmates from nursery.

Gyderlily Wed 24-Aug-16 14:23:07

Out of catchment is not a thing of the past... That's rubbish! When my daughter started in primary 1 our school (very good one with excellent reputation) accepted every out of catchment place that was applied for! I don't know how many altogether in the 3.5 classes there were but there were 6 out of catchment children in her class alone! It also gets easier the further up the school they get as p1 tends to be more over subscribed than other years! Contact the school, they will know how likely it will be smile

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