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Thinking of Home educating while waiting for school place. can this be done.

(14 Posts)
starrih1 Mon 31-Mar-14 14:20:48

This is my first post on mumsnet as I am a proper newbie!

Me my DS and DP are in the process of moving to the Four Oaks area in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham. I am desperately trying to organise a school place for my DS who is currently in Yr2 at his other school.

The problem is all the schools in the new area are over subscribed and there are huge waiting lists. I have his name down on 5 waiting lists, and he is number 2 on the list of the closest school which is also our preferred choice.
The school he attends now is 8 miles from where we are moving to and although this might not seem a lot, I don't drive and so it would mean both a train and bus journey every day there and back. Also the schools I have been offered by Birmingham LEA are not much closer than this anyway. 3 are two buses away and the fourth one bus journey, but it is not in an area we would like to send him to, if you know what I mean, also this fourth school has a terrible OFSTED.

So that he can continue going to school, while we are waiting for a more local place to the new house, I am prepared to commute him back to his current school, but my DP is very much against this as he feels it would be too much for him and he wants me to Home School him in the meantime while we wait for his place to come up.

My question is: Is this possible and if I deregister him from his current school will this effect his place on the list of the school we want him to go to. I am quite excited about home-schooling him for a while and think that I can really help him in all aspects and increase his confidence in subjects before going to his new school. I also think going to one new school for a while and then another one after that could damage his confidence. Although I am nervous about how long this maybe for.

But is this all possible without him losing the places on the waiting lists?

Hope someone can shed some light.

AMumInScotland Mon 31-Mar-14 14:44:49

You will have exactly the same rights to a place on a waiting list whether or not you take him out of the current school to home educate him for a while.

It would be worth contacting the school (or the LEA, whoever you have to apply through) to make sure they know you still want to be on the waiting list, just in case anyone gets their wires crossed. And maybe even put it into the deregistration letter in writing just in case. But that's not because of your actual legal rights, just human error which can creep in anywhere!

I think the home education option does sound like a good one - the trip to his old school sounds a lot at his age, and changing schools twice will likely feel disruptive. So, if you think the practicalities work for you, then HE sounds good!

Theas18 Mon 31-Mar-14 14:48:26

Grand idea. Just be aware it won't bump you up any waiting lists. Not that you are looking for that I'm sure but it seems to a be commonly held misapprehension.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 31-Mar-14 17:04:15

I am doing the same thing, although my son's next school is private, not state. When I deregistered, I mentioned that it was going to be short-term, whilst we wait for a place to become available at our preferred school.

We are having a lovely time. DS2 is in Year 3 and he was miserable. He had a very strict teacher and although she never told him off personally, he hated the atmosphere in her class and was bored with all the worksheets. Now he says he looks forward to every day smile. I'm sure you and your son will really enjoy having the time together.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 31-Mar-14 17:08:22

Here's my thread asking a similar question. There's a link to the deregistration letter there too. HTH.

starrih1 Tue 01-Apr-14 12:26:36

Thank you all. These posts have put my mind at rest. Some of the other mums at his current school have been very negative about the idea. But it really does feel right for us and I'm looking forward to it now and so is he. He knows it's just while we are waiting for a school place.

Toffeewhirl, thank you for the link I will take a look. I have the same situation as you. His current teacher has been extremely strict and regimented and he doesn't like being in her class. She seems to want to mould them all into one personality and I think her methods have held him back a bit.

I am really happy that I will be able to bring him on loads and help his confidence before he starts his new school, whenever that might be!

Saracen Tue 01-Apr-14 12:58:05

You can easily change your mind later, and you won't have lost anything.

If there were a halfway-decent school on offer then it might be worth serious consideration, but it sounds like that is not the case. So you may as well home educate while waiting to see what happens. Eventually if it turns out that there is no movement locally and you don't want to HE in the long term, you can ask the council again for a school place and take what they offer you. If you accept the nearest available school then they must provide transport if it is far enough away.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 01-Apr-14 14:47:41

I'm sure you and your son will have a lovely time, star. Don't worry about the other mums - you know what's right for your son, but they don't.

maggi Wed 02-Apr-14 08:41:32

Hi Star
You have quickly discovered that many people are incredulous at the idea of home educating. They can be rude and discouraging and it knocks your confidence, especially when you're still weighing up whether it will be the right thing for you. Beware that the worst offenders of subverting your plans will be your closest friends and members of your family.
It seems to be a normal reaction and there are plenty of threads on here about it.

Home educating is easy and enjoyable.

Rivanshine Wed 02-Apr-14 16:41:43

Hi, just posted our story in a new thread but it is similar to yours. It seems to me that there are quite a few people in our situation nowadays but not enough for the information to be more widely available or accepted by the general public - hence the unhelpful comments and attitudes from some people! My MIL actually called me 'mad' for even thinking about home-educating our eldest and even went so far as to imply I was too stupid and incapable of doing it!! ;( Anyway, I hope you feel more confidant in making your decision soon - I have many a doubtful day but I try really hard to remember to tell myself "they are YOUR children and you ARE doing your very best for them every day by even trying to find the right way forward". Makes me sigh every time I hear about a parent(s) being dressed down by their elders or peers over how they are bringing up their children when they're clearly being looked after well. The bone of contention with some people seems to be what they regard as 'the norm' but until someone is in your shoes I don't think they're in a position to judge you really!! Good luck with everything and let us know how you get on smile

starrih1 Thu 03-Apr-14 13:46:36

Thank you everyone. All your comments have been so helpful and supportive.

I will definitely be home schooling him now while we are waiting for his school place and I'm very happy with the decision and looking forward to it. I'm going to do lots of research as well and try and find some groups in my area etc.

His last day at his current school will probably be the 10th May, I'm not sure when to tell this school or whether to tell them we will be home schooling him for a time. We are moving to a different local authority and not sure whether I need to let them know either? You deal directly with the schools you are applying to in Birmingham, not the LEA.

Although, some people do look at me incredulously, I think it is mainly because it is not the norm. Haven't told my own parents yet and I'm bracing myself for that one!

AMumInScotland Thu 03-Apr-14 14:06:36

You don't have to let anyone know, except for letting the current school know that he'll be leaving on x date. They often do ask what your plans are, presumably so they can keep a note.

Otherwise it's just a matter of contacting the school to make sure he is on the waiting list. You don't have any legal requirement to tell the LEA.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 03-Apr-14 14:50:51

Star - I think it's best to treat it very casually with family who are likely to be shocked, rather than announcing it. I haven't told all my family that I'm home educating again, after the horror that greeted it from certain members last time. If they notice DS2's not at school, I'll just say casually, "Oh, he's in between schools at the moment", and change the subject. It's none of their business and I can't be bothered to try and justify it. For some reason, the term 'home educating' sends a lot of people into a panic.

cheerfullady Thu 03-Apr-14 19:36:13

We did this for a term in reception for the same reason and it was great. I did realise that it wouldn't be for me long term but wasn't a problem in terms of progress, waiting lists or anything and it meant we got the school we wanted instead of one miles away, despite being told repeatedly that there was no way we'd get a place!

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