late secondary application - what proofs to LEAs require?(10 Posts)
Hi, We are returning to UK after many years abroad. We have 2 school aged kids going into years 3 and 7. Does anyone know what proofs the LEAS require in order to start their applications? For instance I know we will need to have a UK address, so my husband will go to UK next week and rent a house near the (oversubscribed) schools we're looking at. However we understand we also need to have the kids in the UK in order for the application to be processed. So my question is: how will the LEA actually know whether the child is already in the UK or not? What proof do they require? I say this because I will have to pull them out of their current overseas schools at exam time in order to sit around in the UK with no school whilst the LEA puts us on a waiting list. I know this is the same for everyone returning from overseas but I was hoping to understand how other families have coped with this issue. Thanks
This is different for each LA. You will need to ask them what proof is needed. Some will be happy with a signed rental agreement, some will want other things as well. You may find they don't want proof you are already in the UK. However, any offer letter will go to your UK address and you will be expected to take up the offer within a few weeks or you will lose the place and have to start again.
As prh says, the main issue might be the speed at which you must accept an offer and start attending the school.
It is possible the Year 7 child could get an offer almost immediately (secondary schools are generally bigger and have more classes per year group) whereas the Year 3 child be placed on a waiting list that could last months if you only have 1 school in mind.
If you then didn't accept the Year 7 offer and take it up immediately, you would lose it but to accept it would mean either splitting the children for possibly the rest of the academic year or moving here with only one child going to school and the other at home.
Many LAs insist the family are resident (and can even visit the house / ask neighbours in cases where their is uncertainty). Others are happy with a finalised rental agreement but that won't get around the issue of one child potentially having a school place months before the other one or the fact that you cannot defer an offer and move later - any offer made now would have to be taken up straight away.
Help - if the LEA asks neighbours thats going to be tough....our household packing takes a month to arrive so we will have to have rented a house but not occupy it for around that time whilst we live in temporary accommodation locally. I guess anyone looking through the window will see and empty house and think we're playing the system!
joochiat - you need to speak to the LA to ask them the rules they apply to determine when you are officially resident. They may accept the house being empty as long as it is all signed over to you and you are just awaiting packing cases. Or they might insist you and the children are actually in the house or at least the country before they will process the application. You need to find that out as you want to be able to apply for schools as soon as you are eligible to.
Even if they accept the children not being resident, you would still need a plan to get one or both of them here in time to accept an offer if it was made very soon. The chances are you might not get offers for both children to start at the same time but you would not be able to defer one until the other child has an offer. As such, you need to know that you would be able to react quite quickly if one or both children were offered a place and have them in the UK and ready to start within a couple of weeks else risk losing that place and having to start again waiting for another one to come up.
Go and knock on the neighbours doors? Take them cake. And explain what's going on?
We are moving house in 6 weeks' time, but we knew about it 3 months' ago. We get a house with the job, so we had a confirmed address, but weren't living on it.
I contacted the school directly (not the LEA) and asked what the procedure was. Within a fortnight I had a letter confirming in writing a place a the school for ds2 (yr9).
Thanks Roisin for that encouragement...was the school no oversubscribed then? It seems every decent school around london is now oversubscribed so we are feeling v uncomfortable about r chances for September. Which area were you applying in, I imagine it can't be around London?
It's a very popular school and is always massively oversubscribed. But it is a large school and I guess places do always come up from time to time as students move away. It's not London.
Is your dc going into yr7 in September or would be in yr7 now?
(The former is likely to be more problematic, as people are still on waiting lists and wanting places to come up in their first choice schools. Once pupils have actually started at a school, made friends, bought the uniform, got to know the teachers, etc; they are less likely to move even if a place comes up.)
Going into year 7 in Sept....difficult, I know! We also have another going into Yr 3 and I am told 2006 was a "demographic swell" meaning pressure on primary places for that year. I've also got a little one who will need a nursery place but I can't even think about that at the moment....
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