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

(283 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.

piefarmer Thu 17-Sep-15 12:43:23

This comes up every year, so posting for anyone reading.

Yes, it is unethical. You harm another family directly by trying to benefit your own family. It also undermines community cohesion by having schoolmates not live nearby, and it harms the environment as larger distances need to be travelled.

But really, it is wrong because you hurt someone directly for your own child's interests. Caring for your child is not an excuse to directly hurt another child and take from that child what you want for your child. Period.

And to those who say 'but everyone is doing it' or 'likely to take a spot from another renting family' - That is an attempt to justify your situation and downplay your ethical dilemma - its a natural response to your cognitive dissonance - you don't want to think of yoruself as a bad person. But it is not true, an it is not helpful.

Not everyone is doing it. Some of us beleive in respecting our neighbours and others and won't directly hurt them to benefit our own kids. And what kind of moral code do you follow anyway if you truely believe that if many peopel do something unethical then its OK for you to do so as well?

It is also incredibly unlikely that you take the spot of another strategic renter. Less than half of the spaces will be taken up by strategic renters we can guess. And those renters won't be renting on the edge of the catchment, they'll rent as close as possible to be certain. You will take a place from someone on the edge who likely has been living there a lot longer and deserves the spot.

Its worse though - you are likely to be able to afford private school, or to move to another community altogether where schools are more to your liking. The person you take this space from probably can't. So you likely give them fewer options than you have by doing this to them.

So not only are you taking from someone what they should have because you want it for your kid, but you leave them with fewer options than you would have if they are not as wealthy as you (most likely the case).

The statement above that it 'might not be in the spirit of the law' but is legal is damning - if you admit it is not in the spirit of the law then you are admitting it is unethical and wrong. Yes you can get away with it in some places. But please admit you are being unethical and hurting someone - stop denying it or making excuses like 'its ok if its for my child'. Its not OK to take something away from someone else if it is for your child. Please recognise that.

tiggytape Sat 30-Aug-14 11:08:29

Lavender - there is no difference between renting or buying a home in catchment. Both are absolutely fine.

However it is fiddling the system to leave a family home empty for a year to rent a flat inside the catchment area of a good school and use the flat's address on the school application form.
People do this to get the best of both worlds: a lovely, affordable home outside catchment area PLUS a place in a school that their normal home address wouldn't enable them to access. This takes places away from the people whose genuine homes (rented or owned) are inside the catchment area all along.

Beastofburden Sat 30-Aug-14 10:37:17

But lavender there is nothing wrong with renting in catchment. Most ppl rent in expensive areas. OP wants to rent for literally a week or something, just until the application is in, and then move out again. Which is the issue.

The difference between buying in catchment and paying fees is that when your kid leaves school, you still own a house in catchment and you can sell it for super bucks to the next family. Ppl buying in catchment make more money, but those houses can be unaffordable, even to families who can manage school fees.

Lavenderhill Sat 30-Aug-14 10:30:25

So a child whose parents come to buy a house to be in the catchment area is entitled a place and a child whose parents come to rent to be in the catchment area is a cheat? Seriously? I don't see why some mums call renting "fiddling the system". Not all familly can get a mortgage, especially in a good catchment area. This debate is ridiculous, and some mums really need to open their gated house to the real world.

tobysmum77 Tue 19-Aug-14 08:27:17

but then if you sell the house again you may end up making money that way. private school fees you don't get back.

interesting thread: how good a school is has nothing to do with the children in it. Perhaps but it does have a lot to do with the parents of the children.

Also someone with a 2yo worried about a secondary school being in sm. Erm it won't be in 9 years confused . Equally schools are only 'outstanding' till the next time they are inspected (by which time the goalposts have moved) OFSTED is not only a complete load of bollocks but the ratings change.

rachLaw Sun 17-Aug-14 23:00:59

It's funny how people are prepared to spend more money on a house in a particular school's catchment area than it would cost to put their kids through private school. Another site that seems to be trying to cut out the middle man is but it appears a bit bare at the moment.

save4it Sun 17-Aug-14 19:44:34

op can you afford to buy a small place instead of taking such risk. Or can you rent a place and at the same time put your home on the market.

Unfortunately we have a very unfair education system. Every decent parent wants to do their best for their dcs. This is depriving other dcs, of course it is. What about those who try to get their dcs into grammar schools from far far away way outside of their home counties? Many of our local dcs have been deprived for decades.

prh47bridge Thu 14-Aug-14 23:25:46

So you are saying it is all right to fiddle the system in order that your child gets a place at your preferred school at the expense of the child who should have got that place. And that is somehow more moral than saying the place should go to the child who, according to the rules, should get the place.

Renting in order to get a place at your preferred school is against the rules. LAs are getting tougher on this all the time so it is increasingly likely that anyone who tries this will be found out and could end up in a worse situation than they would have had they been honest about their home address.

The government is working to improve schools and has achieved considerable success. The number of schools performing below the floor standard has dropped substantially. It is also working on increasing choice through encouraging the formation of free schools. But, of course, there will always be some schools that are better than others. There is no way of preventing that. It is, however, also the case that the school which is best this year may no longer hold that position next year.

Oh and my door is open to the world of democracy. I am pretty sure you will find that the democratic will of the people is that the rules on school admissions should be enforced and that people who attempt to cheat the system by renting should be penalised.

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.

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 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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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


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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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 02:56:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.

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.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now