Keeping a school place for a year

(15 Posts)
lesshaste Fri 06-Dec-13 14:04:26

We need to go away for work for 12 months which would cover a full school year. Our oldest is in year 1 and we are worried about whether she will be able to come back to the same school. Do you always have to reapply for a place as if you had never been to the school or is there some way to keep a place? If we can't guarantee a place, this well make the work trip impossible I fear.

prh47bridge Fri 06-Dec-13 15:08:06

The school cannot keep the place open for that long. They can only keep the place for absences of a few weeks at most. You would have to reapply on return to the UK and your child would not get any priority for having attended the school previously. Sorry.

crazymum53 Fri 06-Dec-13 15:39:35

If you mean a state school then no you can't keep the place for a year.
It may be possible if your child is at a private school.

lesshaste Fri 06-Dec-13 18:28:01

Oh that's not good but thank you. We live near the school but I have no idea how many children they accept in later years after reception.

LynetteScavo Fri 06-Dec-13 18:30:24

If the class already had 30 children, you will be taking a risk in KS1. In KS2 (which is where your eldest would be on return?) numbers can go over 30.

Fuzzymum1 Fri 06-Dec-13 19:45:45

I would have a chat to the headteacher and sound her out about how they feel about having more than 30 children in KS2 classes - explain your situation and that you understand they can't keep the place but ask whether she thinks it's likely that your daughter would be readmitted.

MillyMollyMama Fri 06-Dec-13 23:33:36

Of course you cannot tell if other children will come along during the year you are away. They will then get the place(s). This is very difficult to manage and your daughter may well be inconvenienced. Maybe your school is not too popular!

prh47bridge Fri 06-Dec-13 23:35:10

Even if the headteacher is happy to have larger classes they still should not admit over PAN, nor should they admit anyone other than the person at the head of the waiting list. It is likely you would have to go to appeal. And this assumes she would be going into Y3 when you return. If she is still in Y2 infant class size regulations would apply.

Blu Fri 06-Dec-13 23:52:23

You say 'our': are you both involved in the work trip or could one parent stay and manage with weekend and holiday visits?

lesshaste Sat 07-Dec-13 04:20:25

Thank you for the very helpful answers. It looks like we should talk to the headteacher. We don't want to be separated for a year so if schooling isn't going to work I think we would have to cancel the trip. To be honest, I don't even understand yet how you apply to rejoin a school after a year as the normal forms seem to only be for starting at reception or joining mid-year.

One other thing I don't understand is, say we come back for a month mid year, is it legal for our daughter not to be in school for that period? Is there some legal maximum time you can be in the country and not be in school?

prh47bridge Sat 07-Dec-13 09:41:54

If it is a VC or community school you would be better off talking to the LA as the school may have little or no involvement in admissions.

You would use the forms for joining mid-year to apply for a place.

Your daughter doesn't have to be in school at any time. You are entitled to home educate.

LIZS Sat 07-Dec-13 09:47:53

It would be counted as an In-year admission and the policy is usually on the LA website. Will you keep your property here as that might enable you to join the waiting lists sooner when you plan to move back.

lesshaste Sat 07-Dec-13 12:59:25

It is a Community School so it is the LA who runs admissions you are right although maybe the school head has some say about exceeding 30 pupils in KS2 as was suggested above? We will be keeping our place so that's an interesting option to join a waiting list early, thank you.

tiggytape Sat 07-Dec-13 17:10:48

Do you always have to reapply for a place as if you had never been to the school or is there some way to keep a place?

No they cannot keep a place for a year for you- not even if the Head teacher really wanted to. The minute someone new moves into the area and asks for a place at that school they must give it to them.

However, not all schools are crazily popular or oversubscribed. If there are already 3 spare places or if the school is rural and hard to get to, it may not be one that people ask for very much.
In which case, the place you leave may still be empty when you return.

There's no guarantee of course and there's absolutely nothing the school or the council are allowed to do to 'save your space' for an entire year if it turns out someone else wants it. Lots of schools have a waiting list even for older children and if there's anyone on that list, the place would have to be given to them within a matter of weeks. That's probably what you need ask. Is year 1 currently full? Are there people waiting for a Year 1 place?

monopoly123 Sat 07-Dec-13 22:34:10

We were abroad while dd1 should have been in yr1, we returned to the uk half a term into her yr2. We applied through the LEA for an in year admission - even though we had a uk address we got an e-mail saying they wouldn't process our application until we were in the UK. I also e-mailed the school and they had a place and it was all a formality. Before we went we had spoken to the head an understood there were no guarantees - for her to return in yr2 was harder than yr 3 in terms of places. We decided we would apply to 2 other schools when we did the LEA form but if she hasn't got a place at our nearest school we would have kept her on the waiting list.

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