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moving and school places

(10 Posts)
simonv Wed 12-Mar-14 10:45:24

Good morning.
Im after a bit of advice.
We are moving to a different county at the end of July. We are after primary school places for my eldest.
We have contacted most of the schools in that county and the local council. They are unwilling to give us details on which have places. They will tell us once we have moved there though.
The problem we have is that we are not going to move to a catchment area if there are no places.
I have contact the CAB bit unfortunately they were unable to help.

mummytime Wed 12-Mar-14 11:06:15

Sorry but you can't just move to a catchment only if it has places, because admissions in England do not work that way.

Okay say you want to move to Borsetshire. Your DH needs to work in Felpersham. You quite like Penny Hassett school. Just say Penny Hasset has 2 free places in the correct school years for your children on 31st March. You then rent a home in catchment. However by the time you have moved, someone in Darrington has requested to move their Tarquin to Penny Hasset school. The school would have to give them the school place, so there is no longer a place in one year for one of your children.

What you can do is: apply for school places now - from where you now live. But if you obtain a place or places you have to accept them and have your children attending within a "reasonable" amount of time. So you will either have to move very fast or commute your children a long way.
If all the schools are full you can then change your address and will move up any waiting lists to the correct position based on your new address.
Once you are in the new area, the LA has to find you a school place for each of your children. But this does not have to be the same school or the closest. (However over a certain distance it will have to provide transport).
If there are no schools within a "reasonable distance" the LA can force a school to give a child a place even in KS1. Something similar can happen for Armed Forces families.
If your child/children are in KS2, then you can appeal to try to get your child a place in your prefered school. There are experts on MN who can help you with this.

easton Wed 12-Mar-14 12:16:28

We were looking to move county a couple of years ago and the school admissions departments were very helpful and told me which of their schools had spaces.

Were were a bit undecided about were to move so I contacted Dorset, Hampshire several times, Oxfordshire, Poole and Bournemouth. They all gave me the information, so I am a bit confused as to why they won't tell you.

Of course you need to know before you decide where to live, some of the areas we were looking at had no spaces for miles around so we quickly discounted those.

mummytime Wed 12-Mar-14 12:51:04

Easton - most places do not have much in the way of spare places anymore (in fact in London and close by they haven't for years). So if you were told there were places they might well have gone by the time you moved.

JabberJabberJay Wed 12-Mar-14 13:03:41

Whereabouts are you moving to? Which year is your DC?

There is enormous pressure on school places in many areas - particularly London and the South East. It is likely that there may be no spaces at all in good schools close to where you want to live. Even if you move next door to a school, you will be refused a place if it is full.

If the council is unhelpful, try ringing individual schools. They will be able to tell you if they have spaces-though remember they may have filled them by the time you move.

If you want your child to go to a particular school you may have to be prepared to wait. E.g, .move to an area close to desirable School X which is full. Accept a place elsewhere at the same time as remaining on the waiting list for School X. Move your DC if/when a place becomes available.

prh47bridge Wed 12-Mar-14 13:30:30

Mummytime is spot on.

You don't have to live in the catchment area of a school to get a place there. You can apply from your current address for any school in England. If they have a place available they must offer it to you. So you can find a school with places and apply today provided it is practical for your child to attend that school immediately. If that isn't practical I'm afraid you will have to move with no guarantees as to which schools your children will be offered.

simonv Wed 12-Mar-14 14:11:41

Thanks for the replies.
My better half has excepted a job in north Cambridgeshire, so we are looking to relocate around there, Norfolk or Linconshire. Its Cambridgeshire who are being difficult. The other two counties couldn't be any more helpful.
What we dont want to do is move and the nearest available school is for example 20miles away.

prh47bridge Wed 12-Mar-14 14:25:45

Its Cambridgeshire who are being difficult

Remind Cambridgeshire that paragraph 2.21 of the Admissions Code says that they must provide information about school places on request. There is nothing in the Admissions Code that allows them to limit that to parents who already live in the area. After all, as has already been mentioned, you can apply from your current address and they must offer you a place if there is one available.

What we dont want to do is move and the nearest available school is for example 20miles away

I'm afraid that might happen even if Cambridgeshire do answer your questions. There may be a place available today at a particular school but there is no guarantee it will still be available when you move. They can't hold the place for you. However, they do have to come up with an offer that is within a reasonable distance of your new home. And if it is more than 3 miles away by the shortest walking route (2 miles if the child is under 8) they have to provide free transport.

simonv Wed 12-Mar-14 14:36:20

Thank you for you reply prh47bridge.
Totally understand about it could all change by July.
Round here (Hampshire) they would tell you how many spaces available and how many people are on the waiting list.

prh47bridge Wed 12-Mar-14 17:19:44

All LAs have to do so. Cambridgeshire's refusal is a breach of the Admissions Code in my view. Refer them to paragraph 2.21.

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