Moving and schools - HELP!!!

(14 Posts)
Tatyanalt Thu 10-Mar-16 13:54:04

Hi everyone, I am in a complete frazzle and need a collective brain to help me think things through and make a plan.

We currently rent in Surrey, but know that we won't be able to afford to buy anything as big as we want here. Hence planning to make a move towards Kent instead.

We have DD1, who is now in year 5 and DD2, who is in nursery and is due to start primary school in the same year as her older sister will start secondary school.

On the face of it, it seemed summer next year was an ideal time to move, until I remembered that to apply for a place you need to already have an address in the catchment area! ( yes, pretty stupid of me, I know)

So, is the only option in such situations to move before September this year, stick both girls into new new nursery/primary school (also have to research then) just for a year, before they go to a completely different school yet again? Is there no smoother option???

Feeling quite sick and daunted, any help in gaining clarity is so so So appreciated!

MattDillonsPants Thu 10-Mar-16 14:00:55

Why don't you rent in Kent? Research now and rent in the area.

Tatyanalt Thu 10-Mar-16 14:03:46

Yes, that is definitely an option, but it still means changing the schools/nurseries now and then again next September, right?

DaftLemon Thu 10-Mar-16 14:03:54

Do some quick research now.

Then just do the one move.

slicedfinger Thu 10-Mar-16 14:03:57

I'm not sure how common it is but our council allows people moving in to the area till 1st December. Might be worth checking.

swampster Thu 10-Mar-16 14:05:14

Are you prepared to move twice? If you know the area you want to buy in and what school/s you are keen on, find a place to rent in the school's catchments in good time to apply. Then take your time and find somewhere you really want to live that is close by. You will benefit by knowing the area through having lived in it and because you are not in a panic over needing to move quickly for schools – buying a place can really drag on.

NoSquirrels Thu 10-Mar-16 14:05:28

Well, no - you CAN move next summer, but you won't be guaranteed a place at any school in the area you move to UNTIL you have moved.

So it's a gamble, basically. You won't have much choice in the school place system (but then you could argue you don't get much anyway) and will have to take places in whatever schools are "left" i.e. the ones that have places free after the general allocation. Then it will be a case of sitting on the waiting lists if you are not happy with where they end up going and moving them again when a place comes up.

Or you can move and hope to have it all sorted by Sept/Oct this year, for secondary admissions - it's just about doable if you find a house you like but it will still be tight, probably - you need to start looking now. That would mean your daughter changing primary in Y6 and that's not ideal, really.

For your YR DD, admissions are a little later, I think - you have till Jan, but not loads more time.

I'd try to think logically about both your DDs and what they need from schools and narrow down where you want to move to and how much risk you can take. For instance, does the eldest adapt well to change and will get on OK in most average secondaries, or will she need something specific from her secondary school in terms of facilites, support etc.?

Finola1step Thu 10-Mar-16 14:06:00

Move sooner rather than later. Rent in Kent with a view to buy later. Use the rental to move as close as possible to a decent secondary school. Don't forget that Kent has grammar schools so if you want your DD to sit the 11+ test, then you need to register (soon I think) and the test will be in September. Check the Kent.gov website.

swampster Thu 10-Mar-16 14:06:13

Loads of messages by the time I hit Post. grin

NoSquirrels Thu 10-Mar-16 14:09:18

Everyone saying "rent first" - I don't think that's the point. Renting first solves the admissions issue, but not the "moving my Y5 daughter in last year of Primary" issue. (I don't see the Nursery as a bother, younger kids are adaptable.) I would be reluctant to move my Y5/6 DD, myself.

Any chance of a rental of a flat solely for admissions purposes? (Expensive and slightly dodgy option)

Tatyanalt Thu 10-Mar-16 14:23:35

That's exactly it, NoSquirrels! Will give the dodgy option some thought - it might be more expensive but a lot less disruptive.

NoSquirrels Thu 10-Mar-16 14:31:23

When I was saying consider your DDs and what they need, I think I didn't really finish the thought. What I mean is, if one DD has more definite needs (tempermental, educationally, socially, whatever) than the other then I would try to prioritise them if possible.

For example, primary admissions for YR can be more important than secondary in terms of the Infant Class Size rule which cannot be broken/appealed easily, so once that Reception intake in the primary you want is filled up, then that's it, you won't get your DD in there until someone else moves, and Infant Class Size goes all the way up to Y2, so it could be a long wait. Whereas you might find a little more movement/leeway on appeal in the secondary options.

You need a lovely pros and cons list, basically.

Also call up the relevant council and enquire on the process if you're moving into area.

PatriciaHolm Thu 10-Mar-16 14:41:04

Kent are very hot on confirming addresses; they lay the policy out clearly in their admissions booklet - see below. Using a "dodgy" address means that both children could have their places removed.

If you want your elder child to do the 11+ then you need to register them, as the exam will take place in Autumn this year.

"Kent County Council reserves the right to check information that parents give on their child’s application form. When you receive the offer of a school place from Kent County Council, you will be asked to provide the school with evidence of your residence and that of your child. This evidence can
be, for example, a utility bill, bank or credit card statement, Council tax bill or any correspondence that would show you were living at your address at the time you applied
for a school place. You must also provide the school with evidence to show your child was also resident at the same time. This evidence could be, for example, a bank statement in the name of the child, hospital or doctor’s appointment letter or correspondence. This is not a de nitive list of acceptable evidence and the school will consult with the Local Authority if they are unhappy with the evidence they have received.
Should it be found that there is insu cient evidence to prove your residence and that of your child or that the information on a child’s application is misleading, then the o er of a school place may be withdrawn. The vacant place would then be o ered to the child who had been disadvantaged on Monday 18 April 2016 and was effectively displaced by the application at that time and not to the child on the top of the school’s waiting list (unless it is the same).

Any residential move which takes place between the Monday 18 April 2016 and the end of the first school term will be investigated to establish if a short term let has been taken for the purpose of securing a school place outside of the families intended residential area. If the Governing Body consider this to be the case it may consider the application at the time to have been misleading and may withdraw the school place even after the child has started at school."

Tatyanalt Thu 10-Mar-16 15:49:57

Thanks for all your thoughts, ladies - they helped me calm down and rationalise my thinking. I also emailed the education team at Kent.gov to get their steer.

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