Moving back from abroad but not allowed to apply for schools until back in uk in June....

(33 Posts)
heyelp Sat 19-Jan-13 07:51:57

Moving back in June. Visited uk yesterday. Went to local council. They will not let me apply until we are back in June. Feel sick. Will never get a good place at schools in June. Have DS age 6 and DD age 5. They will be year 1 and year 2 in sept 2013. Plus I need them both at same school - I am a working mum and cannot cope with 2 school drop offs. What can I do?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 19-Jan-13 08:00:59

Unfortunately there is not much you can do about this rule - it's the same everywhere. Remember there will be other families moving in this period, you are not the only one.

Have you identified schools and areas you like yet? Not every school in the country is oversubscribed.

If you do end up with two schools, you maybe able to get a childminder to do one school run etc.

Astelia Sat 19-Jan-13 08:02:45

Can you go private for a term? Then sort it all out when you are in the UK?

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 19-Jan-13 08:09:43

Take heart it may not be as bad as you think. You need an address to apply. I have friends who returned in June last year took lease on flat 2 weeks before they actually moved back. So school place was allocated in the end left school abroad on the Friday started school on the Monday at an excellent school close to flat.

meditrina Sat 19-Jan-13 08:09:48

You have to be in UK to apply for a place at all (unless you are Forces or other qualifying Govt dept).

So, you will either need to arrange to return earlier, or learn to live with the prospect of a June application with greater equanimity. I'm afraid the difficulty of double drop offs simply isn't a factor in allocating places, but there are other options (CM, before/after school clubs, if you have space an au pair).

heyelp Sat 19-Jan-13 08:15:03

Thank you all for your replies. I guess I firstly need to know if I am missing something but clearly not. It is not possible to apply until back. We live in Wimbledon and have a house there. It is our own house that has been rented while abroad for 3 years. DS was at the local school round the corner before we went abroad and I would love them both back in that school. It is heavily subscribed though. At the moment the only vacancies are in schools further away, worse schools and also split up. I guess there is nothing I can do now until June then is there?

I was thinking of applying for a local private school as a back up option if we are desperate. At least they would be together.

tiggytape Sat 19-Jan-13 10:07:10

heyelp - unfortunately the rules are that you need to be back in the UK and living here to apply (using a UK address when you are still abroad is not allowed and will invalidate your application).

All you can do is get the application in in June as soon as you arrive - that way you will get offers and also be eligible to go on the waiting lists before the Summer holidays start. Waiting lists are kept by order of admission criteria so living very close to the school you want will automatically put you near the top of the list no matter how late you join it (you will bump others living further and already on the list down when you go above them).

It seems likely however, given the children's ages and the class size limit that applies to this age group, that you may not get the school you want for both of them straight away. Private school is a good option if it is open to you and can be used whilst you wait it out on the waiting list for the school you want. If private school wan't an option, most people take the places offered by the council wherever they are and make sure they are on the waiting list of every other school they prefer to maximise chances of a place elsewhere being offered.
Once one child gets a place off the waiting list, it is normal that the other child moves straight to the top of that school's list because of the sibling rule.

KindleMum Sat 19-Jan-13 10:12:19

We did this recently. It may vary by area but where we were going they would accept the application if there was proof of the return - they counted a rental lease, a solicitor's letter saying converyancing was in progress, letters from employer saying you were being relocated back to UK. Might be other things that prove you're serious that will be accepted - maybe notice of terminating your tenant's lease? For certain employers such as Foreign Office etc they will also treat you as if you're already home, just needs a letter from HR dept confirming facts.

LIZS Sat 19-Jan-13 10:13:42

If you were to get places at a private school in anticipation that a local place came up, by June you would have to give a terms' notice or be liable for a term's fees in lieu even if your dc never start there. If state places came up you'd need to take them up very quickly so once they have started on the private route you'd need to factor in the potential extra cost of up to 2 terms' fees each. 2 infant places could be tricky to find in a single state school in that time frame as class size limit of 30 applies. Logistics of dropping off etc at 2 schools won't be taken into consideration, so you may need to get one child collected by a cm or use before/after school care.

Salbertina Sat 19-Jan-13 10:17:20

In not dissimilar position so watching with interest.

heyelp Sat 19-Jan-13 18:49:17

I have a letter from my employer saying I am being relocated. It has been written by lawyers and is a big company. I didn't even bring that up - so maybe they would accept that...but even if, there are simply not the places in the school I would have liked eg a stones throw away and the one my DS used to attend.

Private school is an option but not anything we had ever considered before. I wanted them back in the state system. However I think we will go ahead and apply for that and then get our names down for the school we want in June. Regarding the fees etc, to be honest I will ask work to cover that - I was expatriated and they do that as best they can with no detriment to the family. I could argue I was forced to pay these fees through the fact I moved abroad for the company....interesting one!

heyelp Sat 19-Jan-13 18:50:21

I mean that I would ask work to cover any 'cancellation fees' if we do eventually find the place we want in state school

lopsided Sat 19-Jan-13 19:06:17

I'm pretty sure they won't accept the letter. Most areas, especially over subscribed ones only accept applications once resident.

Once you have one child in the odds are good of a place coming up for your other child to join.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 19-Jan-13 19:24:30

It sounds like you would be an in-year entry rather than a late application anyway - if you arrive back inJune you will need a reception and a yeAr 1 place for the last 4-6 weeks of the summer term, surely?

If you are religious, and want a faith school for your children, you might be able to talk to the schools directly, if you can back up your application with certificate of baptism and reference from your priest. Then when you fill in the LEA application form, you put down the Faith school you have spoken to as Nr1, and a few others for the sake of it.

heyelp Sat 19-Jan-13 19:32:54

We arrive back beginning June. The schools in Italy have broken up then so the kids would have finished the year. But I guess they could start UK system then....

No we are not religious and they are not baptised. I was brought up a Quaker.

Yes yes, to starting in Summer term. The kids get a school place, if not together you can be on the waiting list, and they get holiday, and start in September. Sounds brilliant.

exexpat Sat 19-Jan-13 19:42:14

Private school sounds like a good back-up option.

I was in a similar position, moving back to the UK mid-year, and I/my mother spent a lot of time on the phone to the LEA and all the schools within a reasonable radius of the area I was moving to (I didn't have a place to go back to so was juggling rental agencies etc at the same time). It was very stressful, and I had started talking to a couple of private schools, but I did eventually get a place for DS in a decent state school in year 4.

You may end up waiting until September, but there's a good chance in an area like Wimbledon that there might be some turnover over the summer. I think polite persistence and regular checking with the school/LEA is the way to go.

heyelp Sat 19-Jan-13 19:48:49

Oh thank you everyone. So kind and helpful.

So.......what should the plan be? Come back end May (in Italy they won't do much work in June anyway :-) ) then apply for school mid term? Would that be better? And then in the meantime get them a place in private school secured....just in case....? Then word would pay any cancellation charges (or I could ask at least...) gosh uk system seems so much more difficult than other countries....

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sat 19-Jan-13 19:51:54

Your dc will be in different schools anyway if you go private so you will have different dropoffs anyway, even if its only the distance between willington and wimbledon high.

exexpat Sat 19-Jan-13 19:55:22

I don't think coming back in May would necessarily help - people tend to move schools at the end of term rather than right in the middle, so unless you are going to move in April (Easter holiday) I don't think your chances of a school place would be much higher in May than in June. But by June schools may have some idea if anyone is leaving at the end of the summer term, though unfortunately some people don't actually tell the schools at all, just fail to turn up at the start of the following term. Do you have alternative childcare options for June and the rest of the summer if the children don't find school places immediately?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 19-Jan-13 19:56:05

OP, I believe under Fair Access Protocol, they will have to find you two spaces within a reasonable amount of time and reasonable travelling time (your definitions of reasonable and theirs may differ!) Then you can be on waiting lists elsewhere. I don't know if you can go on waiting lists before you have a place somewhere, but expert posters on here will know that.

Do you know how you are planning to cover childcare in the school holidays? Holiday play schemes get booked up early.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sat 19-Jan-13 19:59:00

Thinking about it the nearest co-ed junior is surbiton high.

Eggs Sat 19-Jan-13 21:32:17

This happened to me last year. We could not apply until we had a council tax bill, however if your children are out of school, they are a priority case and will get put to the top of the queue. We got 2 places in different schools and once a space became available in one of the schools for the other child, I had to move her. It was disruptive at the time, but now a year on it has all worked out. Best of luck.

teacherwith2kids Sun 20-Jan-13 12:33:06

Moving in the summer term may advantage you if the school has a sibling priority....it did for us.

Say you are given a school place for older sibling at a school that you would find acceptable BUT there is no place initially for younger one. Younger one is placed on waiting list but importantly they will be placed as a sibling, and if the sibling rule is in place they are likely to be near the top.

Then if any child leaves at the end of the summer term in the younger sibling's year, they will be offered the place.

If you wait until September to place the older one, then the younger one would only have sibling priority from the beginning of the Autumn term, and so will only be offered any places that come up after the beginning of September, with all the ones that came up over the summer having been already given to children higher up the waiting list over the summer holidays.

You would need to check whether the sibling rule works both ways in deciding which sibling to get into school first. Some rules work both ways - so the older sibling would get priority based on the younger sibling being in the school. Others only work 'downwards' so you would need to place the older sibling first.

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