moving with children already in primary school

(6 Posts)
juanitacocina Tue 22-Apr-14 20:58:22

Hi everyone,
We are moving from the U.S. to the U.K. this summer with our two children who are age 7 and 9. I'm wondering what happens when all the neighborhood schools are full, or mostly full. We are looking at St. Albans, and it's almost impossible to find a school in town that has spaces in both years, though some have spaces in one year, and some in the other. I'm wondering if anyone has been through this (certainly people do move there, right?!) and generally what happens in this situation -- i.e., will they children get sent to different schools, will we be forced to go to a school that's miles away, or will they make room in the year that doesn't have space if the sibling is accepted? It's going to be a big move for us, and my kids are close, so I don't want to split them up into two different schools. Wondering if it makes more sense to look at areas where the schools aren't quite so crowded? It's all very different here in the U.S. -- you find a good school and move within the district, and the school has to find room for your children, no matter how many students it has. I would love to hear from anyone who has been in any kind of similar circumstance! Thanks in advance!!

ThreeLannistersOneTargaryen Tue 22-Apr-14 21:07:01

If one child gets in, then the other one would then be quite close to the top of the waiting list, as having a sibling already at the school is usually above distance in the admissions criteria of many primary schools.

I do know of people who have successfully appealed for a sibling place; in Y3 and above the number of children in each class can go above 30. DD (Y5) currently has 32 in her class.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 22-Apr-14 22:11:27

The initial allocation may well be to two different schools. Is that impossible?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 22-Apr-14 22:11:52

...I meant impossible for you to manage.

Spindelina Wed 23-Apr-14 08:27:34

In the first instance, assuming there isn't such pressure on school places that there are no spaces within an hour or so of your home, you will have to go wherever there is space.

That might be in two different schools. If you find a school (maybe a bit further away) that has space for both, there is no problem sending them there instead* of somewhere closer.

In the slightly longer term, you could appeal for a place for either or both of them to get them into a full school, but that's not going to be your first course of action.

*with the caveat that you lose any entitlement to free transport if you choose a far-away school (they have to provide free transport if the nearest school place is over 2/3 miles away for under/over 8 years old).

tiggytape Wed 23-Apr-14 08:39:06

It is possible you may be allocated separate schools and there is also no guarantee of a local one if they are full. A school will not accept an additional child into a full year group just because their sibling is joining.

As others have said, once one child gets a place at a local school or one you like, most waiting lists operate to give the sibling much more priority when a new place becomes free.

Rules on class sizes are also less strict for children aged over 7 in Year 3 and above. It is possible to win an appeal to get the other child into the same school as their sibling more easily with older children than children in Year 2 and under. It won't be automatic that they make a space for the other child but you can go to appeal and put your case and they may allow it.

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