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Catchment area solutions

(46 Posts)
mummyloveslucy Wed 20-Aug-08 22:32:03

There is a school that is just outside our catchment area, it is very over subscribed as it is one of the best in the country according to ofsted. I would like to get my daughter a place, she is 3.5 at the moment.
My mother in law has a very big house just up the road from the school. I just wondered wether it would be worth moving in with her for a while to be in the catchment area. We have are own house in a lovely area so wouldn't want to move house.
I'd want to be honest and say that we'll be moving back to are own house in the neer future, but perhaps I could make some excuse why we're having to live with mother in law.
What do you think ?

mummyloveslucy Wed 20-Aug-08 22:45:17

I am now going to bed, but will look again tomorrow to see if anyone has any pearls of wisdom. smile
If it would risk my daughter having to leave the school, then we wouldn't consider it. I don't want her to lie either.

Bowddee Wed 20-Aug-08 22:51:45

I think schools have wised up to it now. It stated on the application forms that the LEA may ask for all kinds of documentation to prove you are living where you say you are.

If it was me?

I suppose it's fraud. I don't think I'd have the nerve to risk it.

Judd Wed 20-Aug-08 22:54:08

I think we had to take in our Council Tax bill to prove we lived where we said we did.

CarGirl Wed 20-Aug-08 22:55:22

You'd probably have to move in with her for about 8 months tbh change all your official records, child benefit address etc etc

idlingabout Thu 21-Aug-08 10:59:50

Have you considered that by doing this (and were you to be successful) that you would be taking a place away from a child who does live in the catchment area and who would therefore have more right to that place?

LIZS Thu 21-Aug-08 11:10:46

sorry but moral issue aside you would have to produce proof of residency for an indefinite lengthy period (not just around the time of application) and a place can be withdrawn if obtained fraudulently or criteria have not be fairly applied. It isn't just the school who make the decison but the LEA. Parents whose children may not be allocated a place could well shop you too. You'd be better off applying on your own merit and perhaps getting written support from SALT, Paed etc as to why she should go there. There are often priority criteria for SEN although you'd need to move fast to qualify in time now.

Swedes Thu 21-Aug-08 11:14:57

The headmaster at one of our local schools hired a private detective to catch out dishonest applicants. grin

EachPeachPearMum Thu 21-Aug-08 15:06:18

MLL -why are you moving her from her current school? Have I missed something? Is it related to her SN?
Has she been assessed for statement, because part of the statement names the school that can provide best for the child, so it may be worth looking at the provision at the school for your DD.

I do think its wrong though to pretend to live with your MIL, and personally would move to be within the catchment of the school if I wished my children to attend it.

mrz Thu 21-Aug-08 15:17:03

If you actually moved in with your mother in law then technically you wouldn't be doing anything wrong. It would be a big hassle changing everything and then changing back later. How does your mother in law feel about sharing her home? and are you sure that the school is as good as the report says? An OFSTED report is only accurate for the day the inspectors were in the school and lots can change between inspections.

savoycabbage Thu 21-Aug-08 15:24:41

Mrs is right, I sent my dd to a school with an excellent OFSTED that was oversubscribed. I went to look around it and I loved it. They got a new head when my dd started last September and she was appalling. By half term the school was chaos and I took my dd out at Christmas, back to her pre-school. The parents of the children she now goes to pre-school with have read the same OFSTED as me and are sending their children to the school on the basis of it.

I do think it would be a very difficult thing for you to do, both practically and you are then going to be taking your dd to school for all of those years knowing that you shouldn't really have got her in. It would make me uncomfortable.

savoycabbage Thu 21-Aug-08 15:25:26

mrz is right I mean.....

hercules1 Thu 21-Aug-08 15:27:42

You'd have to train her to lie and make sure she never told anyone the truth the whole time she was there.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Thu 21-Aug-08 16:04:45

Where we live this is quite a common occurrence. You need to check the criteria re residence - do you still need to be there when term starts. Here it is just the date you apply. So if you are going to do it, you need to plan ahead and get all the right documentation. she will not need to lie, - if asked she will confirm she lives with granny - no-one is denying that. And all credit to you for licing with granny and not farming her out to a home in her old age/hour of need. Some LEAs have asked for proof that you don't own a property elsewhere, s you may need to rent it. I have no view on the moral issue, as there are so many born-again christians as to amke a mockery of the whole allocations sytem. it is a mess, so do as your conscience, and good luck!
I have pondered this and think in extremis we would do it - luckily have not needed to so far, but total sympathy for those who do.

paolosgirl Thu 21-Aug-08 16:15:17

It is not your catchment school, it is your MIL's catchment school. You are moving into her house on a temporary basis to get your daughter into a school that she has no real right to be at.

You should expect to have to PROVE residency (and I'm sure the LEA are vary aware of what goes on in this cathment area), and you should expect that other parents will notify the LEA. You should expect to lie on your application form and your MIL should expect to have to lie as well. If your daughter gets in, then you should expect to answer some very awkward questions - and then if you are found to have lied, then you could face losing the place.

Is it worth it?! Far better to apply and appeal than to be looking over your shoulder all the time, IMO.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Thu 21-Aug-08 16:23:54

She would not be lying if she actually lives there at that time, nor would her DD be lying in that case.
I don't see why anyone has a 'moral right ' to a place - it is just arbitrary rules put in place, and if you have the wherewithal ( eg a granny) then there is no MORAl issue, just a practical one.

paolosgirl Thu 21-Aug-08 16:37:14

She is using the address for the sole purpose of getting a school place. She is not living there other than on a temporary basis for the sole purpose of getting a place for her daughter. She is breaking the rules set out by the LEA, therefore it is immoral. It only becomes practical to use Granny's address if you live there permanently, ie have no other residence and are not using it under false pretences. It's also not really teaching her DD a good example, is it. Lie, and you can get what you want?

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Thu 21-Aug-08 16:44:46

No - the point is she would be living there, so neither she nor her DD would be lying - they would therefore be conforming to the local authority rules (which are not, btw, a moral code, they are LA rules. If the local authority want ot make rules that outlaw licing with relatives, they can try, but this would be beyond their remit.)

paolosgirl Thu 21-Aug-08 16:49:40

It may be different here in Scotland, but if you use the address on a temp. basis, and have moved into the area on a temp. basis for the sole purpose of getting a school place then your application is not accepted, and rightly so. It becomes a moral issue when you lie in an attempt to get a school place and go against the LEA's rules.

hercules1 Thu 21-Aug-08 16:50:13

It's like that too in my London borough.

mrz Thu 21-Aug-08 17:08:34

Difficult to prove that someone has moved to get their child into the school though. Last year we had a parent move into a one bedroomed flat in the next street to the school with 4 of her 5 children in order to get her son into my class.

LynetteScavo Thu 21-Aug-08 17:26:42

mummyloveslucy, have you actually looked at the school?

Just because Ofsted think it's a great school, doesn't neccessarily mean it would suit your DD.

wheresthehamster Thu 21-Aug-08 17:37:02

Also have you read the rules for admission?

We don't have catchments here. The rule is the child who would have to travel further to an alternative school would get the place at their preferred school over a child who lived closer to the preferred school but was nearer the alternative school.

Make sense? No it didn't to us at the time!

newpup Thu 21-Aug-08 17:48:51

In my DD2s class there are 3 children who used Grannys address to get in. The school had a good ofsted, is small and well thought of locally.

Two children who had siblings already at the school did not get in. This caused a huge amount of ill feeling between the parents as one of the parents whose sibling had not got in found out that another parent had used mils address.

Our school and authority do not check out your address, they take your word for it as this has not been a problem in the past. However, as our school gets more popular
(our average class size was 24 is now 30) I think it will become more of a problem.

I do not blame you for wanting the best for your daughter but be prepared to take the consequences for what you do as other parents will not take kindly to it! Also, think about how you would feel if you did live in the catchment area and did not get a place because somebody else was dishonest.

critterjitter Fri 22-Aug-08 18:35:17

Some LEA's will ask for legal documentation to prove that you have in fact totally moved out of your previous address (the one you are now in now). So they will want completion documents from solicitors etc showing that the property was sold etc.

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