Home visit or school place removed???

(37 Posts)
newschoolmum Wed 19-Jun-13 19:49:41

Namechanging as some other local parents know my usual name.

I really don't want to become a complaining parent before dc1 even starts school, but have just received my first letter from them.

There will be a home visit in less than 2 weeks time. I think home visits are a great idea where feasible, but the letter then says the time (lunchtime) and day are not negotiable, and if we do not have the visit that day, the school place will be removed (not may, or possibly if evidence suggests the child doesn't live at your address - will!)

I'm sure there are people locally who fake addresses to get kids into certain schools, but this isn't one of those schools!

Is requiring a visit even legal? They don't actually mention anything about the purpose of the visit - I was idly wondering about taking dc1 to nursery anyway and letting them loose on DH who will have just woken up and be grumpy. smile For extra annoyance, the letter was addressed only to me despite DH being on all the LEA paperwork, but that's really probably not worth raising at this point. [sigh]

newschoolmum Fri 21-Jun-13 20:59:21

littlefish So I'd have thought, but the second half of the letter talks about dc's chance to visit the school to meet their teacher, which implies the first visit they don't. I'd heard the teachers mostly visited local nurseries to save time, but no mention of that.

Though it could be anything - the most likely scenario is the letter has been drafted by someone totally different who knows nothing about the procedures and was going off notes scrawled by KS1 person or someone else. But I'd hope a well run school could just use the welcome letter from last year...

FOAF at the LEA is now 'shocked' by said letter so suspect words may be had.

Littlefish Fri 21-Jun-13 18:30:02

The letter may be from the KS1 manager but the home visit ll almost certainly be done by the Reception teacher and/or teaching assistant. I've never heard of it happening any other way.

There was a thread which indicated that your DC must be allowed to start FT from the beginning of term, so this may help with understanding when term starts for you as you could avoid a staggered start.

mrz Thu 20-Jun-13 20:36:37

Home visits aren't compulsory or to check you live at the address

newschoolmum Thu 20-Jun-13 20:31:49

Have politely emailed asking for clarification.

It's from a KS1 manager, not the head, and meeting the teacher is a separate day - if it was a home visit so dc could meet new teacher in a stress-free environment, I'd be all for it, but given it's some manager, I'm not rearranging being 100 miles away on business - DH can deal, with or without dc as appropriate.

Hopefully they'll be able to tell us when term will start for us, as my boss is struggling with staff not knowing when they need leave in Sept...

prettybird Thu 20-Jun-13 18:52:05

But in the OP's case, it doesn't seem to be an "offer" but is instead in some way "compulsory" even if that it is illegal although it may just be trying it on a badly worded letter.

Blu Thu 20-Jun-13 16:15:36

Prettybird - of course they 'cope'. But that doesn't mean that it can't be an added extra benefit for the parents and children of schools that do do it, if they choose to accept. A home visit as part of the child's induction is an offer, not compulsory, where's the harm in that?

MrsMelons Thu 20-Jun-13 10:57:45

DSs school didn't do home visits so this is a load of rubbish, I can't believe it is enforceable although I'm not sure I understand why you don't want to have one?

turkeyboots Thu 20-Jun-13 10:57:08

Our school has recently been taking places away after home visits where it was clear they didn't live there. The LEA doesn't have enough spaces for primary at all and have got hard line on any fraud. So maybe there is a wider local problem you are unaware of?
But agree the letter is unreasonable!

MNEdBlackpoolWiganandSalford Thu 20-Jun-13 10:44:50

I would be ringing the LEA this morning and informing them what has been said, how many parents are going to risk their jobs taking time off.
I do not like the sound of a head who sends letters out with threats that can not be backed up.

prettybird Thu 20-Jun-13 10:39:49

I wonder how all those many schools that don't do home visits manage to cope without this "essential" hmm visit?! grin

Blu Thu 20-Jun-13 10:27:20

It MIGHT mean they won't be able to start until after a home visit - i.e you could change the date but it has to be before they start?? Althigh that would be v badly worded, and also I can't see it being legal - home visits are optional, surely?

newschoolmum Thu 20-Jun-13 09:07:24

DH assumed the visit was just to check we live here, and quite agreeable. Then was stunned when I said he could always take dc back to nursery after - never occurred to him they might want to see the kid, and is convinced that's not needed as the letter doesn't say so!

So have perfect reason now to ask for clarification. :-)

TheDoctrineOfAllan Thu 20-Jun-13 07:25:52

That is outrageous.

quip Thu 20-Jun-13 07:19:06

This would set my teeth on edge too. You don't have to let them into your house and the language in the letter implies otherwise. Most parents won't challenge this as they don't want to rock the boat. It's rude and presumptuous. Good luck with your response to the school.

mummytime Wed 19-Jun-13 22:41:35

I wouldn't act the LA who might be able to have a "quiet" word. It is illegal.

Ragusa Wed 19-Jun-13 22:41:00

I would just call school and say you need a different time/date. The threat of not being able to start is an empty one...

It could well be that the visit days can't be changed because special cover arrangements have been made for teachers on tge scheduled day. I know when our pre-sch is doing home visits, the pre-school has to shut for two days to free up teachers for home visits.

If you get no joy with sch then you can ask LA for advice.

learnandsay Wed 19-Jun-13 22:37:44

And let them know you've also asked for a response from the minister for education.

newschoolmum Wed 19-Jun-13 22:32:15

Yes it's a state school, LA controlled (not academy, religious, free school or anything). There's a separate date for dc to visit the school.

Letter says "I will be making a home visit on [date] at [time]. We are unable to change this date. It is essential that this visit takes place or your child will not be able to start at the school."

I suppose technically there's a difference between your child can't use their place and the place being lost, but it's bloody subtle and certainly says the visit is compulsory for attending school!

Ragusa Wed 19-Jun-13 22:19:09

What kind of school is this? Is it state or private, maintained or academy?

It is ludicrous to say your DC's place will be taken away if you don't comply. They would NEVER get away with that.

I think the passive-aggressive response is a good idea, providing of course your school is bound by the admissions code ( eg it is a maintained sch or acaemy required by funding agreement to abide by it).

Fizzypop001 Wed 19-Jun-13 22:10:28

I think you should do what sparkle12mar08 said their being rude be rude too good one lol

Blu Wed 19-Jun-13 21:42:57

WHAT?

We found our home visit very sweet and DS enjoyed meeting his new teacher and TA before starting school- they certainly did not ask to see his bedroom!!

This sounds bizarre! Do you think they are actually investigating you for a fake accress? Is there any reason they might do that? But I saw a documentary about the schools admissions system and the woman made a surprise visits to see if they actually lived there, she didn't make appointments and let them prepare.

Also, our pre-Reception home visit was in the week before term started, or in the first week when they started them in batches fr the morning only - it wasn't as far in advance as this.

Very odd. I would make further enquiries!

sparkle12mar08 Wed 19-Jun-13 21:25:39

I'd write a very passive aggressive letter back saying that "you assume their letter was an innocent administrative mistake given that, as you are sure they must be well aware, the school has no legal authority to remove the place (reference the Code, etc.). Unfortunately you won't be available that day but you look forward to meeting the staff in September." In other words, "fuck you".

CashmereHoodlum Wed 19-Jun-13 21:10:07

This is unlawful.

I found the home visit utterly pointless, and I blotted my copybook by not letting the teachers upstairs. I had no idea they would want to see the child's bedroom!

tethersend Wed 19-Jun-13 21:01:17

Most parents who could not make this meeting are fairly prudent and have other commitments. A small minority will not care enough about their child's education to make the effort. Should their children be punished?

The idea that a school can withdraw a place from a child under these circumstances is laughable.

Contact the LEA first thing and let them know what the school are threatening.

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