Primary School admission - What address do I use?

(46 Posts)
NewYorkDeli Tue 01-Oct-13 21:13:41

Hi,

I'm a little confused and want to make sure i'm applying correctly and not doing anything wrong. Any advice would be appreciated.

DD starts reception next September. I separated from her Father in December and now live about 4 miles from the school we want her to go to. Her Father lives around the corner from the school.

We share custody 50/50. One week she is with me 4 nights a week and her Dad 3 nights a week, the following week it is the other way around. On the school application form it is telling me to put "the address your child wakes up at most mornings" What am I supposed to put as it's 50/50?

The school we want her to attend is an oversubscribed Church school. I'm very involved with the Church that is linked to the school and have been for about 4 years, so she meets the criteria to get in. The Governer's decide who gets in, not the Council (Liverpool) This is what it says on the primary school admission booklet;

*Please note that it is not possible to obtain a place in an over-subscribed school by sending your
child to live with friends or relatives who live nearer to the school. When deciding school
allocations the child’s permanent home address will be used. Liverpool Local Authority defines
this as the address of the child’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s). Oversubscribed schools will ask
parents for proof of their address.*

Now i've spoken to the council twice over which address I should use, the first time they said it had to be mine as I received CB for her. I was gutted, the schools where I live aren't great, plus I won't be living there for much longer. Spoke to the council again today, they said put ex husband's address as her is her Father and she lives with him half the week. Child benefit is not relevant and is not checked. The school will ask for a council tax bill and utility bill in either of our names. Who do I believe?

The school application form says "If parent's are separated, they should choose which address to use" but then it also mentions using address that child wakes up most days.

So, what do I do. Use ex's address for the school application form and the online council application form and put both of our names on it? Or am I supposed to use my address because I receive CB for her? Don't want to use ex's address only for her not to get in any school because the addresses don't match up.

onepieceoflollipop Tue 01-Oct-13 21:16:18

From all you say I would use her dad's address. You are not 'cheating'. They just want to check people are not using grandparent's address etc.

Periwinkle007 Tue 01-Oct-13 21:16:18

I was under the impression it was the address CB is claimed for.
I would ask the council to give you its answer in writing. Then whatever it gives you is what you go with.

AChickenCalledKorma Tue 01-Oct-13 21:19:26

If the form says you can choose, and she is genuinely at each address for 50% of the time, it sounds as if you can use her dad's address. But I strongly suspect it would also have to be her dad who makes the application. Is that an option?

Rebelrebel Tue 01-Oct-13 21:19:59

If the form says you can choose, and the time is genuinely split 50/50, sounds like you are doing nothing wrong by using her father's address. Tbh, in your position I would get the name of the person you spoke to today and if possible ask them to put their advice I writing, just in case. I really think given your links to the church you have little to worry about, but I do understand it must be a bit unsettling!

NewYorkDeli Tue 01-Oct-13 21:28:20

Thanks everyone.

Yes, she's genuinely with us both 50/50, except for the school holidays, she'll be with me a bit more due to her dad's job.

He can't complete the form without me. He doesn't attend the Church, they won't sign it for him. It has to be me.

It's so confusing, can easily prove her Dad owns and resides in the property close to the school, but not sure if the fact that I receive the CB will mess everything up. The Church still think I live at that address blush

itsatiggerday Tue 01-Oct-13 21:43:09

We had a child get into YR on appeal for this reason. They'd put both parents' addresses on the application but the one used by the computer in the initial allocation was the out of catchment parent and on appeal they successfully argued that it should have been the in catchment parent's address as it was a 50/50 time split like yours. That meant there was a (half)-sibling relationship that hadn't been taken into account and the little boy was given a place as having been in one of the admissions categories that had been admitted.

aciddrops Tue 01-Oct-13 21:59:56

Could you get the father to claim child benefit for a time? You might be able to come to some agreement over it.

DeWe Tue 01-Oct-13 22:21:39

I think it's generally where child benefit goes to to stop people using grandparent/friends/random addresses.

I also wonder if you use his address, whether you wouldn't then get church membership as that would be you not him.

However I think if they have said that you can use his, then I would. It might be worth putting down (if there is anywhere you can) that she has shared residency 50/50 with you.

OddBoots Tue 01-Oct-13 22:35:37

We had to show the child benefit statement here to prove address but each area is probably different, what address does her GP have for her?

OddBoots Tue 01-Oct-13 22:36:56

(GP as in doctor not grand parents)

Ragusa Tue 01-Oct-13 22:43:37

I would get something in writing from the local authority admissions , stating the rules in relation to shared parenting.

If it is a church school you will presumably need to get the signed form from the priest.

What are the exact oversubscription criteria for the school?

admission Tue 01-Oct-13 22:46:17

There are a number of strands to this. The first is that I would question any advice you get from the Council or the school unless it is in writing, because somewhere along the line you potentially will end up with arguing your case for admission to an appeal panel or somebody who is trying to remove your place offered. You need to keep all written correspondance.
Under normal circumstances the address that you need to use is the address where the child wakes up to go to school for the majority of the school week. In other words when you say it is 4 days and three days then the opposite way round, is there a pattern to the days that are when the child is with you. So if the child is always with father on friday, saturday and sunday night, then they will always have one night (the sunday) when they will wake up to go to school at father's address and it would be two nights alternate weeks. However under the same circumstances you will always have the child either four or three nights when they go to school the next morning.
If you say there is no fixed pattern we just decide as it happens then I think that most admission authorities would then fall back on the Child benefit address. I can confirm that I know that Liverpool LA have used child benefit address in the past, so would have real concerns over the advise you were offered
If you are correct that it is an over-subscribed school and you are already in a position that the church think you still live local when in fact you don't, I would suspect strongly that somebody will snitch that you are not living at father's address, if you are offered a place on that basis.
Don't think you can afford to fudge this, you need to be absolutely sure of the right address. You also need to be careful over dates if you are thinking of moving cut off date for in time applications is 15th Jan 2014. Liverpool do allow some time for moves to be completed after this cut off date and you need to check that date on the LA website. Any move after that date will mean you could be considered a late application depending on the exact circumstances.

mummytime Belgium Tue 01-Oct-13 22:46:36

What exactly are the entry criteria? I would assume they are: looked after and statement, then of religious faith, then maybe siblings, then other by distance.
Would you get in from your address because of the faith grounds? Is there a closer to you school of your faith?

curlew Tue 01-Oct-13 22:49:05

So you want to use his address and your church attendance......? hmm

teatimesthree Tue 01-Oct-13 22:51:15

Can you put the CB in her dad's name for a while?

NewYorkDeli Tue 01-Oct-13 23:08:10

Thanks for replies.

GP address has never been changed. Always stayed in Dad's address, so has mine. Really good GP surgery, would hate to change it.

Criteria is children in care, then siblings, then children whose parent's worship at the church on a regular basis and are on electoral roll.

With the council telling me two different things, it's worrying me. I have to get this right.

Not changing CB to her dad. He's not a christian, she won't get in through him.

tiggytape Tue 01-Oct-13 23:19:16

You need it in writing.

Whatever criteria the council choose to apply in a genuine 50/50 split case, you need to have it confirmed before you apply and you need it is black and white in case they try to accuse you of fraud or deny you a place later on.
Most councils choose child benefit as the tie breaker because (wrongly or rightly) the system just isn't set up to recignise a child having 2 genuinely shared homes and CB is a definitve thing that can be proved - no grey areas.

You cannot afford to accidentally use her Dad's address if this isn't allowed because, if you are reported by another parent, you could have the place taken away. If it is a hugely popular school with disappointed applicants there will be people who report anything suspicious at all.

Sometimes the people answering admissions calls at the council are front desk staff not dedicated admission staff. For this reason, you need to put your query in writing (and email is fine) to Admissions and ask for a written reply that clearly tells you which address you must use. My feeling is that you will have to use your own address not her Dad's BUT you can still apply as a Christian worshipping at that church and possibly get a place that way. The criteria you listed doesn't mention distance as being a problem.

I would let the church know about your new address though as they will have to sign the form and you can't really ask them to sign a form if it includes any out of date information.

sashh Wed 02-Oct-13 06:34:37

Use dad's address.

You sound so honest it hurts, so let her have an extra night at dad's so that out of 365 days she has been at his most.

I would also add a note that you do 50/50 parenting.

lougle Wed 02-Oct-13 06:45:18

I agree with admission and tiggy. This is crucial. Also, I have to say that if I were on an appeal panel I'd have a hard time accepting that you choose to use his address but your church attendance. It's a bit like having your cake and eating it.

DiaryofaHollandParkParent Wed 02-Oct-13 06:58:14

From the perspective of an appeals panellist, just a word of warning. We had a case where an applicant used two different addresses, one for each parent. The LEA opted for the CB address as there was no other evidence except verbal. The appeal failed.

I agree with what others have said about studying the admissions criteria in detail and getting the LEA's agreement about the nearer address being valid.

Zingy123 Wed 02-Oct-13 07:02:27

Our council uses Child benefit to prove address. You say your child will be with you more in the holidays surely that means overall it isn't a 50/50 split. You must get it in writing otherwise you stand to lose any place.

AuntieStella Wed 02-Oct-13 07:02:47

Why can you not change CB to her father? Is it because you need the NI credit?

What exactly is on the SIF form? If it includes qualifying option of the child going to the specified church, then could the whole form be filled in by her father.

curlew Wed 02-Oct-13 07:20:31

"You sound so honest it hurts"

Really?

LittleRobots Wed 02-Oct-13 07:30:30

If you are likely to get in under church criteria you won't need the dads address.

You can check the previous years admissions statistics (ours are online but you can ask). All the church criteria applicants got in, although I accept that might not be the case for your school.

I'm only a lay person but I think you either have to have living with you and church on your application or living with dad and not church.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now