Moving into rented accommodation in the catchment area-when can I safely move back?

(282 Posts)
enlondon Wed 10-Apr-13 01:00:03

I am thinking of renting a property in the catchment area of a secondary school. Once I have done this and my child is given a place (presuming everything has gone to plan and the catchment area has not all off the sudden become even smaller etc), how much longer do I need to live there before I can move safely back to our house outside the catchment area? As soon as I have filled in the application? As soon as my child is offered the place? As soon as my child has actually started in September? I actually called the LEA to ask this question and they were not sure. I asked a different LEA the same question about another school and they said that I could move out of the catchment area as soon as the application form was received! They seemed puzzled by my question though, understandably, and not sure if I trust their answer.

Tuhlulah Wed 11-Dec-13 10:09:25

I think this thread is a wind up, isn't it?

Isn't this thread specifically designed to get everyone up on their high horses?

Are you a troll, EN, or as K8 suggests, a brass necked little madam?

tiggytape Wed 11-Dec-13 10:38:39

This is a very old thread but to answer the question about doorstep inspections:

Yes they do happen

The inspectors normally call at dawn or dusk when you'd expect a family to be home but will make repeat visits if necessary and also ask neighbours about the family who live nextdoor (i.e. are they there the whole time, are they there at weekends etc)

They will identify themselves when they knock - it is a perfectly valid part of the checking process and they've nothing to hide

Inspections are most common in areas where school places are in high demand eg if a family move close to a good school less than a year before the admissions deadline, they might expect a visit. This is to ensure fairness for all - people living in a highly sought after catchment (especially if they are new to that area) have to accept that the council has an absolute duty to ensure school places don't go to people who are trying to cheat / sidestep the system.

Tuhlulah Wed 11-Dec-13 10:41:54

Yes, Tiggytape, I mistook the date, so thanks for replying.

I was querying the way the OP went from suggesting renting to get a place to baptism to get into a religious school. It all seemed deliberately intended to wind everyone up. It just didn't seem genuine, although I appreciate all the responses were genuine.

copanya Thu 12-Dec-13 09:07:54

It's what make me so cross about the state system. They have well intentioned rules and then allow a game to develop over their application. I can't really blame you for playing the game, but the LEA's have to find a way to reduce this from happening. It consumes coffee mornings in years 5 and 6, leads to kids facing long commutes, and reserves the best schools for those with the pointiest elbows.

Bemused33 Thu 12-Dec-13 10:02:51

I have not read the whole thread but our one form entry primary school is FULL of children coming from way over the catchment. Two in ds's class are travelling over ten miles!!!! This is an oversubscribed primary school! The school secretary has raised her eyebrows over the amount if children living at the same address. It's a disgrace not more is done.

That being said I looked around one of put closest secondary's which is a flagship school. It has excellent results. Despite being in walking distance it's catchment is minuscule so we stood no chance. However DH owns a house in its catchment and we did briefly consider whether it was worth cobbling it. We decided against it. It was not worth the risk and as we live on the same road as the school secretary it would have been extra risky.

We did have other options though though I know parents who have moved into rented for exactly this reason.

It's hard I don't agree with it but morals are funny things and it's such a grey area and had we had no other options we might have considered lying.

JustAnotherUserName Thu 12-Dec-13 10:27:38

Its not really a grey area, though. Its clearly wrong (both on most school's rules and on any measure of fairness). Many do it in my part of the world too.

rachLaw Sun 06-Apr-14 21:38:19

I'm afraid this is a game that a lot of people have resorted to playing and the only people getting rich off it are the estate agents! They still charge a fat commission despite knowing it will be a really easy sale/let. Sites like www.CatchmentProperty.com try to circumvent them but still they cream it in, not caring about the unfortunate ones they are allowing to be pushed out. Interestingly a report based on findings in Edinburgh shows the price hike you pay is the equivalent of paying to go private anyway. so perhaps the poster should just consider paying a different way... 6 months rent would go some way towards fees.

Lavenderhill Sat 09-Aug-14 23:12:08

Why renting to be the catchment is so " clearly wrong"? I have been living in the same area for 20 years. I am now a mum and really want to continue living in my community and send my child to the best local school ( 2 streets away from me). But i am not in the catchment area. Someone in the thread is suggesting " buying a house in the catchment area', I don't have 1 million pound. According to this debate, the children who are allowed into that school are the children of the parents who came to buy those 1 million pound houses just to be in the catchment area, they might be part of that small community ( 3 streets) and soon they will buy another expensive house in the catchment area of a good secondary school. How about people of the community who can't afford those houses? I have no option but to drop my cheap rental I love , then move into an expensive rental in the ' catchment area', then find a new place to live. People can judge me, but we can argue that if more schools had better standard we wouldn't be judging each other on this. Every child is entitled to a good education, regardless of their parent's income.

weatherall Sat 09-Aug-14 23:41:05

When I moved into a good catchment area I had to show I was no longer liable for council tax at my old address before they would let my DC into the local school.

It's the system that's broken, that's not the ops fault.

Deckmyballs Sat 09-Aug-14 23:44:59

I don't think you will be depriving anyone really other than those in the same position as you are, living outwith catchment but haven't come up with the ingenious solution (or don't have the money/balls) to peruse it.

Well done op - fantastic! smile

Anyway,I would say after he starts. I have been in a similar position where we moved after having a place allocated and our place was revoked.

prh47bridge Sun 10-Aug-14 00:05:18

Whether you like it or not renting to get a place at a popular school is against the rules. Many LAs now have lists of addresses they know are used for such rents and take a careful look at any short term rent or other suspicious activity. If they conclude that you have broken the rules they are entitled to take away your place even after your child has started at your preferred school.

Coolas Sun 10-Aug-14 02:54:39

We have had a number of parents do this at our school. Once the place has been offered and the child has started then you could move. A few did this in my first year group and I have to say I did get an impression of the honesty/trustworthiness of parents for having done this.
But if they are that desperate then so be it.

Apart from the point the other posters make about taking the place of another local child, I would also be wary that your child will likely live a long way away from new classmates. Never let your child know you are doing this if you choose to go ahead.

Coolas Sun 10-Aug-14 02:56:21

I was not aware of LAs keeping lists of addresses, but in any case if the school you want your child to attend is an academy then they will not work that closely with the LA on admissions.

prh47bridge Sun 10-Aug-14 06:19:09

Once the place has been offered and the child has started then you could move

As I have pointed out before this is wrong. The place can still be removed if the LA believes you have obtained the place by making a false or misleading application. It happens every year. And in that situation the child is going to end up at an unpopular school, possibly miles from home. So the parents could find themselves in a much worse situation than if they had been honest.

if the school you want your child to attend is an academy then they will not work that closely with the LA on admissions

Dream on. Academies don't like people breaking the rules any more than other types of school. The type of parent that is willing to break the rules to do other children out of places that are, like it or not, rightfully theirs is likely to cause problems for the school. They have no choice but to work closely with the LA on admissions. Their only involvement is to set their admission criteria and put the list of applicants in order. The rest of the process is handled by the LA. And, of course, if they allow parents to get away with this behaviour they may well face successful appeals for those children who have been deprived of places, resulting in the school having to admit beyond PAN.

Yes, it is possible you may get away with this. Some people do. But admission authorities (LAs and schools) are improving their enforcement all the time and if you are found out you could find your child attending a sink school you really hate that you would have avoided if you had been honest. That is the risk you take.

Coolas Sun 10-Aug-14 11:15:28

Probably the best thing to do is to check out the school's admissions policy. As I said, as an academy we do not liaise with the LA closely. We do insist that students have been living in their house for at least 12 months but if they choose to move when they have arrived that is not something that we would take up.

Rooners Sun 10-Aug-14 16:57:38

'Its essentially an active protest against the state who are trying to force children into a sub-standard education'

No, it isn't. It's standing on other people who are equally affected by the state system.

A bit like a bloke getting into a lifeboat on the Titanic, as a protest against the company that didn't provide enough spaces.

That's not very heroic or even very understandable.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sun 10-Aug-14 21:16:59

Our next door neighbours have done this. Rented their house out and moved 20 miles away so they are in the catchment for grammar schools. (Both kids very bright.)

They moved when older one was in year 5 and plan to come back once younger one goes to university so will be gone for about 10 years.

They were originally going to sell their house (it was on the market for 6 months) but they couldn't get an offer and decided that as, long term, they want to come back anyway they would keep it.

If you are going to do it you should do it this way.

LePetitPrince Mon 11-Aug-14 00:22:17

Op

LePetitPrince Mon 11-Aug-14 00:25:09

OP - is the school in question one with a tiny catchment area because siblings and exam entrance candidates take most of the places? Is so, I'd forget the plan - the school knows every rented house on the local streets and are super vigilant to this sort of thing.

MumTryingHerBest Mon 11-Aug-14 14:14:44

Op, go for it. Your DC deserves a place (at the shittiest school in the area, which is where they will end up if you get caught).

Be aware that other parents (particularly those who have children on the waiting list) will inform on you if they find out so it is not just the LEA and school you will need to fool.

prh47bridge Mon 11-Aug-14 14:18:45

This thread is over a year old. I doubt the OP is listening.

Stratter5 Mon 11-Aug-14 14:32:28

If OP has already spoken to the LEA, she WILL have alerted them. Your phone number comes up on the system, even if you are ex directory; I rang and reported a noise nusiance a couple of weeks ago, and when I went to give them my details, they already had them up on the screen. So unless you rang from a mobile that isn't registered to your address via your children's' current school, they know EXACTLY who rang. They even had my mobile on file.

Lavenderhill Wed 13-Aug-14 00:38:04

I hope her child got a place. Renting is perfectly acceptable in this rotten school system. And i hope that all the mums who are wishing bad luck to this mum and her children, get some sort of education too.

prh47bridge Thu 14-Aug-14 00:08:26

It is highly unlikely her child did get a place given that she had alerted the LA to her intentions. Renting is not acceptable. You are attempting to do someone else out of a place that is rightfully theirs.

Lavenderhill Thu 14-Aug-14 21:59:18

What is the option if ' renting is not acceptable' and you can't get a mortgage? How about opening your door to the world of democracy, and opening the debate towards better schools for every child? Rather than repeat some "morals" which deep down have nothing moral.

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