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.

Saracen Sat 05-Oct-13 09:49:02

"The council don't seem to have a bloody clue and keep giving me conflicting advice, they need to make it much clearer to parents."

I suggest that you write to them by recorded delivery asking for written clarification, and go by what they tell you. If they don't respond, or if they give you a waffly answer, just do what you think best as long as it appears to fit in with the guidance published on the council website and supplied with the form (if you use a written form).

What I'd do if I expected to get no answer from an unresponsive bureaucracy is to outline all relevant information and then say, "I understand that it is acceptable for me to provide the father's address as the child's main place of residence. If this is not correct, please write to let me know" and then if they don't respond, they are effectively agreeing to what I have proposed.

Nobody could later argue that your application was fraudulent if you had first sought clarification from the council on their policy and complied with all information given to you. What more could you reasonably be expected to do? You cannot comply with a policy if they won't tell you what it is!

As others have said, make sure you have written proof of what you asked the council and how they responded (if at all), bearing in mind that you may later be asked to prove that you did the right thing.

prh47bridge Fri 04-Oct-13 14:44:11

Most LAs don't send admission forms proactively to parents. You have to get them yourself.

EssexGurl Fri 04-Oct-13 13:46:22

Our LA send out admissions forms according to the address you are at registered with GP surgery. I think it is to cut down on people using phony addresses. Where did the application paperwork come to? You or ex?

Our school is a church one like yours and makes its own admissions decisions. We have to complete an additional questionnaire regarding church attendance, why we want to go to the school etc. I would make the 50/50 split very clear on that, if you have one. If not, write to the school outlining your situation so they are clear when they make their decision.

You and ex do need to decide where letters etc get sent and be clear on this from the word go.

fuckwittery Fri 04-Oct-13 07:32:10

Pizzahutlover. If there are 40 church goers and only 30 places, the spaces will then be determined by the next criteria on the list which is probably distance from the school.....

tiggytape Fri 04-Oct-13 07:28:28

No - normally church criteria is separate from address so as long as the child is taken to church as often as the school want them to be, they meet the criteria. Sometimes it is the grandparent for example who takes a child to church or mass each week, very often only one parent is relgious and the other isn't. That isn't unusual even if they all live in the same house.

So the criteria might say priority is given to children who worship at St Andrew's Church or any church in a certain parish or any church at all. It might say children who go weekly get more priority than children who go monthly.
Only if there are dozens of people who worship at the correct (qualifying) church might distance be used as a tie breaker since in those cases not all church goers could get given a place.

More rarely the criteria will say "children who worship at St Andrew's and live in the Parish of St Andrew or St. John" Again in those cases home address could rule out some church goers but those admissions criteria aren't very common. Normally just going to church is enough.

The net result is that some church schools fill up with church goers who live much further away than the local children who cannot get a place - which is bad for local children but good if like OP, you meet the faith criteria but happen to live outside the area.

NynaevesSister Fri 04-Oct-13 02:32:17

Racmum don't be so judgy when you don't know the law. School holidays don't count. Child's residence is based on the residence where they leave for school the most mornings. In this case that's half and half.

Admissions and PRH7bridge I am interested to know if there is a requirement for the parent who meets the church criteria to be the resident parent/parent who lives at the address on the form? It doesn't seem fair if it isn't to me as many families have one parent who is religious and one who isn't. Just because the parents have split doesn't mean they don't want that child to have a religious upbringing.

ModeratelyObvious Thu 03-Oct-13 21:29:50

RAC, I don't think that's having her cake and eating it, presumably the criteria is that one parent worships regularly as if both were required OP would be out of the running anyway.

ModeratelyObvious Thu 03-Oct-13 21:28:25

...is it because you wouldn't trust him to pay it on to you?

ModeratelyObvious Thu 03-Oct-13 21:27:50

OP, if the school is oversubscribed then is distance a tiebreaker between people of equal church attendance?

Why wouldn't you transfer child benefit to your ex?

racmun Thu 03-Oct-13 17:02:00

I think you need to be careful it sounds as though you need to use dads address because its closer but rely on your church involvement, but you don't live close enough. Sorry to be harsh but it sounds as though you want to have your cake and eat it.

Also looking at it over the year she'll stay at your house more due to the holidays do not really a 50/50 split. Also does any maintenance exchange between you and get dad?

I would want something in writing from the LA admissions manager advising which address up use after explaining in full the set up.

Our council uses CB or NHS record address when there is a case of over subscription. They asked for proof of residence and would accept either.

curlew Wed 02-Oct-13 14:55:57

Have you looked at your LEA website? They are usually pretty good.

tiggytape Wed 02-Oct-13 14:55:05

No - you will keep the place.
Once a place is offered it cannot be taken away again unless the place was obtained by fraud.

NewYorkDeli Wed 02-Oct-13 14:53:33

Another question though, if my daughter gets into a school where i'm living now (will have to put 2 other schools down close to my address) and i move in say, July (that's when i'm hoping to move) will they kick my daughter out of the school because we've moved? If I move in July, she'll be starting school in September.

NewYorkDeli Wed 02-Oct-13 14:48:30

Thanks for all replies.

I'm going to put my address, i'm the one that receives CB so it makes sense. I'll attach a letter stating DD's other address. I'll just have to hope for the best.

The council don't seem to have a bloody clue and keep giving me conflicting advice, they need to make it much clearer to parents.

curlew Wed 02-Oct-13 09:44:48

You need to speak to the local authority and find out how they determine a child's main address. There is no provision for exactly 50/50. There will be something they use to decide. And it's usually the address CB is paid to. Don't make any decisions until you know that.

Pizzahutlover Wed 02-Oct-13 09:44:10

I mean if you fall under the amount of time that they said you should be attending for your likely to not get a place

Pizzahutlover Wed 02-Oct-13 09:42:26

You need to speak to school and get something in writing from council if address is also considered in offering places to people but i was under the impression with these faith schools that its how long you have attended the church for, as many of these faith schools have a min on the amount of years you have gone to a certain church for. if you fall under that you likely to not be offered a place.never thought it was based on address as i have one of the top church of england schools near us and their admission critea is
Church of england children in care
Families that are in active membership with a certain church of england church
No mention on address all children get in under this critea no one else does get in i think you dont need his address

tiggytape Wed 02-Oct-13 09:22:37

pinkdelight - That is very bad advice. OP cannot just choose - she has to stick to the rules. Proof of shared care won't help her if she gets her place removed for not declaring the correct address on the form. Following advice to just do what suits her could lead to her child having no school place next year.

For admissions purposes a child cannot have two homes.
In reality OP's child does but the council must tell her which tie breaker they use to decide which address to use. OP cannot choose this. Most councils use CB as their tie breaker.

If OP applies using church criteria and Dad's address, she risks getting her application rejected or getting her school place removed at a later date. It is taken very seriously and therefore she must be sure that the address she writes on the form meets the council's written policy on shared care. That is why she needs to speak to an admissions person at the council not a receptionist and why she needs them to put it in writing before she applies.

Pizzahutlover Wed 02-Oct-13 09:19:47

You dont need dads address as you have clearly stated that the admission critera is children in care siblings AND PARENTS THAT ATTEND CHURCH REGULARLY, you fit this critea whether you are with the dad or not and their is no mention of address so this is not even considered as part of the admissions critea so what you worried about.

pinkdelight Wed 02-Oct-13 08:53:44

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

I don't see what's wrong with this in the situation described. The child is resident at the dad's address 50/50 and the mum does attend church. They are both the parents. Put the dad's address and use the mum's church attendance. It's not the DC's fault that standardised systems don't take account of her precise arrangement. If the custody wasn't 50/50, then I'd see a problem. Do you have legal documentation to prove the 50/50, OP? If so, I'd use that as proof rather than CB, if anyone asks.

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.

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

"You sound so honest it hurts"

Really?

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.

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.

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