That is because you can't be offered a place until you are in the country (unless you are military or diplomatic) and school places have to be offered to the first person who asks or if there is a waiting list, the person at the highest place, as soon as they become available.
If we had catchments as they do in Scotland; you would probably only be offered a place in the failing school, and it costs more as there need to be spare places (in fact in some areas of Scotland you still might struggle to get a place in the catchment school).
The basics are, don't panic. When you get here phone admissions and see if there is a place at you preferred school. Find out about all other schools and see if there is a place at a school that you would accept. See what is happening at the failing school. Be prepared to appeal for your preferred school (come back here for advice if you need it).
But whether there is a place depends on whether or not students leave.
I haven't been able to find any info about spaces V applicants. I did think that since she wasn't joining in Y7 we had more of a chance. I didn't even put a 3rd choice down which I am now questioning the wisdom of <fretting over inconsequential things>
I'm doing this too so have been looking into it myself. The council that I am moving too publishes the 'spaces' on its website for every school in every year group so it's easy to keep track. The neighbouring one doesn't, and she might go there so I have to contact every school I am interested in to see if there is space.
I think it makes a difference that she's going into year eight. You get four weeks before they legally have to start school I think.
A lot depends on where you are going. The massively oversubscribed primary I was looking at has places for my dds despite three people applying for every reception place.
Thanks for that. It is ridiculous I know. Me and DH were talking about this the other evening. When we were DDs age, you went to your closest school. None of this choice nonsense! We'll be in place in a couple of weeks so it will be much easier to sort out then. It's pretty hard from the other side of the world!
If the Good school has place the LA has to offer it to you, (once you fulfill their criteria). If the Satisfactory school has a place they have to offer that to you if the Good school doesn't. If neither has a place the LA has to offer you a place at a school within a reasonable travelling distance. This could be the unsatisfactory one.
However you still have a right to appeal for a place at one of your preferred schools, or apply to any other school in the area which has a place.
But I would also suggest that you look carefully at the failing school, as it may well be better than you think, and will certainly be having a lot of money and resources being poured into it.
Finally, I believe the way you apply for in year places is changing in September and you will then be able to apply directly to the school.
Of course I have assumed that you are moving to England as Scotland, Wales and Northern Island are different.
Phew that's good to hear. It is ridiculous I know, but having dragged her round and round the world (including a year in the UK), I want this to be her last move. DH is in total agreement despite having to live about a mile from my parents!
As you say, we'd be guessing wildly, but this is certainly a low birthrate year around here - and I suspect nationally - so you've got a better chance that people will have in the next 5 - 10 years as the 'bulge' comes through
Ridiculous question I know since none of you know the school of our choice! We are currently living in Malaysia, but due to a combination of factors are leaving in august. We are in the fortunate position of being able to rent a house from a relative which, just happens to be in the catchment of a 'good' school. It's also close to a failing school in special measures. Last night I emailed an application to the relevant authority applying for a place for her at the 'good' one and another which is 'satisfactory'. I didn't mention the failing one. How likely is it - and you will need your crystal balls for this, that the LA will just fill up the not so good one with my DD?