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what to do with 7 y.o. while waiting for a school place

(47 Posts)
mosteff Mon 01-Aug-16 10:31:48

I'll be moving from abroad to London in a few weeks for a new job and have a child entering Year 3. As his school application won't be reviewed until first day of school, he will be out until we have a placement. What should I do with him until we can arrange for him to start? I'm just looking for some ideas/direction. As it will be my first time living in the country, I won't have someone I know that can stay with him. Thanks.

sooperdooper Mon 01-Aug-16 10:36:25

Will you be working full time? Maybe a child minder would be best

minipie Mon 01-Aug-16 10:36:47

Hmm tricky. I suspect your best bet is to ring round childminders in your future area and see if any of them would be able to take him on for the period. Do you know how long it is likely to be - a few days? A few weeks?

minipie Mon 01-Aug-16 10:37:11

Or a temporary babysitter/nanny from an agency, but that will cost more.

mosteff Mon 01-Aug-16 11:56:54

I will be working full-time. I think it should be 2-3 weeks max, as it shouldn't take that long to get a placement from the Council. I was even thinking that there may be a home schooling group that I might place him with for the time being - would that work? I don't want to pay an arm and a leg for a sitter but I want this (very big) transition to be a nice one for my son.

mouldycheesefan Mon 01-Aug-16 12:00:30

Ypu ned to accompany your child to a home schooling group you don't drop them there, it's not childcare.

Lilaclily Mon 01-Aug-16 12:00:52

Do you have a partner who could take some leave ?
Could you delay the start date of your job ?
Any family nearby ?
If not you're definitely looking at paying a lot for a childminder or nanny
You could try local colleges for students on childcare courses

I'm pretty sure homeschooling groups don't work as childcare

minipie Mon 01-Aug-16 12:05:06

Hmm I think that home schoolers meet up in groups occasionally for an hour or two, rather than all day every day, so not sure that would work.

Perhaps a childminder for most days but hire a sitter for the occasional treat day (go see the museums, day at the south bank, etc)?

chocdonutyy Mon 01-Aug-16 12:11:26

I moved in august unexpectedly when dd was 7 too.
Although schools are closed over summer you can still get the ball rolling by contacting the admissions board who should be able to tell you where there are places available.
From there I chose my school and was due to start in the september.
Had to do my research though and go on recommendations from others.
As schools opened for staff for a couple days before term starts I also arranged to visit the school to speak to the head and make sure it was the right decision. (posted a letter through the schools letterbox marked urgent!)
Don't leave it until school starts again, theres plenty you can do beforehand.

Artandco Mon 01-Aug-16 12:16:58

You will have to pay a lot frankly. Probably a nanny as a childminder probably won't have space to waste on just a few weeks placement.

Home ed groups you have to go with child.

Also a nanny can then teach child at home, where as a childminders they wouldn't have time as have others much younger

Do you know it's just a few weeks? It's just a cousin of mine moved back to London from abroad and it took 2 years to get her child into a school in the area

mosteff Mon 01-Aug-16 12:31:15

Okay - I see that the homeschool thing isn't an option. As far as my timeline for this, I thought that the council was obliged to offer me SOME sort of school option within two weeks time. That's what I was banking on. Certainly I'm hoping for one of my choices, but I know there may be bumps along the way.

chocdonuty, I have tried to ask where I might be a space and I haven't had any results - they just say to submit the application. maybe it just depends upon the person I get and I can keep trying?

titchy Mon 01-Aug-16 12:43:38

Seriously do not bank on them only taking two weeks...

chocdonutyy Mon 01-Aug-16 12:51:13

It make work differently where you are, I spoke to an admissions officer.
Actually had to do it twice as I moved beforehand in the april before she started school!
Obviously we had a place in the previous area but had not applied in the current one, it may have helped we were in a low birth year and so plenty of spaces to choose from you may have the difficulty of not having the choice unfortunatly.
Wish you luck though to get it sorted before september.

Artandco Mon 01-Aug-16 13:05:04

No they only have to offer some sort of schooling, but if none of your choices have any space then it won't be one of them. They could offer school say 100miles away if that's all that has a free space. If you decline that space then they will say you have rejected their offer and you will have to find alternate schooling yourself

titchy Mon 01-Aug-16 13:23:02

Art they can't offer a school 100 miles away hmm

They can only offer a school in their borough. If OP applies for schools in other boroughs her soon-to-be-home borough will ask the other borough if there are spaces in those schools and co-ordinate the admission if there are, but if there are no spaces they cannot force the other borough to accept the child - they can only force their own schools.

MachiKoro Mon 01-Aug-16 13:30:23

LA's admissions departments are open over the holidays- lots of children change their minds about the secondary schools they take up for a start!
Which borough is it?

If it's independent, again, they will be in over summer, so will look at the application, however, they must have given you some indication of whether they have any places?

I am surprised that you have such a misconception of homeschooling though- don't they have it where you're coming from? It's not the same as a governess!

MachiKoro Mon 01-Aug-16 13:33:42

Argh- just realised you're moving to London. You know they won't even look at your application until you've moved in, don't you?
They are under no obligation until the child is resident, sorry.

Artandco Mon 01-Aug-16 14:02:20

Titchy - they can theoretically. If their borough has no places and the next and the next etc. Ok maybe not that far but still far away. We have lived in London years, yet didn't get a school place for our 4 year old in our borough at all, it's completely over subscribed. The closest offered was 3 buses away and around 90min journey one way. Dh and I couldn't spend 3 hrs every morning and evening (6 hrs a day) basically on a bus as we have work. So they now go to a private school which did have space 10 mins walk away

mosteff Mon 01-Aug-16 14:40:12

I'm from the US, currently moving from Italy. Little to no homeschooling here. I understand I can't apply until I'm there and I have secured a flat now which I chose because some of the schools in the area are known to be good - but I'm still worried about how this will turn out for him. I am applying for state schools. This is an aside of course from how I will manage his care while I'm working and waiting for the placement.

Artandco Mon 01-Aug-16 14:47:24

Have you thought about childcare before and after school? When he does have a place, school is usually only 9-3 daily

mosteff Mon 01-Aug-16 15:14:46

Artandco - thanks for bringing that up. My new job has flextime bet 8 and 6. I figured once he did have a placement I'd do breakfast club and afterschool activities. That makes sense no?

ThatsWotSheSaid Mon 01-Aug-16 15:20:16

Many school before and after school provisions fill up. I couldn't get my dd a place at her school. You may need to hire a childminder. Although good childminders are often fully booked too.

NuffSaidSam Mon 01-Aug-16 15:29:21

It's much easier to get a school place for year 3 than it is for reception. How long you have to wait will depend on the area. I'm in West London and the wait is around half a term/a term (6-12 weeks) at some schools, but others have constant spaces. It would be a good idea to look at the schools you're applying to specifically to see what your chances are.

Most schools do have breakfast and afterschool clubs, although there can be a waiting list for those also.

If I were you I would try and bring a family member/friend with you for the first few weeks/months to cover for any unexpected delays. Maybe someone you know in Italy would like 3 months in London in exchange for a bit of childcare?

NuffSaidSam Mon 01-Aug-16 15:38:22

As a general rule, everything in London is over subscribed. School places, childminders, afterschool clubs, hobby clubs, doctors, dentists.....there is a waiting list for everything.

It is fab though! I hope you'll enjoy it here!

Artandco Mon 01-Aug-16 15:39:40

Our school doesn't have a breakfast or afternoon club. So I would be prepared for them not to also

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