How can you not be in the catchment area of a school that is five minutes walk away and you can see from your house window?! That's the crazy question that I had to ask myself this afternoon!
Well, Oliver is 3 years old and due to start nursery (pre-school) in September. Now our nearest infant/junior school is a lovely school and has a fabulous OFSTED report plus I went there as a kid! I always thought my children would go there and didn't even consider anywhere else. So in July 2011 we went and had a look around the nursery, filled in the application forms and were told they would be in touch in spring 2012.
Anyway, the school secretary called me this afternoon and told me that he had been offered a nursery place but it is an afternoon place as all the morning places are taken. We really want him to go to the morning session as I work mornings, so I asked why he had not got a morning place when we've had his name down since last July? She said that they offer places to children who live in the catchment area first and the morning sessions are most popular. She checked our address and said we're not in the catchment area because we live on the wrong side of our road!!! Apparently our road is the border of the catchment area and we live on the 'other' side of the road so we fall into a different catchment area. I was gobsmacked!!!
I explained why we want Oliver to go to the morning sessions so she's put him on a waiting list (with only 1 other child in front on him!) and said there's quite a good chance that he'll get one. The alternative is that he'll have to go to his current playgroup 5 mornings a week but I'd like him to go to the nursery attached to the school that he'll (hopefully!) go to. Luckily, the catchment area that we are in is for another brilliant school with a fantastic reputation so either way it'll be ok!
Has anyone had a similar experience with the school postcode lottery? What did you do?