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New school admission rule, siblings and moving

(52 Posts)
FiloPony Wed 18-Jan-17 08:07:47

Our borough has brought in a new rule, for siblings to get priority on school admissions it only applies if you still live at the same address.

Aibu this is hugely unfair? For context it's an area of high deprivation, the families I'm aware of who are caught have moved due to rental contracts being ended or reasons such as temporary housing. Not buying or selling property they own or movingly to more desirable addresses.

Clearly the idea is from areas with outstanding schools and affluent families renting or movingly close. This is not our borough though! Schools are not wow, much of a muchness and generally good or satisfactory. Families affected will have two infant children potentially 3 miles apart in an area where this is easily an hour on public transport.

Surely this is very foreseeable that they will hit their most deprived families, surely exemption should apply... or even questioning why on earth they need the rule! School places are skewed simply as they have built more and more places on one side of the borough which now have empty spaces compared to the other where schools are full. They've made the plces in the areas they weren't as needed because it's more built up with smaller property compared to the derived area with more social housing and families...

LadyPenelope68 Wed 18-Jan-17 08:11:20

Have to say I agree with the Local Authority ruling. It will out a huge stop to those people who rent in an area temporarily just to get their child in a particular school, then move as soon as they get the place.

FiloPony Wed 18-Jan-17 08:13:41

If you live in one of these areas yes it would. No one I see is renting to get into a satisfactory school on an estate round here

Sirzy Wed 18-Jan-17 08:20:10

But the other way of looking at it is by having children who live out of area in the school they are potentially forcing others to have to travel further? And in an area of deprivation that could be a massive problem.

I think sibling priority only applying to those within a "catchment" is the fairest way all around.

meditrina Wed 18-Jan-17 08:21:17

Changes to admissions criteria have to go out for formal consultation, so if this has now been published the time to object or seek amendment has passed.

And of course it'll only apply to non-academy schools, so it may have less impact than you might otherwise expect

MsJamieFraser Wed 18-Jan-17 08:22:48

I agree with it.

PurpleMinionMummy Wed 18-Jan-17 08:26:18

What do you mean by it only applies if you live at the same address?

This rule will stop someone having to take two small children to separate schools which is what currently happens with no sibling priority rule. Sibling priority is sensible imo.

FiloPony Wed 18-Jan-17 08:29:40

The school most notably affected was until a few years ago that school no one else wanted, so families from 3+ miles away were allocated it so a large number travel. These were often families that were in temporary housing as well as those that didn't get a local school. Lots of flats were then built and now it's much fuller due to the influx. Other schools it's probably just a few parents affected, but how do you manage a yr2 in a school far away from reception child. It's not as simple as just moving child 1 as schools are generally full nearby.

I think it's easy to agree when it's not you affected through no fault of your own, but I think the borough has adopted a fashionable policy from areas that may need it and wrongly applied it to an area that just doesn't have the issue. The only schools people move for are faith ones, which manage their own admissions so are unaffected.

FiloPony Wed 18-Jan-17 08:31:26

Schools on this side of the borough are nearly all non academy still, small schools but all very close. If you don't get your closest you can be allocated miles away. I for example have 6 primaries within 1 mile but only would have a chance of getting into one

FiloPony Wed 18-Jan-17 08:33:03

Purple minion, it means if since your child joined the school you've had to move you no longer get sibling priority. So for example one family were allocated from 2 miles away, have moved closer since following a rental contract ending and are not likely to get the younger child in despite living within walking distance

JennyOnAPlate Wed 18-Jan-17 08:33:54

The schools in our area have started to place catchment above siblings. It's to stop people moving into the area (In a rented place for 6 months) to get child one into an outstanding school, then moving out of the catchment again but still getting the siblings in. I think it's a much fairer way of doing it.

FiloPony Wed 18-Jan-17 08:37:47

Those who think it's fair, a scenario for some families:

Mum in school do hostel when first child enters school. For next child is rehoused around 0.5 miles from school in social housing. For this child she is allocated a space 2 miles away or 45 min in traffic that starts at the same time.

This has happened. Is it for the greater good she has this issue? Should it be resolved? Or should she keep child 2 out of school in hope of a place coming up (seems to be common solution)

Marynary Wed 18-Jan-17 08:38:00

In areas with not particularly good schools such as OP will the new rules make any difference? Where I live only the "outstanding" schools are oversubscribed and you can generally get a place at the other schools whether or not siblings go there and however far away you live.

I think that sibling priority is sensible for primary schools but completely unnecessary for secondary schools.

FiloPony Wed 18-Jan-17 08:38:09

DV hostel

FiloPony Wed 18-Jan-17 08:39:20

Quick search, confirms our only local outstanding schools are a faith school and academy 1.5 miles away who both run their own admissions... there is so reason to think people are moving round here...

Marynary Wed 18-Jan-17 08:42:43

Are the schools oversubscribed in your local area FiloPony? If not there won't be a problem.

FiloPony Wed 18-Jan-17 08:46:20

Yes, lots of new flats were built, but places for schools created in the other side of the borough through academy chains. Schools here have silly cut offs as low as 0.2 miles or less

steppemum Wed 18-Jan-17 08:55:27

I can see your point OP.
I think in general the swithc away from siblings changes the rules so that siblings within catchment still applies, and then non siblings within catchment then kids (including siblings) from outside of catchment, which I would be happy with as a rule.

I know one school in our area which had a lot of kids allocated a few years ago has kept a special ruling in that the siblings of those kids get priority, as the parents had no choice and were allocated this school. That also seems fair.

I do think in your case the council should look at families in temp accommodation and how it impacts on school applications, but sadly for these families they will always get caught in the middle, how many of them are in the same housing form application date to start date anyway?

slummamumma Wed 18-Jan-17 09:11:01

Agree is harsh. It also affects some step siblings and half brothers/sisters - it would be great if they could be educated the at the same school and form stronger bonds with each other.

ItWentInMyEye Wed 18-Jan-17 09:13:40

I've only just found out with our 3rd child that he doesn't get sibling priority to go to the school the other 2 attend and where he attends the nursery. We haven't moved hoise since 2 years before my eldest started there. I think it's an awful policy.

PurpleMinionMummy Wed 18-Jan-17 09:17:46

Sorry Filo I'm obviously not awake this child gets allocated a place in school one, family moves, child 2 gets allocated in a different school 2 miles away? Instead of with sibling 0.5 miles away?

Sibling priority is meant to prevent this exact situation. Obviously it's not worked for this person. I thought they should/could only allocate on current addresses (or if you have proof you will be going to a new address that one) so if mum was in her new home at the time of application she should get sibling priority for the youngest. Have they alloacted the school going from the hostel address perhaps?

I would certainly query the whole 'only if you live atbthe same address' rule with the LA/admissions team and appeal in her shoes.

mambono5 Wed 18-Jan-17 09:22:32

Completely fair, the catchments should be smaller in most cases, and the nearest children should have priority. Siblings over catchment rules should stop once and for all. It's an unfair rule.

Why should a family have to buy a car and make their child commute when there is a school on their doorstep but no space for them? It happens too many time, people moving only for 6 months and it's absolutely unfair.

It cannot be in the best interest of the child to be allocated a school miles away from where he lives. Technically children should move school if the family moves, it's not such a big deal at all, but I understand that it's difficult to implement in practice. Some kids have to, and they don't suffer from it.

don't get me started on new built being authorised without provisions for schools and GP surgeries

FiloPony Wed 18-Jan-17 09:23:03


Mum, child 1- registered address is hostel. Allocated school at a distance due to free spaces there

Interim- loads of new flats built, school becomes over subscribed

Child 2- new address, closer but no sibling place as now has moved out of hostel

drspouse Wed 18-Jan-17 09:29:39

If the school where child 2 has been allocated a place is less full, could child 1 move there?

I agree this is a silly policy and wonder if they shouldn't change it to be that if you have moved further away you no longer get sibling priority.

Obviously those who are playing the rent-a-flat game will be moving further away, not closer.

ItWentInMyEye Wed 18-Jan-17 09:31:21

Catchment doesn't always work. my eldest attended nursery at closest school, we were told we lived too far away for him to attend the school. Given a place at a school even further away, second child got in there, now we might not get a place for child 3. So neither catchment or siblings policy have worked for us.

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