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School catchment renting ... Am I doing the right thing?

(17 Posts)
Rachelly123 Sat 15-Apr-17 11:28:48

Morning all...
Looking for some advice/ reassurance that I am making the right decisions re dd school....
We currently rent a property in a good school catchment area for a very reasonable price (property is old and needs a lot of work) land lord is selling the property soon we therefore need to move. Similar properties in the same area command rental prices at least 200 pcm above what I currently pay but staying in the area will guarantee a good school next year when we apply.

I am a single mom, working full time and could just about manage the extra cost, it would mean zero luxuries for 12 months, this years holiday will have to be cancelled and there won't be one next year either. There are no other cut backs I can make- I spend no money on myself, going out, clothes etc.
My plan would then be to move to a more reasonably priced property outside of the catchment area once she is in to the school.
My question is ... Wwyd? To me a good school is important but would you live for 12 months almost beyond your means (overdraft will be maxed out to pay deposit/ agents fees etc) all in all it will cost me around 4K over 12 months with additional rent, moving costs etc. X

bibbitybobbityyhat Sat 15-Apr-17 11:32:51

It depends if this is for primary or secondary.

How far away would you move after your child has started at the good school? There's a lot to be said for being local to school.

How "bad" are the schools in the areas where you can afford to live?

OverOn Sat 15-Apr-17 11:38:53

What are the alternatives? There's a lot of advantages to staying local to school, can you rent near another good school where you can afford to stay long term?

SummerKelly Sat 15-Apr-17 11:43:15

What would the other schools be like elsewhere? Also wonder primary or secondary, would be more likely to stay for secondary.

Rachelly123 Sat 15-Apr-17 12:09:34

Sorry I should have said- this is for primary school.

There are alternatives in areas that I can afford... But i also have to consider commuting to work . Her school needs to also be on route to work. If it were in the opposite direction it would make it impossible for me to get to work on time (even if she were in before school club)

Ceto Sat 15-Apr-17 12:18:23

Bear in mind that there isn't actually any such thing as a catchment area. Most schools have a system where distance is one of the main criteria, but if, for instance, there are a lot of siblings it may be that the geographical area from which they take pupils will narrow. I remember one year where a local school to me that is very popular was only taking siblings plus those who lived in the roads immediately surrounding the school.

lampshady Sat 15-Apr-17 12:31:59

I wouldn't for primary but I would (and intend to) for secondary.

Itscurtainsforyou Sat 15-Apr-17 12:40:38

There are definitely catchment areas around me ceto - if you're just out of catchment (I.e the wrong side of the road) but closer to the school than some others in catchment in the opposite direction, you don't stand a chance of getting in.

OlennasWimple Sat 15-Apr-17 12:44:37

Read the admissions policy very very carefully to understand how allocations work in your particular circumstances. Look at the admissions figures from last year to see whether your chances of getting in are changing at all

SheilaFentiman Sat 15-Apr-17 12:45:35

I would, yes.

Ceto Sat 15-Apr-17 12:48:53

Schools can't have catchment areas because realistically they can't guarantee offering places to every child in the catchment area.

Rachelly123 Sat 15-Apr-17 12:51:14

I've checked last years admission reports for all 3 of the schools in the area... Based on the straight line distance rule they use once the siblings and children in care are placed I could get in- obviously this distance changes year to year but 2 of the schools have a distance of 2500 metres - I would be under 1000 metres.

prh47bridge Sat 15-Apr-17 14:22:57

Schools can't have catchment areas because realistically they can't guarantee offering places to every child in the catchment area

Schools can and do have catchment areas. Most schools don't but many do. They are usually called "priority admission areas" or similar. Children living within that area are not guaranteed admission but they are higher priority than children living outside that area.

Having said that, the schools the OP is talking about don't sound like they have formal catchment areas.

Ceto Sat 15-Apr-17 14:36:01

That's what I was saying, prh. My concern is that OP shouldn't assume that because she is in a priority admission areas that it is guaranteed her child will get a place.

Floggingmolly Sat 15-Apr-17 15:58:37

Some people labour under the misapprehension that being within catchment of a school entitles your child to a place. It doesn't. You'll be offered a place only if there is still one available when your application is being processed. If there isn't; you won't.

Ta1kinPeace Sat 15-Apr-17 16:49:39

Hampshire has Catchments.
The maps are on the County council website.
They determine where the buses run.
If there are more in catchment houses they make the school bigger.

If you live 4 feet inside the catchment you get a place and a bus
if you live 4 feet outside you do not

admission Sat 15-Apr-17 17:55:28

I think that you are putting yourself in a difficult financial position over getting a school place which you might not get. Also costs are rising and you need to think about this.
If you have alternate schools which you at happy with and that will mean that you are not stretching yourself as financially then that is what I would do.
The honest truth is that any school can go downhill so to be betting everything financially on getting into what you consider a good school is not to my mine sensible.

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