To rent in a good school catchment, knowing we'll buy next year out of the catchment?

(110 Posts)
lill72 Sun 09-Mar-14 09:36:47

We are renting at the moment, with our lease coming up in June. As I am pregnant, we'd like to get a bigger place.

We have to apply for reception in January, so I was thinking of moving into the catchment area of the best school I have seen by far. It is a more expensive area than where we are, but the school was so much better than any in this area.

Wherever we rent would be temporary, as we are looking at buying next year, folllowing an inheritance.

Thing is, we will most likely buy back in the area we are currently renting in, as we like it better anyway and it is not as expensive.

This would mean that our DD would not be super local to her school once we moved. We are not far - say 5-10 mins by car or 20 mins bus, but not a walk around the corner.

Am I doing the wrong thing? I never grew up living within a walk to the local school, so not sure how much importance I should place on this - ie ease of getting there, local friends etc.

I just feel like I should try and send DD to the best school and I can, and this seems a way to do it.

Appreciate your thoughts...

hoobypickypicky Sun 09-Mar-14 09:40:56

Of course you're not being unreasonable. smile You'd only be remotely unreasonable if you rented in the desirable area just to get your child into a good school with no intention of living there and even then I'd say good for you, go for it.

WooWooOwl Sun 09-Mar-14 09:44:29

It's fine to do that.

You will be applying for the school with the address you have at the time, so you won't be doing anything wrong.

There are downsides to not living close to the school but they don't become noticeable until children are a bit older and could walk round to friends houses on their own and that sort of thing, but none of that's a massive issue. It didn't do my dc any harm.

akachan Sun 09-Mar-14 09:44:39

Does she have siblings? You might want to check sibling priority rules if so. Some schools are now putting catchment above siblings (rightly in my view).

needaholidaynow Sun 09-Mar-14 09:45:51

YANBU at all!

Martorana Sun 09-Mar-14 09:46:00

I won't say anything about the moral side of it. But bear in mind that not all schools have a sibling policy, and subsequent children may not get into the same school.

justgirl Sun 09-Mar-14 09:46:42

Yanbu. None of the schools in my town are particularly good and they are all massively oversubscribed. I chose to pursue a school out of town and under a different county. It's a 15 minute drive but I have yet to resent it. Best decision we ever made and as long as your willing to do the travelling then no problem! X

yummymumtobe Sun 09-Mar-14 09:47:09

I think schools cotton on to these tactics - they do round here where places are fought over. Here you have to supply council tax statement at the time of starting school, not just applying.

EdithWeston Sun 09-Mar-14 09:47:39

Plans to buy, and we're you will be able to afford and when you can afford it, are all questions for the future and there is no way to tell whether your current thoughts on timings will work out at all.

You have to move in June.

There is nothing wrong in moving , open-endedly, to an area which you think has the facilities your family needs.

(If you were breaking a lease in order to move nearer to a school, I think I would be more critical).

Hoppinggreen Sun 09-Mar-14 09:48:15

Well firstly there are no guarantees of you getting into a specific school by moving close to it. It certainly improves your chances but every year there are people within a catchment who don't get the place they wanted .
Secondly, with a popular school the LEA are very suspicious of people doing this - I appreciate that there would be no deliberate intention to deceive on your part but it might look like it.
We can't walk to school - I suppose we could at a push but it's up a big hill and would take a while and as it's an easy drive anyway that's what we do. It would be nice to walk sometimes but most people don't as the catchment is quite spread out so I don't think the children miss out socially.

lill72 Sun 09-Mar-14 09:52:58

We will rent in this area for a while, as I will not be receiving the inheritance until the end of the year anyway.

I called the school to ask about all all of this and siblings. All is ok.

I am not trying to do anything wrong morally - we may buy in this area too - who knows?

I guess the freedom of renting is that it is possible to move.

MyBodyIsAtemplate Sun 09-Mar-14 09:54:06

of course that's fine. bear in mind though that you are pregnant and the school may not accept your other child as not all have sibling policy as a priority.

also I know it seems a long way off but what about high schools? look at the catchment feeder schools. trust me it goes very quickly.

EdithWeston Sun 09-Mar-14 09:58:44

Admissions criteria can change, so unlimited siblings now is no guarantee there will not be a lower priority for out of catchment siblings by the time DC2 is school age.

People genuinely move house, and there is nothing wrong in considering school availability when choosing where to live next. It might however be worth hanging on to any paperwork showing at you moved at expiry of current lease to demonstrate that why you moved when you did should the LA want to investigate.

Dancergirl Sun 09-Mar-14 09:58:58

Sorry but I think YABU. I know lots of people do this but it doesn't make it right. In America if you move out of a schools catchment you have to give up your place at the school. So unfair that people who live very close to a school don't get a place because they're being taken up by people who USED to live near the school but don't now.

I think YANBU. We rented very close to the school DS goes to and in his reception year our landlord sold the house and we had to move. We didn't want to move. And there was nothing close by so we're now out of catchment. Why should DS lose the support he gets at school, his friendship group etc because we had to move? I'd move back if I could as it would be nice to be closer to his friends (and mine).

That said, when I apply for DD we would likely get into the school on distance despite being out of catchment anyway. But I can't do two school runs in any case.

elliejjtiny Sun 09-Mar-14 10:05:34

YANBU. However I wish I lived closer to my dc's school.

weasle Sun 09-Mar-14 10:07:42

I'd say YABU. You will be preventing a local child from getting a place.

We live 400m from a good school and have no hope of getting in, exactly because of selfish people renting for a year then moving out and sending siblings there. They then all drive to school causing massive congestion. I know as I walk past the school 6 times a day to our 5th nearest school / nursery.

If you have no intention of staying there then I think it would be unfair of you to take someone else's place.

Also, I think walking to school and having local friends is very important.

Dancergirl Sun 09-Mar-14 10:12:12

OP, weasle's post says it all really.

I hope they change the law to prevent this sort of lunacy.

lill72 Sun 09-Mar-14 10:27:17

Dancergirl - if there was not such a discrepancy within schools, then this would not have to occur at all. I am originally from Oz - sorry to mention this, but this sort of thing never goes on because if you live in a particular suburb, you can get into the school. Ie the catchment areas are big. Yes, some schools are better than others, but there is not such a wide difference between them - ie very bad to outstanding. This is the lunacy.

hoobypickypicky Sun 09-Mar-14 10:30:51

"I'd say YABU. You will be preventing a local child from getting a place.

We live 400m from a good school and have no hope of getting in, exactly because of selfish people renting for a year then moving out and sending siblings there"

Would you be saying that the OP is being unreasonable if your nearest school was on special measures, populated by children whose next stop is the PRU, weasle? Or is it only because you've missed out on a good school that you think everyone should send their kids to a local one?

softlysoftly Sun 09-Mar-14 10:34:08

Our school is a desired catchment and loads of people rent to get places. When I did our visit the HT pointed out that they were full and each application she had parents upset as their younger children couldn't get a place after moving out of catchment so be warned the rules could change. Its not up to the school by the way, check the local council policy they allocate the places generally.

I actually think its right thats the rule and it should apply everywhere, we won't move out of catchment now unless we are willing to move DD1 schools as I don't want to end up with DD2 in a different school.

Dancergirl Sun 09-Mar-14 10:57:05

hooby there is an argument to say that it's BECAUSE people fight over particular schools that standards fall in others.

Dancergirl Sun 09-Mar-14 10:59:14

Exactly softly move out of catchment - change schools.

Goldenbear Sun 09-Mar-14 11:02:14

YANBU- the system in England is one of 'open enrolment' and as such it is inaccurate to talk of 'catchment' areas. Parents are free to apply to any school they like. People refer to catchments but what they really mean is distance to school criteria. In theory a school can only reject someone If they are full not because they 'do not' live in a 'catchment' - an artificially designated geographical area.

Often those that are said to be 'local' to 'outstanding' schools are from very comfortable if not privileged backgrounds, it is difficult to drum up sufficient sympathy for these 'local' children as no doubt they will already have advantages afforded to them that come from the trappings of a 'comfortable' family life.

Equally, where there are simply not enough schools to accommodate intake the 'local children' argument becomes an argument over semantics. In our situation we lived 759 metres from a local school we wouldn't have been local by 12 metres based upon the previous year's intake. Our nearest school was RC and my DP is Jewish so it wasn't for us.

Bowlersarm Sun 09-Mar-14 11:03:45

YANBU. I would imagine many people do this, both intentionally and unintentionally. It is not as though you would be moving miles away, and as you say, things change and you may end up buying close to the school anyway because a dream house comes up there or you discover you really do love being so close to the school.

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