Education consultant? Local school and application expert?

(9 Posts)
caramelgirl Thu 21-Apr-16 13:17:03

I am British but currently live abroad. We had assumed we would return next year ready for September 2017 school year.
My son would enter reception and my daughter Y3 at this point.
We knew we would find it hard to find places as these are bulge years it seems. Just realised the local private school we had as our "in case" doesn't look now like a good option. We are now panicking about where we should go so they can have a decent education (UK or otherwise).
I want to know if there is anyone I can talk to about admissions (and applying from abroad but eg with a confirmed rental or owned address) in the specific LEAs we are considering and also point us to schools which might suit. We aren't as bothered about Ofsted (feel that some heads know how to play the game- understandably) as softer stuff and sport.
I see lots of people posting wisely on here but googling "education consultant" brings up those who help with Ofsted prep etc..
Any advice or pointers? Not London, a couple of hours away up north from there.
Thank you for any advice. I appreciate it is a busy time at the moment.

mrsmortis Thu 21-Apr-16 13:34:42

You don't say which LEAs you are considering. But if you own a house in Essex, and intend to be resident there before the school year starts, then you may be allowed to apply from that address.

"If an applicant meeting the above criteria owns a property in Essex but is not living in it,
perhaps because they are working abroad at the time of application but they intend to take up
residency at the Essex home before the start of the autumn term, the application will be
processed using the Essex address. Any offer of a school place will then be conditional upon
receipt of evidence of taking up residency at that property in Essex. "

from: www.essex.gov.uk/Education-Schools/Schools/Admissions/Documents/Determined_admissions_arrangments_Primary.pdf

You'd need to contact them to check of course. But we have applied for DD2 under this clause and have been offered a place for September.

tiggytape Thu 21-Apr-16 13:39:21

An education consultant may be able to help you identify better private school options than the one you were relying on and also advise you about the entry and selection processes.
However, they probably aren't going to be much help with state schools.
Unless you or your partner are a Crown Servant then you will not be eligible to apply for state schools until you are resident in the UK. At that point the local council will process your application and also hopefully let you know which schools have vacancies.
The deadline for applying for a Sept 2017 reception place is January 15th 2017 so you need to be living in the UK by then in order to make an on-time application (and to be considered for a place at the same time as all the other children applying). If you move literally just before September, it is more a case of looking at which schools still have vacancies in the correct year groups, applying to them and also going on waiting lists for ones that are full.

tiggytape Thu 21-Apr-16 13:43:29

If some LAs are more lenient, it may be worth asking your LA direct if they will allow what Essex do. They aren't obliged to allow it though and many don't but if they say they will get it in writing just in case you need to prove later on that they said it would be fine.

caramelgirl Thu 21-Apr-16 14:13:26

Thanks yes, I would love the LEA I am considering to have an Essex type exemption and it does also seems to have a round of junior school entry. This would make a huge difference for us, but I understand it varies across the country.
I would really like to talk to someone who could then talk with the education authority in generalities around this. I don't want to directly approach the LEA in case it queers our pitch.
Any names or suggestions as to whom I could contact? Googling really didn't seem to find anyone who could help at all.
I'm surprised education consultants only really know about private schools. I guess you play to your market.
We "just" want a nice school (pref state)?we can walk to with a good community and child focused leaning. We had focused all of our searching and visiting schools to get a feel etc. in one area. Now that we feel concerned about the private school fallback we are thinking we may have to change location focus but would find it v v hard to visit. Which was why I was hoping to find someone who could give me a précis.
Any leads gratefully followed.
Thank you

caramelgirl Thu 21-Apr-16 14:14:09

Sorry, I see it is LA, not LEA

bluecarpet Thu 21-Apr-16 16:12:48

Just realised the local private school we had as our "in case" doesn't look now like a good option

why? it's no good? or it's too competitive to get into?
if it's not a good option long term, would it do to sit out reception whilst on the waiting list for state schools you like?

caramelgirl Thu 21-Apr-16 23:20:17

Sorry, just woken up (different time zone here). We are keen to avoid disruption, so want one move and then the children can start making friends and adjusting to their new life. So swapping wouldn't be ideal either. Hmmm.

caramelgirl Thu 21-Apr-16 23:23:52

The private school just looks a bit underwhelming and a bit overly religious. Neither of which came through on paper prospectus, both of which shone out of reports from our parents who visited for us. Our move abroad was decided by my DH's work in a bit of a hurry which is why we didn't have time to gather all of the useful information.

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