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Am I going about this the correct way?

(8 Posts)
Amibiggly Wed 29-Mar-17 10:49:34

Good afternoon,

I've posted before that my family and I relocating to England.
In case you have not read my previous posts or recall the details, I'll briefly summarise:
- One 8 year child old in year 3
-One 11 year old child in year 6
- Will require school placement after Easter holidays or as soon as possible thereafter
- We are looking at Lichfield, Sutton Coldfield or Solihull
- I've been in contact with all three local authorities

We arrive in the UK on 5th April and then have 6th and & 7th to view schools. Because we are completely unfamiliar with the area/s we are basing where we will live on schools. I've been using Rightmove and Locrating to guide me.

I've written to 9 secondary schools to request viewing of the schools and only 2 have replied favourably. All others have replied stating places have now been allocated for September or to contact the LA about finding a place available. One has stated that we will be outside of their catchment area ( I haven't given an address as we don't have one!).

All we'd like to do is view the schools before making first, second and third choices on our applications as all we know about them is what we can find on line. After that we can try to find a house in the corresponding area and hope for the best allocation of schools. Am I going about it the wrong way? They are not offering to let us view the school.

I have excluded schools where I believe our applications may not be realistic ie. Catholic faith schools and grammar schools where we might be very low on waiting lists.

Apologies if the answer seems obvious but previous responders to my threads have been very helpful so I thought I'd ask for advice here again.

Thank you

LIZS Wed 29-Mar-17 11:22:24

Some schools will have already broken up by the time you visit. Have you spoken to LA to try to narrow your search down to wherever has a space? Secondary will be tricky at this point and you probably won't have a choice. It may not be local anyway so choose an area first.

3boys3dogshelp Wed 29-Mar-17 11:31:25

I think most of the schools will be closed for Easter holidays when you visit unfortunately. Your application will be in-year for your children to start school after Easter so I think the LA will just offer you a place wherever they have one. You don't really need to live very close to a school to get a place there if they have one available and you can travel. Your application for your 11 year old starting secondary school in September will be late now too. Have you spoken to the LA to find out which schools have spaces? That would narrow your search down more easily I expect. Best of luck.

JamesDelayneysTattoos Wed 29-Mar-17 11:35:24

My ds goes to The Friary in Lichfield. Good school, performing arts good here.

King Edwards has massive bullying issues and staff are crap at supporting. We took ds out of there after he became suicidal and had to have police involvement twice. Others that I know personally have done similar.

Also KE refused to accept my older ds statement from Kent when he joined ( we relocated ) in year 9. He struggled massively because of this.

Arthur Terry is a good school but hard to get into, people move to catchment to get in here.

Amibiggly Wed 29-Mar-17 11:49:16

Thanks for your replies.

I've checked that the schools I've contacted close for Easter on Friday 7th.

I've also contacted all 3 LAs who have told me to contact the schools. Also, that while they are sympathetic to our situation, they cannot give us information until we have an address (which I understand).

I feel like I'm chasing my tail. I think I've probably misunderstood the process or been naive to think we could view schools, even if most of them are oversubscribed. I also knew not all of the schools would be able to accommodate our request before the school holidays but a success rate of 2 out of 9 is disheartening.

Amibiggly Wed 29-Mar-17 11:57:13

JamesDelaney - thank you for your reply. The Friary has been on my radar as a good all round type of school and they are one of the two schools that did reply positively.

The reply from Arthur Terry was that they had no space and to contact the LA.

Since we are able to still choose our location of residence, I thought we may stand a better chance on waiting lists by being in the catchment area of our chosen schools. I understand we probably won't get our chosen schools but still would have liked to make an informed decision on the applications.

I've probably been unrealistic in thinking we could do this in a very short amount of time too.

JamesDelayneysTattoos Wed 29-Mar-17 12:05:13

My ds moved mid term to Friary as did 2 others that I know, ( not at the same time as each other ). Obviously I had an address and our situation was different.

I remember having to home school my 3 school age dc when we relocated due to not being able to apply until we had an address. It was frustrating.

PettsWoodParadise Mon 10-Apr-17 05:06:34

The rightmove feature is only really of general use if applying in the usual round of applications at reception and Y7. You have missed the rounds for entry into Y7 secondary and in most areas the most favoured schools will be oversubscribed. Your applications will be treated as 'in-year'. I haven't read your other threads so apologies if this is repeating what others have already said. If the school is full they apply their over subscription criteria. That may be faith, but very often is distance. If you are close to a school that uses distance as an oversubscription criteria then you jump further up the waiting list for that school, conversely if you are not close you can move down the list if others move nearer the school with a child the same age. The LEA will offer you a place but there is a good chance (sorry!) it won't be at your preferred school - you can however go on the waiting lists of your preferred schools. Good luck

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