Moving house before reception places allocated in April - advice needed!(4 Posts)
Apologies if this has been answered elsewhere. I've been searching but not found exactly the same situation as mine.
We applied for a reception place for our daughter in our current catchment school by the deadline in January. At that time, we were looking for a new property within catchment (i.e. near our current location) but our home wasn't even under offer by then.
The complication is, we are now due to move 3-4 miles away (actually near to another school) but we want to stick with our original choice of school. We never intended to leave the area but the right property just didn't come up.
I know places are due to be allocated April 18th. We anticipate exchanging around mid-March. Of course I would intend to inform the school/authority when we have moved. My question is:
If we COMPLETE before the day that places are allocated, do we risk not being allocated / losing the place at the chosen school?
And also, if we EXCHANGE before allocation day, do we risk losing the place? Or do we not need to inform anyone until completion date? i.e. is it OK to exchange before the allocation date.
Or, will the admissions folk only go with the address we used when we applied for the place? We've been in our current property for 9 years!
I am hoping for advice from those in the know, as I have phoned the admissions team but still do not really have a clear answer on whether our application will be affected. (W. Sussex, South)
Thanks for any help! I know our timing wasn't great but couldn't be avoided.
It is up to the LA to set the rules. If you contact them make sure you get a written record of what was said. If necessary send them an email setting out your understanding of the discussion.
Most LAs will allow you to stick with your current address for allocation purposes rather than be treated as a late applicant. But you really need to get an answer from West Sussex. Unfortunately their website appears to be down at the moment so I can't check their policy to see if that says anything useful.
AS PRH says it is really up to the LA as to how they treat this. In theory once the 15th January has passed as the last date for on-time applications, you should stick with the address as of that date. If you do move after that date (and especially in March) and express an interest in different schools, it will definitely be considered a late application and you will go to the back of the queue. If you do talk to the LA make very sure that you say to them both verbally and in writing that you are telling them about a change of address solely for administrative purposes and that you are sticking with the original address and preferences for admission purposes.
The problem is that LAs have been caught to many times with people who put down an address they are renting so that they have a better chance at a school and then move out ASAP after they get the place allocated. That is why some have put terms in that say that you have to be in the address at the time of admission to the school (that is September).
That does penalise those parents who genuinely are moving and have moved in that period from January to September.
If the worst did happen and the place was removed I would definitely appeal as it is not your fault and the LA is putting in artificial blocks for something that they need to sort out by getting to the people who are doing it for the wrong reasons.
Thanks for this. The LA advised the first time I phoned - when we thought there was no way we'd move before end of April - that they could not (and wouldn't want to) take the place away once it's been offered and accepted, even if we move. Admittedly I don't have this in writing but they sounded certain. I'll try calling again to clarify what happens if we move before the offer date. Thank you very much for the useful advice, especially about advising change of address ' for correspondence only'.
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