Moving to England, help with schools please!

(8 Posts)
AndThisIsTrue Thu 18-Jun-15 08:10:11

We are planning to move to England next year after DH graduates but DS will be 4 in April. Would this mean he would be going to school in the September?
We don't know exactly where we are moving to yet and we will have to wait until DH gets a job in the right area/find somewhere to live. Is it likely we would be able to get DS into a school if we moved in June/July? Am I right in thinking we need to have an address before we can apply for a school? I don't really know anything about how school choices work in England, what would happen if he couldn't get a place at all? Sorry if these are daft questions! Thanks.

LIZS Thu 18-Jun-15 08:13:00

Yes he'd be due in school for September 2016. The normal application process will have been completed by June , with places allocated , but you can make a late application and go on waiting lists when you move.

Christelle2207 Thu 18-Jun-15 08:17:14

Hello, others will have more detailed info for you but you're right you can't apply for school until you have a confirmed address. School places have already been allocated for september 2015 but your local authority will (by law) have to find a place for your kids somewhere in the borough/county- bear in mind this could be an undersubscribed school several miles from your house. There is always a bit of wiggle room in september however when kids enroll in private schools and don't inform the authority etc and many parents suddenly get offered a place at the preferred school.
In rural areas you may be lucky as the local school may not be full but in cities especially London good schools can be very oversubscribed and a bit of a lottery to get into.

Losingmyreligion Thu 18-Jun-15 08:18:04

Application deadline is usually January for the following September. You may still get into your catchment area school on appeal if you apply after that date.

AndThisIsTrue Thu 18-Jun-15 08:35:52

Hi thanks for the replies already. So if he gets into a school that's far away is there a chance we could move him later or would that be a bad idea?

LIZS Thu 18-Jun-15 08:37:36

If you put him on a waiting list for a closer school/s, a place may come up at any point. Moving in infant schools year isn't such a big deal.

Saracen Thu 18-Jun-15 10:43:34

If the school your son is offered is far enough away, he qualifies for free transport from the Local Authority. Many parents are happy with that, but others aren't comfortable with the transport offered. Transport is something to consider when deciding whether to accept the school you are offered.

Once the council has offered a school, they have fulfilled their responsibility. You then have a number of options.

You can accept or decline the school. If you decline it, the council has no obligation to offer you a different school so you would have to be prepared to make your own arrangements if you can't get him into your preferred school. Your son isn't legally required to be educated at all until the term after his fifth birthday, which in his case would be the September after he is five. The year he is four, you can send him to preschool instead of school if you prefer; the government funds a half-time place there. In theory the preschool curriculum for four year olds is the same as the school curriculum for four year olds. You could send him to a private school or home educate. Home education is very straightforward - you can use whatever methods seem best to you - and some parents use it as a way of delaying school start to a later age or waiting for a better school. Whenever he joins state school, he will go into a class with his "age peers": kids in English and Welsh state schools are rarely "held back" with younger children.

Whether or not you have accepted the school, you can join a waiting list in hopes something better will come up. You can also appeal for the school you prefer.

In the first (Reception) year of school, you can keep hold of the place your son is offered without risk of losing it, but defer his start. This is age-linked. In your son's case, the latest he can start without risk of losing the place is the summer term (April). Some people do that as a way of buying time while waiting to see if they can get their child into their preferred school. Best case scenario, he gets a place at a better school and starts during the year, not having had to settle in at one school and be uprooted to another. Worst case, nothing better comes up and he starts in April at the school he was originally offered - but at least you haven't lost that place too and ended up stuck with an even less desirable school.

AndThisIsTrue Thu 18-Jun-15 11:06:08

Thanks Saracen, good to know there are other options. We are in Scotland atm so if we stayed here he wouldn't start school until he was 5 and a half so it wouldn't be the end of the world if he started later or started the year after I suppose. So much to think about though I think it will be a stressful few months but hopefully it will all work out fine.

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