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to surprised that this sort of cheating for a secondary school place still goes on?

(264 Posts)
bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 05-Sep-16 15:11:50

I thought the schools were generally supposed to be more on top of this sort of scam:

Family outside catchment of highly desirable school let out their house, move to a rented house within catchment for two years to go through admission process and get their first dd into the school, then move back to their original family home. Now their next three dd's will go to that school even though they all now live outside of the catchment!

A feel a certain sort of contempt for people who would do this, and am really surprised that schools still turn a blind eye.

ChablisTyrant Mon 05-Sep-16 15:13:32

Completely normal in London. We lived on a street with lovely houses but no desirable school catchment. Neighbours would frequently move out for a year into a decent school catchment and then back once the first kid started school.

bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 05-Sep-16 15:13:43

arrgh, random apostrophe! I hate myself!

ConferencePear Mon 05-Sep-16 15:13:48

Which teacher from the school are you going to designate as a private investigator ?

QuiteLikely5 Mon 05-Sep-16 15:14:03

They have done nothing wrong! You don't know the reasons as to why they moved and first priority goes to people living in catchment and then priority goes to siblings.

bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 05-Sep-16 15:15:33

When you say "we lived ..." how long ago was this?

Witchend Mon 05-Sep-16 15:15:52

I suspect by doing it for two years they probably manage to get away with it.

bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 05-Sep-16 15:16:26

QuiteLikely - they moved to get a place at the school.

minipie Mon 05-Sep-16 15:17:02

Is doing that against the rules though? If not, then it's not cheating. It is exploiting a loophole in the rules which, like you, I'm not keen on, but it's not actually cheating.

For the sought after schools near me, there used to be a lot of this sort of thing. But now the rules have changed so that (1) if a family owns a house and rents another, the house they own is deemed to be their residence for admissions purposes. And (2) if a family move to more than a certain distance away, then siblings won't get priority admission. I wonder if more and more LAs will make these kind of changes to their rules.

unexpsoc Mon 05-Sep-16 15:17:29

Happens for primary schools more than secondary. There is a family with a child in my little boy's school. They "split up" for 6 months - meant the mother and child moved into a studio apartment for that 6 months - got into the school. then fantastic news! It was all resolved pretty much the second day of school.

It's interesting because it is a faith school - and one of the key tenets of that faith is thou shalt not lie. Well, unless it is a lie to get something you want and be in the way of what other people want. Then it is OK.

The problem is that it is grossly unfair to other parents who do live in that area and miss out on places. Any sort of gaming is unfair.

Of course, if we could stop having good schools and bad schools, and actually bring all of our schools up to a decent level we wouldn't have educational ghettos. But it's alright - academies and the competitive market will fix all that...

harderandharder2breathe Mon 05-Sep-16 15:18:08

Pretty big gamble assuming all remaining children will get in despite living outside catchment area! If oversubscribed school they may find they end up with 1 child at good school and the rest at a different school miles away

bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 05-Sep-16 15:20:26

No, this school gives priority to siblings over everyone else except looked after children. Afaik, none of the schools in the area have catchment as the first priority.

EssentialHummus Mon 05-Sep-16 15:20:29

We haven't gone through this yet, but given the shortage of places at good schools, if the rules say "You must be resident in catchment for two years (or three years, or five years) prior to application", people will jump those hoops.

Surely one way to dissuade them is to abolish sibling priority if they're not still resident in their catchment property?

We are seriously contemplating a move from a lovely area which is a schools black hole, to a dodgy area with a feeder to a leafy comp. Which is mad in most respects, but a rational response to the system we're in.

Chattymummyhere Mon 05-Sep-16 15:23:13

Along of my ds intake year parents moved way way out of catchment not long after their child started or just after the last sibling got in. Some drive over an hour for school. I'm outside catchment but we just managed to get in (first year of a bigger intake that people hadn't realised) but could of very easily said we moved into the inlaws as they are 3 minutes away.

bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 05-Sep-16 15:23:25

Minipie, I think you are agreeing with me. I could have worded my op differently and said I am surprised more schools have not tightened up the loopholes that allow middle class families with money and resources (usually) to dishonestly get places.

LurkingHusband Mon 05-Sep-16 15:24:59

Once again, a good reason to allocate places by lottery ...

YelloDraw Mon 05-Sep-16 15:25:28

Well, 2 years is quite a long time to live there and rent!

bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 05-Sep-16 15:26:04

EssentialHummus - this family moved to the rented house just in time to do the application and for the whole of their dd's Y7. That's just under two years.

bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 05-Sep-16 15:26:51

What do you mean two years is quite a long time to live there and rent?

BabyGanoush Mon 05-Sep-16 15:27:11

They actually lived there for 2 years.

It is not cheating, or fraud, they actually lived in the catchment for 2 years.

How is it any skin of your nose?!

bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 05-Sep-16 15:28:55

BabyGanoush - it is skin off the noses of the four children who live closer to the school who have lost their place to children who live further away from the school! Isn't it obvious?

babybarrister Mon 05-Sep-16 15:29:18

I know someone just about to do this with a faith based secondary school in London - I too am surprised that the LAs have not tightened up their rules but it is happening all the time ....

HMRC might also be interested in the income being generated from the property being rented out....

BabyGanoush Mon 05-Sep-16 15:32:20

bibbitty, which four children?

Are these hypothetical children? Did 4 children in catchment actually not get in because of the kids mentioned in the OP ?

bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 05-Sep-16 15:33:48

Many schools are no longer under LA control in London babybarrister - they are all in charge of their own admissions, so if they want to clamp down on "this sort of thing" they have to put some effort in. Ime they secretly quite welcome the cheaters ... they know these are families who are prepared to go to extraordinary lengths for a school place, which says something about the commitment of the parents, the interest they take in their dc education and, yes, the likelihood that they are well off/middle class.

But some Mumsnetters who are heavily involved in rl in school admissions have said that things are improving in this regard ... I'm just surprised to see tighter rules not applied in an exceptionally over-subscribed school.

Pecena Mon 05-Sep-16 15:34:09

I wonder if more and more LAs will make these kind of changes to their rules.
if it will be worth the LA's time to bother given that so many of the most desirable schools are turning into academies

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