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Not Enough Places...


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Hi

Some of you may remember my post a few weeks ago regarding the Chairperson child not having a place at the Pre-School, this is a bit of a follow on...

 

We have decided to open 4 mornings (rather than the current 3) but as I am on mat leave for a year and can only work 3 mornings, we will then ask the person who takes over of they would like to continue as deputy leader for the extra session and possibily a 5th Morning.

 

However... today a familiy turned up to drop their daughter off (no prior notice!!) another mother has asked for a place for Son and another thinking about it, we now have 15 children wanting 9 places!! such a nightmare! We are in a small classroom and only 2 staff. We are already restricting 2 years old to 2 mornings a week and in some cases we can't offer 15 hours for 3 year olds! Our policy states that children will be offered places by date of birth order, but when I mentioned this at the committee meeting all the parents felt it should be worked out by asking which parents arn't bothered which days and work around the children who arn't flexable, and today the Chair has mentioned giving places to children in the village first. Also we started asking parents for a deposit (£10) to secure a place (not set days - just a place) so now I am trying to write up a plan of which children can attend on which days for the next 12 months, but I need a way of ensuring that if offer a place to a child and they accept - they can't change their mind as we will have lost other children (if you know what I mean?!)

 

So basically how do other setting work? how do you reserve places? how do you allocate places? how do you make it fair? Who gets first choice on places? how do you decide who loses out? Some parents have already filled out registration forms and sent deposits - others haven't - all abit of a mess and giving me a headache!!!

 

Sorry for such a long post!! and thanks for reading!

Edited by Guest
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Hi you have to look on the bright side of things, at least you have lots of children wanting to use your Pre-School!!!! Anyway joking aside. Our waiting list goes on date of birth, once a child reaches 2 and a half we offer them a place if theres one free. If we are full (we are registered for 30 children (but only have 26 per session max) and run 5 mornings a week) we offer the child at the top of the list when a place becomes available. We have arranged to open up for one afternoon a week to accommodate extra cildren we had on our list but this was only a temporary measure and made clear that once place became available in the morning we moved whole class. Such as intake in sept and jan. Hope this makes sence

 

Kat

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Hi darlinbud - will look at this again tomorrow - bit late for me now.

 

Do you not have an admissions policy?

 

In my experience you really need one and you need to follow it to the letter and then it's completely clear and transparent.

 

Hope that make sense.

 

Sunnyday

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I'd like to suggest that as the 'committee' or 'chairperson' keeps moving the goal posts that you 'delegate' the admissions job to them!!!!!!

 

Sorry maybe not of much use. xD:(

 

Just saying out loud what you might be wishing you could do. :o

 

Peggy

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WE are a committee run pre-school, not attached to the church but are in a church hall and are the only RC pre-school in our LA. Our admissions policy states that children of parents who worship within our parsih are frist & within that criteria we allocate by date of application & birth. Not a totaly fair system to some but I have yet to find one that is fair to all. My point is we turn away (on average) 15/20 children every September from our waiting list- if we did not strictly adhere to our admissions policy we would be in deep trouble. What is the point in having an admissions criteria if your Chair is going to suggest doing something differnt? I'm inclined to agree with Peggy and hand it over to her to administer and take the flack from as well. As for parents taking a place and then changing theoir minds, well I'm afraid that is something that we all suffer from, I'd love to know how to stop that as well!

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Hi Darlinbud,

This wont really help you - but I have a slightly different problem. Everything was going swimmingly for the Sept. intake until two of our local schools decided to change their admissions - one is now taking Spring birthdays in the middle of Sept and Summer birthdays from after half term in October, this means that I have parents wishing to return in September for a few weeks - never known this before. The other school has obviously been over subscribed with Autumn and Spring birthdays and is not taking children whose birthday is from mid March until January, having in previous years taken children with birthdays up to early April. How can you be expected to second guess schools?

 

Confused - certainly. Having to put off new children that we had been hoping to welcome in September.

 

Does anyone know if Ofsted allow the odd session one child over your registered number? What might the consequences be if we did go over? Suspect insurance might be null and void for a start!

 

For my part, when I am doing admissions, I do tend to use a first come first served basis, and I remind current parent base to register early to avoid disappointment as we get so few places come up each year, this coming year for instance we only had 7 places to offer.

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You can't go over your numbers, except in an emergency situation (say, member of child's family is seriously ill/in hospital and they need someone to look after the child for the day, or so).You would also have to inform the 'O' people that you had done this, and why. BUT, you can change your registered number.............it doesn't seem to matter about a set amount of floor space any more, we were told it's up to us to set the number of children WE think we can fit into the available space and with freeflow play, that gives us more space as the children are outside much of the time!But yes, if you went over your numbers as a general thing, your insurance would be invalid.

so, this might help darlinbud's setting?? could you take more children in the room/s that you use?? It might be the solution to your problem?

Edited by narnia
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Have just spoken to Ofsted and been told to write in for a variation, giving as much information as possible about the difficulties and include a risk assessment as to how we can manage 2 extra children and for how long we need the variation. They could not say how long it would take to get authorisation - but best to state when we need to know by so that they can work towards that date.

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Hi Darlinbud,

This wont really help you - but I have a slightly different problem. Everything was going swimmingly for the Sept. intake until two of our local schools decided to change their admissions - one is now taking Spring birthdays in the middle of Sept and Summer birthdays from after half term in October, this means that I have parents wishing to return in September for a few weeks - never known this before. The other school has obviously been over subscribed with Autumn and Spring birthdays and is not taking children whose birthday is from mid March until January, having in previous years taken children with birthdays up to early April. How can you be expected to second guess schools?

 

Confused - certainly. Having to put off new children that we had been hoping to welcome in September.

 

Does anyone know if Ofsted allow the odd session one child over your registered number? What might the consequences be if we did go over? Suspect insurance might be null and void for a start!

 

For my part, when I am doing admissions, I do tend to use a first come first served basis, and I remind current parent base to register early to avoid disappointment as we get so few places come up each year, this coming year for instance we only had 7 places to offer.

 

we had this one year, parents wanting to return in September for a few weeks,

but once they learnt the cost of it they changed their minds,

funding is usually not available once the child is at school ,

this is often from the September, the school normally gets the funding for the year,

i never understood how they could delay entry and still get the money.

I suggest this will need clarifying before Sept (unless you already have,) dont automatically expect children to recieve funding.

 

Inge

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Thanks Inge, I have checked, particularly with the main school we are concerned about (these are the children going in staggered entry) - as the children will not be there for headcount week the Head has said we can claim the funding for the autumn term and our Management & Info Dept agrees. Kent County Council are also changing the rules again in September for funding. Lately, we had been able to send in adjustment claims mid-term and funding followed a child wherever they went, however, they now say that their computer system needs to revert back to the previous system whereby the funding stays at the setting if a child moves on and if a child arrives mid term parent must fund it until a new term begins, unless we have any funding left over from a child who has moved on. We all accept that there must be change - change is inevitable, but sometimes why can't local government departments set up systems which are reliable.

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looks to me a backward step with the no changes during the term, we regularly lost money because of this,

 

thinking here... perhaps they found they were actually paying out more money by doing this than making settings give a child a place without getting funding.... did I say that out loud :o

 

 

Other thought is will other children booked to start Sept who end up delayed go elsewhere and you lose them for the year.. that was always our worry

 

Inge

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Admissions are never easy and it is probably the one aspect of my job that i dislike the most 'you can never please all of the people all of the time and only hope to please some of the people some of the time'

 

Apart from anything else its the people that take up a place and then dont show in Sept. and you have turned away upto 20 children that will not be able to have a place, this really makes me angry.

 

I can say what others have said stick to your admissions policy, this obviously needs to be reviewed at times, as we have found, when local schools went back to one intake.

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