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Secondary school admission - moving house after deadline

(9 Posts)
MirandaWest Sat 15-Feb-14 22:43:35

My XHs girlfriend and her DS will be moving to live with him at some point around July-August 2015. Her DS will be due to start secondary school in September 2015. This will obviously be after the secondary admissions deadline.

XH and I have a DS who will also be starting secondary school in 2015. I am the RP and we live in the catchment area for a school that both XH and I hope DS will go to. This school is oversubscribed. Plus catchment is a higher priority than sibling link. And XH doesn't live in the catchment for that school, although he will be moving when his gf and her DS move down here.

XH would prefer it if his DSS were able to go to the same school as DS. Is there any way that can happen? I'm thinking it sounds very unlikely. Was wondering if XH moved into the catchment and DS had been allocated a place that a sibling link could be used (as DS would then have a place to start in the September) but as all places would have been allocated, surely they'd need to appeal anyway?

There's no possibility of them moving earlier as XHs gfs DD will be in her last year of school next year and so can't change school then (also they are in Scotland whereas we are in England, so it would be even harder to move the DD anyway).

I have suggested XH gets in touch with the council but was wondering if anyone else has had anything similar happen?

tiggytape Sat 15-Feb-14 22:49:19

If all the places have been allocated by the time he moves to the area then having a sibling or living in catchment won't get him a place.

It will however boost his position on the waiting list. The good news is that waiting lists aren't "first come, first served" so he will be bumped nearer the top by living in catchment.

The bad news is that the sibling link won't count. If they do not live together in the same house, they are not counted as siblings for admission purposes (this is the same whether they are full siblings, step siblings, adopted siblings or whatever)

And also the waiting list will have already moved a lot by July. Places are allocated in March and people accept or decline offers soon afterwards which causes the lists to move. By July, the lists are slower moving.

He can certainly appeal and also go on the list (where his catchment areas address will put him above others wh oare waiting) but it is very far from guaranteed that he will get in by September 2015. He may have to start at a different school and hope a place comes up in Year 7.

MirandaWest Sat 15-Feb-14 22:58:20

Thank you very much smile

Can I just clarify the sibling position - would that only be the case if DS lived in the same house all the time? DS lives with XH some of the time although less than 50% of the time.

The school is always oversubscribed and unlikely to change I think so I suspect there is always a waiting list. I suppose XH needs to find a house as close to the school as possible and hope! Or as I suspect will be the case accept that his DSS will need to go to a different school.

prh47bridge Sat 15-Feb-14 23:02:59

Can I just clarify the sibling position

Each LA has its own rules on this. You need to check the admissions information on their website. However, in the situation you describe I would expect most LAs would say it doesn't give sibling priority.

tiggytape Sat 15-Feb-14 23:11:49

The Admissions Code says that the school must define siblings and how they qualify. Most of them will write something like this:

In-area siblings (step, half and foster/adopted brothers or sisters are also included in this category). A child is considered under this criterion if: A sibling is on the roll of the preferred school as at the deadline date (providing that the sibling is not in their final year at the school); and the child lives within the designated area or shared area of the school at the same address as the sibling.

The other reason the sibling rule won't count is that your DS won't be a pupil at the school your DSS is applying for.
He doesn't start until Sept 2015 so he isn't a sibling at the school that DSS can use on his application.

You are right XH needs to get as close to the school as he can and hope the list moves. He can also appeal. Going to appeal doesn't affect position on waiting list and if there is good reason for wanting the boys to be at school together, this may be considered.

MirandaWest Sat 15-Feb-14 23:41:19

Have found how the LA defines siblings, and it is defined as "brothers or sisters living in the same house as their primary place of residence". So even once DS has started secondary school there won't be a sibling link anyway.

Think XH was hoping it would be a case of turn up and say he'd like a place there - he does often get his own way mostly by smiling but not sure it will work here. Just must make sure he doesn't try and influence where DS goes based on where DSS might go. The LA also says it should be based on where child spends more time so I know that will be based on my address.

tiggytape Sat 15-Feb-14 23:52:04

No - he won't get the sibling link but he will get priority based on his new address and that will bump DSS up the list.

Unfortunately admissions are unmoved by winning smiles!
It is all very black and white with super strict rules. Which is good as it keeps it fair but annoying as there is no way to plead your case until you have been turned down when you can appeal.

CouthyMow Sun 16-Feb-14 00:23:06

Sibling link only usually counts if they are 'ordinarily resident' at the SAME address, which has to be the one that Child Benefit and any Child Tax Credits are paid to.

So if YOU had a partner that moved in with a DC that age, a sibling link would be invoked. It's unlikely that it will for an out-of-catchment step sibling to an in-catchment child.

CouthyMow Sun 16-Feb-14 00:29:01

The XH's DSS will have to wait until they have an address FIRST before they can apply to go on the waiting lists of any schools too. If they move as soon as Scottish schools finish in the June, there is a possibility of being added to the waiting lists of schools as a late applicant.

If they don't move by the end of the school year, then your XH's DSS will probably be placed in an unpopular (probably underperforming) school quite some distance away from wherever they are living.

He will find that a winning smile won't change the rules! wink

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