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Primary School. An essay length post.

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Thursday 11 November 2010 4.11am
DoDo16 wrote:
I'm afraid it's written in black and white in their Admissions Policy. For both foundation and open places, children in the nursery are ranked above those hoping to get a place through proximity to the school.

Er, it may have been in black and white at some point in the past (and I can't comment on that) but certainly looking at the latest admissions document (page 2 here) the criteria clearly no longer include whether a child already has nursery place. Indeed, they say in just about the only bold text in the document;

'Children attending the nursery class at the Cathedral School cannot be guaranteed places in the reception class and parents will need to apply separately for such a place.'

I guess whether in practise these documented criteria are 'just for show' is the whole point of this thread.
Thursday 11 November 2010 11.08am
I'm afraid you're mistaken. Keep reading the same document. On page 4, sections (iii) and (iv) show that "Children who have a place in the nursery" are ranked above "nearness of the home to the school". That's if you're after a foundation place for reception class.

If you're after an open place, look further down, same page, section B (iii) and (iv), it's the same story again. Children who already have a place in the nursery have priority over those living close to the school.

A school has to be transparent about its admissions policy, and Cathedral is no different. It is possible that some children at the nursery will still be outranked by other candidates (e.g. siblings, SEN children), so they can't guarantee all the places.

Most schools now recognise that it is not fair to link nursery places to reception places, bearing in mind nursery school is non-statutory and many parents/carers choose not to send their child to nursery. They shouldn't be penalised by making that choice when it comes to admissions at reception. Unfortunately, Cathedral doesn't see it that way...
Thursday 11 November 2010 6.10pm
I think that policy has changed as it was previously made very clear that there was no link between nursery places and reception place.

It may all be academic, excuse the pun, as many schools may not be able to fund a nursery class soon due to budget cuts. Apparently several local schools are already reviewing this, don't mean to be alarmist but this might be a question to ask when looking at schools.
Wednesday 17 November 2010 4.41pm
To add my tuppence worth to the mix, my little boy went to the Arc nursery and stayed there until he was ready to go to reception. At that point [he is now in year 3 at Cathedral] I hadn't realised that many of the local schools had a nursery class. We did get a foundation place in reception: I think there were three or four completely 'new' children that year. We are church-goers but are way down the list [not C of E] so I didn't rate our chances too highly.

Like Emmab states a lot does depend on siblings: in the current nursery class there are quite a few with older siblings in the school. BUT people do move, change their mind, etc so there is always a chance.

In this area we do seem to be blessed with some very good state primary schools: cathedral, charles dickens, boutcher, riverside, for example.

Good luck with your school applications.
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