If we move beyond Human Geography, a ‘Catchment Area’ is the surrounding from which a city, Service, or Institution derives resources, Catter services to or attracts its potential buyers. For parents across the UK, it is a task of great concern to get their children admitted to a good school for secondary education. The process that goes involves thorough research about various factors which includes the Admission policies of different schools. The admission policy of schools is designed under considerable guidance of the local authority which, as believed, prioritizes an area around the school. To know if you have a chance to get your child placed in the school of your choice, you need to understand the Catchment Area, as for a lot of schools, where you live happens to be a factor in whether your child gets admission in the said school.
What is the 11 Plus Catchment area?
First thing first, as a matter of fact, there is nothing as such as a designated area whose residents can enjoy a guarantee of getting their children admitted. Considering the strength of the school and who applies first, the area a school admits children from may get smaller or bigger every year.
Keeping religious and selective schools aside, most schools admit siblings of the pupils first. Other criteria based on catchments are considered after that, which include the following-
- Straight line distance catchment.
- Walking distance catchment.
- Priority admission area.
- Nearest school priority area.
So, this Catchment area thing is very complicated and must be checked with the school itself, before applying for admission.
Myths about the ‘Catchment area’.
11 plus school admissions are so much more than just about the place where you live. Parents must not rely on any online suggestion of a catchment area indicator or a heat map that offers their child a place in any school. There are a number of myths that are believed to be true and are talked about the most. Let us explore some of them.
Myth 1: Every school has a catchment area
Until and unless a school is oversubscribed, it is supposed to accept pupils from every place or area. It doesn’t even matter if you live near or under a certain circumference of the school. In some cases, priority is given to children living close to the school, but this must not be confused with the Catchment area.
Not all schools have priority areas. As the Academies, Fundations and Free schools have the freedom to set their admission policies on their own and are not accountable to any local authority.
Myth 2: Distance matters the most.
Yes, distance matters but in no way it is the be-all and end-all when it is about getting your child a place in a school after 11 Plus exams. The oversubscribed schools follow an admission code which is supposed to put Adopted or looked after children in the first place then comes the Siblings and then the distance from the school is considered in the last of all. Other priority categories run alongside these such as for children in need of special care.