Help! We’re Applying for Schools

That time has come and I can’t quite believe it. We are looking at schools for Pinky. She will start in September 2017. How is our biggest baby about to start her school career? Where has that time gone?

We are extremely lucky where we live as a vast majority of schools around us are excellent schools. We also have a lot of schools to choose from. Or so we thought. Our little part of the country is full of younger families therefore all of the schools are over subscribed. This isn’t actually a shock to us; the shock was more how the system works.

We get to pick four choices. Four!

‘Wonderful’ I hear you say, ‘What are you worried about?’ Well, hopefully I am worried about nothing, but here is our predicament…. One admissions officer has told us if we don’t put one of our local schools as our first choice we simply won’t get in. All of the schools are so over subscribed that they only take pupils who have put them as their first choice because there are so many of them. This means if we don’t get a place in our first choice we could end up anywhere! Another admissions officer of a different school has said that isn’t necessarily the case as schools simply get given a list of applicants.

When I first started looking into which schools to put down 3 were easy but the fourth choice was a little harder. I had to look further afield so there was a lot to chose from. I looked at the website for one of the possibilities and it stated that it is so oversubscribed it admits children according to distance from the school. Last years catchment was 500m wide! That’s not a catchment!

Initially I went to see all of the schools by myself but I have had to ask Hubby to visit them all subsequently because I was buckling with the decision. I have my top 2 schools in mind but they are so incomparable I need a second opinion. A pro for one isn’t always a con for the other.

First up; the school Hubby went to as a child.

  • It is a very small school, only one class of 30 children per year.
  • Of these 30 siblings get priority so we don’t know how many spaces there are available.
  • It is a Primary school so Pinky (and hopefully Perky) will be there until they go to Secondary school.
  • It feeds in to the best Secondary school in the area (apparently).
  • It is a high achieving school and its small size doesn’t seem to stop the students from thriving and succeeding in county sports games.
  • The children were all well behaved and polite. All seemed to be happy and confident.

I think Pinky would do well here. The smaller school wouldn’t suit all children but I think it would be fine for her. She would flourish in a smaller environment.

Second choice (currently):

  • This school has 3 classes in each year group, total 90 children each year which means there are more places available even after the siblings have taken priority.
  • It is an Infant school so we would have to apply for the Junior school in a couple of years.
  • The Infant school is fantastic (better than the first choice) but the Junior school is very average… I feel this evens things out a little.
  • The children were very happy and bouncy.
  • There is a preschool nursery onsite.
  • There are breakfast and after school clubs on all days. We don’t actually need these at the moment but what if we did one day?

So there is a little insight into my predicament. To make it worse we live smack bang in the middle of both of them. There is absolutely nothing in it! As far as suitability for Pinky herself I think she will be fine in both schools, I don’t think we can make a wrong choice. But if we make the decision to put a school as our first choice and she doesn’t get in I think we will always wonder ‘What if we had chosen the other one?’

The Pramshed


  1. Four! We get three!! 😛 I have actually only put two, our area is so oversubscribed, every single school gets something like 4 times the amount it can take in actually applying and something like 1 in 6 kids don’t get any of their three choices at all 🙁 I worry, but our first choice is almost literally at the end of our road (0.2m according to google maps) and is a lovely small school, i’m really hoping we get it. our second choice is (as the crow flies) about the same distance, but actually an extra 10 min walk. I have no idea what to choose for choice 3, I grew up in a tiny country town with one choice, there was no wondering where you were going. I am finding it all so much more stressful than expected. xx #fortheloveofblog

    1. So am I. I thought it would be easy. I don’t know why we get four choices, it seems to have made things harder as its given me even more to think about. Good luck with your application. I hope you get what you wanted. I think we have finally made up our minds so we will fill in the forms this week X

  2. I’m right here with you – form filling imminent. We love the pre-school he’s at, and hope he can just move up, but as you say you need to put down a few! Off to some tours this week – eeek. I say just go with your gut, but also don’t worry about whether you’ll think ‘what if’ – the likelihood is you’ll forget you ever applied anywhere else if you’re happy!
    Good luck x

    1. I think we have come to a decision… It wasn’t the one I expected but I am starting to relax now, hopefully that means it is the right thing to do. Good luck with your applications X

  3. Oh gosh! I don’t have to do this for a few years but I can see your predicament! I hope you come to a decision. Good luck. Remember everything happens for a reason and go with the flow! Thanks for linking to #fortheloveofblog

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