school application address conundrum(15 Posts)
I know the school authorities are really hot on people getting temporary addresses to get into a school. But it just so happens that, right at the time I have to submit my application, we will be living in a different house, in the same village, that we also own, purely because we are having building work done on the main house. We will be back in the main house by the time the school year starts, but will be in the temporary house on application and decision day.
The temporary house is nearer to the school.
There is a very very small chance (it happened once) that the catchment area will not include the main house.
Which address do I put down?
My instinct is to be honest & upfront and tell the authority everything and let them tell me what address to put. But what if the worst happens, they tell me to put the main house, and we don't get in? It will seem desperately unfair and I will regret having been honest, which is awful. I don't feel I would be deliberately cheating the system, or depriving someone honest of a place - we do live in the village. I don't think it's right to drive my son to another village to go to school, or to see his schoolfriends - it will be much better quality of life for him if he can walk to both on his own. This is a big deal and will affect his whole life.
I'd appreciate some other opinions. Thanks.
It's very clear to me. You will be living at the main house when your DC starts school so you need to put that address on the application form. If there are sufficient places you will lose nothing.
If there are not enough places and you are given one on the basis of having temporarily moved to a house nearer the school you will be depriving another child of a place. That is cheating the system. It will mean that someone else in your village and nearer the school will have to drive their child to another village. And in a small village you will be found out.
I would tread carefully. A councillor in our borough did a similar thing, and the council awarded her child a place in the school near her actual home because they knew that she had no intention of staying in the temporary home after the school applications were in. In her case, she actually lived (big house) on the doorstep of a requires improvement school, but applied from an address (small flat) by the outstanding school. She did try to persuade the council that they would be staying indefinitely in the flat, but they refused to accept that, and she lost numerous appeals.
On the other hand, we also applied from a temporary address, but our actual house was considerably closer to the school, so we were fine anyway.
I think the key here is that you are not deliberately trying to game the system, so an honest conversation with the admissions dept. probably makes sense. Plus of course, your building work may run many months over...
Ah, ignore my earlier post - I've found the thread I was thinking about earlier, the poster there had a different situation in that the two houses were in different catchment areas!
No-one on this thread can say for sure whether or not you are allowed to use the temporary address. Different councils have different rules so you really need to talk to them. I suspect you will be told to use your main house but you may be lucky. If they allow you to use the temporary address make sure you get it in writing so that you have evidence of what was said.
If you use the temporary house and the council find out (it is quite likely someone will tip them off if this is a popular school) you could lose your place at the school if the council's rules mean you should have used the main house. That can happen even after your child has started at the school.
Thanks. I think the points about small village and bumping someone else out are very powerful. Guilt would definitely be worse than regret. I will call them up.
Very definitely a case where talking to the LA admission office and getting a response in writing is the right way forward.
If we take the absolute wording of the admission guidance it is where your child is resident on the day you submit the application and the address on the last day when you can make the application on time. However that is really when we are talking about what your permanent address is, so like PRH I think the LA will say it is only a temporary address and therefore you should use the address of your main residence, which is being done up.
BUT the absolute need is to get a reply in writing from them, as I have sat on panels where this has come up with the parents saying they got X advice from the LA but not in writing. When it comes to the appeal with no paperwork you just get down to whether you believe the LA admission office or the parent more, which is not very satisfactory.
For future reference, they told me (in writing) that in this circumstance they would normally accept the one where we are living at 15 January (application closing date).
I'm slightly nervous about the "normally", but there we go. And I don't want to bump anyone else out, but I'm going to have to do what I'm told.
I suspect you could get a different reply from a different LA, maybe even also from a different person at the LA or on a different day, so it would always be best to get an answer in writing for your specific question.
The "normally" answer is the correct answer and as you have got it in writing, I would now forget about it and concentrate on Christmas!
That's excellent. It means that you have proof of what they said and, if they don't use the temporary address, they will have to justify to an appeal panel why this is not a "normal" situation. I agree with Admission that you can now relax.
I would have no qualms about it. The whole system is a farce. At one oversubscribed school dd went to Christian children got priority, as some years earlier the church had got involved with what used to be a good secular state school in a good area. Children like my daughter were disadvantaged for not being that religion.
If anyone enquires, I would let them know you did not make the rules, you just followed them.
The question is whether the OP is following the rules. In the OP's situation some LAs insist on using the address of the house owned by the family. Thankfully her LA seems to be using common sense.
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