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Moving house between school place allocation and September

(7 Posts)
loobyloo1977 Tue 21-Jan-14 16:10:20

Hi, I'm not sure if I've posted this in the right place but I could do with some advice please.

I currently have a DD in year 7 and have applied for my other DD who is in year 6 to start at the same school in September. We are however wanting to move house locally (after 1st March when the places have been allocated) and we would still be in the catchment area for the school but further away from it than our current address. I have contacted the school and they say anybody who moves between allocation will have their offer reviewed and possibly withdrawn. Is the school able to do this? It is an academy school and are responsible for their own admissions.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks

RockPaperScissorsLizardSpock Tue 21-Jan-14 16:23:54

Your DD2 should get in on the sibling rule anyway, right?

Going only on the local sought after school near to me, this clause is because of people deliberately moving in and out of the catchment area just to get their child in. They would have to decide if that was the case before withdrawing the offer of a place.

But, double check that particular schools policy as it may be more/less rigid.

tiggytape Tue 21-Jan-14 22:29:38

Once your place is offered, it cannot be removed unless they prove you were fraudulent in your application (or if an error is discovered like they got you mixed up with someone else - but they only have just a few days to withdraw an offer even in those rare cases).

A parent who rents next door to a good school whilst still owning a house 2 miles away who then moves back to their "real" house after March 1st is the kind of person the school are talking about when they say they can "review" offers. People like that are blatantly cheating the system and can and do get their offers taken away.

I assume the address you used when you applied was the only address you have and that you genuinely lived there at the time? If so, you have nothing to worry about and any house move after March 1st won't affect your offer.

admission Tue 21-Jan-14 23:03:28

You need to look at the detail of what the school admission policy says. This will be in the LA guidance document and is considered the first documentation in any dispute about admission policy. It could say that anybody moving between the 1st March when the places are allocated and another set date (likely to be 1st September) will have their place reviewed or something similar. If it is there then they could use that to review your address change. The rules however are quite clear and that is that it is the address on the 1st March that is the address that is used for deciding who can be offered a place. I do not think that if there is such a bit in the admission arrangements that it is correct against the admission regulations.
However the probability is that there is nothing in the admission criteria for the school in which case the school cannot arbitrarily carry out such an action.

loobyloo1977 Wed 22-Jan-14 10:32:02

Thanks for your replies. No the school doesn't have a sibling policy as it so popular so I'm not sure having my older daughter there would have any bearing. It was definitely a genuine application we just want to move house as we are quite cramped where we are. The school admissions policy does say anybody who moves house between allocation of offers and starting school in September will have their place reviewed and possibly withdrawn if an unsuccessful applicant then becomes a higher position on their criteria. It's driving me mad, my husband says not to worry about it but I can't help worrying that she would get a place, accept it, then we'd move and then they'd withdraw the place and give it someone else. Can they legally do that?

irisblue Wed 22-Jan-14 10:35:58

Is there any way you could just hold fire, live with being cramped and move at the end of the year to be safe? It's probably worth a few more months of discomfort so your dd definitely gets a place.

admission Wed 22-Jan-14 22:10:45

The problem is that the new admission code dates from Sept 2012 and whilst there is plenty of legal precedents for the old codes there are few for this code - it simply is too early.
The relevant paragraph in the new code is 2.12 and it says " An admission authority must not withdraw an offer of a place unless it has been offered in error, a parent has not responded within a reasonable period of time or it is established that the offer was obtained through a fraudulent or intentionally misleading application." Clearly the offer would not have been made in error, it was based on the address on the 1st March and is therefore correct. Presumably you would reply correctly so the school must be using the third part of the statement - the offer was obtained through a fraudulent or intentionally misleading application.
You need to look at the wording of what the correct address is to use for the application. That should say something like where the child lives for the majority of the week on the 1st March 2014. As such you have given the right information and therefore the application is not fraudulent. They can only be changing places based on the application being misleading but how?
Does the admission information tell you what to do if you change address between the cut off for on-time applications, usually the end of October and the time of the school places being offered? It should do, but does it say anything about the process between 1st March and 1st September?
When I read your post and see the line " will have their place reviewed and possibly withdrawn if an unsuccessful applicant then becomes a higher position on their criteria." that to me is just illegal. They are in effect continually updating their admission places and that is not as far as I am aware not allowed.
The same paragraph 2.21 of the admission code goes on to say that " where an offer is withdrawn on the basis of misleading information the application must be considered afresh, and a right of appeal offered if an offer is refused. " This is for sure what the school is basing its version of the admission criteria on, but they are misreading the sentence. It is not saying that you automatically assume that anybody moving house has given misleading information and you withdraw the place offer. It is saying that if a place is withdrawn because the information was misleading, not just because the address has changed, then the admission authority has to reconsider the application based on the correct information and decide whether they would still have been offered a place. If not then the parents have a legal right of appeal.
What you are doing is not wrong you have a perfectly legitimate reason for moving, you have met the admission criteria by naming the house that the child lives in on the 1st March. I would if they try to remove the place due to a change of address after the 1st of March immediately speak to the EFA who handle complaints about Academies.
Would you be prepared to tell me on PM what school and LA we are talking about here, because I would really like to look at their whole admission process document to see what other issues there are here.

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