Q & A

Don't sit there scratching your head! If you have our Enhanced Membership, then we'll provide clear and honest answers to your complex questions on school admissions and appeals. We have listed your popular queries here.

You will need to sign in to see the answers. If you want to ask a question, there's a little form at the bottom of every Q&A… or just drop us an email. If you have Basic Membership and want to upgrade your package so that you can ask questions by email, then please get in touch - it costs £30 for an upgrade.

You can filter the questions by selecting your category from the list on the right. (Don't worry, answers to all sensitive questions that relate to your specific circumstances are emailed directly to you - we only put generic Q&As on the site).

Category: All

What are the chances of getting shopped for fraud if I lie about my address?

Funnily enough, we asked the Council the very same thing! And this is what they said... 

How can we avoid falling foul of the rules if we move house to get the school we really want?

Ah yes, this is the most popular question that we get asked nowadays... 

What does Parmiter's motto mean - Nemo Sibi Nascitur?

Luckily SchoolGuru's Grandad was a Latin teacher, so we know this one... 

We're targeting Sandringham and Beaumont schools for our son. Where should we move to?

You've got great taste when it comes to secondary schools – Sandringham and Beaumont are two of the most sought after non-selectives in the county...

My son is desperate to get into Watford Grammar School for Boys. In the consortium test, he scored 237 (one point off the mark it says we need). We live in the catchment area, what are our chances?

Well done to your son for doing so well. We hate the fact that kids like yours could be made to feel like a failure. The system sucks. So what can you do? OK... 

We haven't got any of our preferences and have been allocated a school we didn't choose. Now what?

We know how dreadful this feels, but dry your eyes. Here's how you can turn this around...

Why won't you give the data for 2010? How about if I ask nicely?

Ok, so there's good data... and there's bad data...

If I put a school first, will it increase my chances?

We've heard headteachers give misleading info on this one... you know who are... 

I want to buy a house next to Parmiter's, will that get my daughter a place?

It's a tall order for any house to get you into one of the county's hottest schools. But this is how you can maximise your chances...

What's the 'pass mark' for the academic tests?

A 'pass mark'... now if only it were that easy...

What are ‘Specialist Schools’?

All the terminology is so confusing isn't it?... 

I am a dad of a 2 year old and confused with everyone talking about waiting lists from birth. Have I missed the boat already?

Oh, we've all heard the tales about mothers phoning round the top schools before they've delivered the placenta. But this is how you should play it...

Will the order I rank my schools affect my chances of getting in?

OMG if you only learn one thing from this website, then this should be it...

Looks like we'll miss out on our first-choice school – but we're hoping that we'll get a place there through 'continuing interest'. Am I right that your site works out how likely you are to get a place on allocation day – not places gained later?

You're absolutely right – the website gives you a snapshot of what you can expect on allocation day (when the parents who have applied on-time are offered a particular school). Bear in mind...

I've got a 'good' rating. How can I see if I would have comfortably got a place or just squeaked in?

Ask your trusty friend, the Admission Calculator. Keep the Rule the same, and increase the distance... and see what happens.

My child's just been offered a place at a nursery that's attached to my local community school. Does this mean we'll get a place in Reception?

It's really important that you understand your position here... so many people make incorrect assumptions...

I get a 'good' rating when I use the Calculator for one school, and 'poor' for another. What does your rating system mean?

We give you a rating based on how many times someone in your position would have got a place at the school you've selected in previous years...