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London primary school places for arriving family

(10 Posts)
akuabadoll Sun 30-Oct-16 07:14:49

I was born in London but have never lived there as an adult and have spent the last 20 years overseas. We will know if we are moving to London in December and the actual move would be summer 2018. Our older child would be looking to join Year 3 September 2018. My preference would be a state primary, if that's possible. I'm not sure what is relevant but he does't hold a UK passport and I'm not sure when we would know our London address, we wouldn't actually be living there until the summer.
So, is there anything I can do in advance? Should know in advance?

fatowl Sun 30-Oct-16 13:07:56

I'm sure regarding specific London schools, but the passport is a non issue, he will be allocated a state place as soon as he is resident, but it won't necessarily be in your first choice school.

I doubt you can do much before you have an address I'm afraid (frustrating I know)

WackyWalrus Sun 30-Oct-16 13:21:27

You can't do anything until you have an address and seeing as it'll be so close to the start of term you are most likely to be offered a place in the least popular school in the area (as the others will have filled up by then and it'll be the only school with spaces)

That's not a given (before every one piles in to shout at me) i'm just saying it's likely depending on the area, but London is pretty over subscribed for school spaces.

Floggingmolly Sun 30-Oct-16 13:30:01

Unfortunately that actually is a given, Wacky. London is absolutely mental at the moment regarding school places.

meditrina Sun 30-Oct-16 13:47:12

The only people who have the right to apply for a school place from overseas are Forces families and other government officials returning from postings.

Some councils go beyond this, and allow applications from others who can demonstrate that they are definitely moving (including when) and their new address in their borough.

Without an address, you can't do anything. And even with one, depending on your council's policy, you might not be able to apply until you have actually started living in it.

The council has to find you a school place. But the demographics are not in your favour and many, many schools will be full. The better news is that there are always people moving in and out of London and, from Y3 onwards, class sizes can exceed 30 - so there is always churn and places do come up.

So even if you don't much like the school initially offered, it's still worth going on the waiting lists for others you prefer as you might get lucky.

akuabadoll Sun 30-Oct-16 14:17:53

Many thanks for the replies. This is what I expected, no surprise. We could 'give an address' in the new year but not prove to be actually living there. Which of course is not the same thing. Thanks again.

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 30-Oct-16 16:57:09

If you were born in UK, there is no reason why your DC shouldn't hold a UK passport.

We relocated back to UK from overseas. DH was a government employee working in Belgium and the local council (Lambeth) didn't give a stuff. They basically said that we wouldn't be allocated places until after term had started and it was highly unlikely that both children would go to the same school (we were looking at Yr 1 and Yr 3 at the time). We decided to look outside London, rang up the school in a village, where we had friends, to see if that was going to be easier, and got places straight away, with no need for an address "just let us know when you find somewhere."

It is an utter pain in the arse, getting a school place in London, and it's not unusual for some children just not to get a place, or to get one miles away.

Mrsfrumble Sun 30-Oct-16 17:19:24

We've just been through all this, having moved back to London from the USA this summer with year 1-bound DS in tow. We had a London address in advance, but we were instructed by the LA not to apply until we were back in the country even though we were due to arrive in the middle of the summer school holidays.

There were 3 primaries in the borough with places; none of them with brilliant reputations but all ofsted rated as "good". We applied to the closest one, and a few other schools without places that we liked the look of, with the hope that one would become available. We were offered a place the closest school two days before term started, and so far it's working out. The school is only 5 minutes away, DS is happy enough there, and he's also top of the waiting list for our first choice "outstanding" school.

I hope this is helpful!

akuabadoll Mon 31-Oct-16 02:28:16

Yes helpful indeed. We will just need to deal with the consequences of the move if it happens, somehow. Interesting to know that even the various local councils say different things re the address. I didn't think the lack of a UK passport was an issue, so good to know that is correct, at least. Not that that is very helpful if there are no places available.

OlennasWimple Mon 31-Oct-16 20:55:13

The rules about forces and government officials returning from overseas postings are quite new, MrsS, so they might not have been in place when you needed them.

OP - even if you are allocated a place at a school you wouldn't have chosen, you can go on the waiting list for other schools that you would prefer, and length of time that you have been on the list makes no difference as places are allocated by the same criteria as the original places. The good thing about London is that there is typically a lot of movement, so places can come up relatively frequently in comparison to other parts of the country

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