Aibu to have been shocked by the council on school places

(43 Posts)

We rent our house we have been given notice to move we have 8 weeks . We have made appointments to see the available houses none are near the current school or even within a travelling distance so we will have to move the three oldest to a new school.

I phoned the schools near the houses working my way out but after a while have up as they were all full . I called the council to ask what would happen if we moved but there were no places. Apparently they will probably end up at 2 or 3 different schools possibly miles in different directions ( although she was confident it would not be far enough away to qualify for transport- great). Since we have no car I said this would be pretty much impossible.

Her advice was "have you considered teaching them at home". Now I know it's not her fault and I know it's not ideal to move but we have 0 choice .

Aibu to think that if the schools are that full there is an issue here? ( we are talking of probably 10-15 schools here not 2 or 3.").

CaptainVonTrapp Tue 29-Jan-13 21:14:39

What about doing it the other way round and asking the council if any of the schools have 3 places available then looking for a house near that one.

Or if any of them are planning an expansion so that you may increase the chance of getting the other dc in in September, esp if they have a sibling there by then.

Just a thought. Sounds like a nightmare. Is this primary school?

That is what I called to ask there were none (well not in areas we can afford to live!) .

Sorry yes it's primary / infant school

cantspel Tue 29-Jan-13 21:21:39

But the council cant give you what they dont have. If the schools are full then they have no choice but to offer you a place at a school which maybe further away.

What exactly do you think the council should do?

cantspel i think they should have enough places at the schools that there is a single spare place within 15 miles?

Sirzy Tue 29-Jan-13 21:22:54

Its a nightmare situation but what else do you propose they do? If schools don't have places then unfortunately they can't just make 3 appear.

HollyBerryBush Tue 29-Jan-13 21:23:33

phone back - ask for it in writing - then copy it straight to your MP

cantspel Tue 29-Jan-13 21:24:12

It wont be 15 miles if they are saying it wont be as far as to get free transport as most councils rules are around the 3.5 mile mark.

If it's 15 miles they'll have to provide transport (if the nearest suitable school is more than 3 miles away they have to provide transport - it's in their interests to find you somewhere closer)

I will have to look into that - she said "you wont qualify for free transport" and then discounted all the schools in a 15 mile radius.

I realise that there are no places they cant make them appear but surely that means there are not enough schools and this is a problem.

To be fair she also said "well if you feel you have to move" after I told her we had been given notice - lets say she wasnt the most helpful of people.

cantspel Tue 29-Jan-13 21:28:34

They have the places but not in the schools in the area you want/need.

HarrietSchulenberg Tue 29-Jan-13 21:33:31

You can appeal the transport issue as it is not reasonable to expect you to get 3 children to 3 different schools in time for a 9am start. Especially when most schools don't open to pupils before 8.50am. You might be encouraged to use breakfast and after school clubs but obviously there is a cost associated with this. A sympathetic LA might consider funding these places but this is still far from ideal.

On the other hand, a house might well come up in your area in the next 8 weeks. Make sure you get yourself on the estate agents' books, if you haven't already, badger them constantly so you're at the forefront of their minds when rentals come up, and be prepared to take any reasonable house at least until something better comes up.

They do have a place for ONE of the children in a school which I would have to take me a train and a bus to get to yes but this isnt really much good in reality...

cantspel Tue 29-Jan-13 21:35:57

which area/council?

socharlotte Tue 29-Jan-13 21:37:24

I would get in touch with your councillor in the first instance.How old are your children

Harriet we are going to see two houses this week (the only two in fact!) we just need to find somwhere in the next 2 weeks we are self employed it takes a bit longer to sort out as we need to prove income with accountants letters and accounts not just payslips etc. So we really have to go for one of these houses (our current house is being repossesed as the landlord neglected to pay the mortgage).

sukysue Tue 29-Jan-13 21:37:44

Have you thought about home schooling? Much more popular and if you wanted just do it till you can get them all in school together.

Cantspel - Wirral.

My children are 8 and 6 and i have one in nursery who would be starting reception in september (not so bothered about her was expecting that to be a pain) but the older ones more of a concern.

cantspel Tue 29-Jan-13 21:42:11

From the wirral council website

The following categories of pupils are eligible for free travel:

1. Primary school pupils whose parents receive the free school meal allowance or
receive the maximum level of Working Tax Credit and who live more than 2 miles
from the home address to the nearest appropriate school.

2. For pupils whose parents do not receive the benefits detailed in 1 above pupils
must live more than two miles for children under the age of 8 and three miles for
children aged 8 and above from the nearest appropriate school

so you will get free transport. ignore the silly bint you spoke to and if you have to speak to her again refer her to their own website

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 29-Jan-13 21:42:16

How old/what year group are the children for whom you need places? I wouldn't pin all your hopes on an appeal, but if you do end up with more than one school a considerable distance away - and especially if these are places in KS2 - you may find a sympathetic panel who will decide in your favour.

Read some of the school appeal threads.

5dcs If you are both self employed what about just moving to a completely different area altogether? Or do you have to stay pretty close to where you are for the work?
I'd never last homeschooling, of my three, the oldest and youngest would never have done any work we butt heads too much, middle child and I got on well enough to do it if needed.

lovelyladuree Tue 29-Jan-13 21:44:01

Take whatever house you can get in the area you are currently in, and put stuff in storage if it is small. Bite the bullet for now. You could squish into a two bed house if you had to. Sofa bed in living room will do for you and DH. Obviously not idea, but, dear god, who wants to home school, especially as you are self employed. Stuff that. Good luck.

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