Primary admissions - am I doing this right?

(8 Posts)
HerculesMulligan Mon 09-Oct-17 17:31:04

DS starts primary school in Richmond borough next Sept (2018) so we're in the application window now.

We currently live in House A, and have done for 5 years. It is practically in the playground of DesiredSchool and so DS' admission is as certain as it's possible to be.

Timings have conspired so we are in the process of trying to buy House B, and are not sure yet whether we'll be in by the end of Jan. We think we should be, but we haven't exchanged yet.

House B would have been close enough to DesiredSchool in each of the past three years for us to get DS into Reception, based on the current criteria. (It's a faith school but we score well on that). Moving slightly further away from the school is a risk, we know, but it's the right house for us and they don't often come up, so we think we have to do it, rather than waiting to move until after September.

I presume the right thing to do is to wait as long as we can without missing the 15 Jan deadline and then apply from whichever house we're in at that moment? Rather than applying from House A now and then notifying them of House B at some point pre-/post-January 15th?

I'm not especially worried about applying from either house from a distance point of view. What really worries me is the potential for misunderstanding - we are definitely not gaming the system (we're heading in the wrong direction for one thing), just moving at an awkward time of year.

Ktay Mon 09-Oct-17 19:11:57

You won't lose anything by waiting until near the deadline to apply provided you're sure you won't forget! But you can always call the school's admissions officer for advice, the few I've dealt with have been helpful.

tw11 Mon 09-Oct-17 19:43:50

Admissions won't really care what you do prior to Jan 15 so you can safely apply now from your current address. Then, change your address in their system, or notify the council on or right after the date when you actually move into your new house (not earlier than completion date in any case). No need to let them know prior to that (no purchase is confirmed until completion date ... )

AbsintheAndChips Tue 10-Oct-17 21:36:51

It makes no difference when you apply as long as you truthfully notify them of when you have moved and where to.

AbsintheAndChips Tue 10-Oct-17 21:56:21

PS, the crunch date is not the cut off for applications, but the date of offer and the date of starting school. If you are offered and accept a place in March or whenever it is then it is your place as long as you have been and continue to be honest about where you live at all points throughout the process, including before your child starts school.

However, given that your move may take a while, you might want to look at this in the admissions brochure:

If you move at any time during the admissions process (the admissions process covers the entire period from submitting your application to your child starting school), you must provide evidence to support the reason for your move.

If you move to a new address without telling us and secure an offer, based on your old address, of a school place that you would not have been offered based on the new address, we will treat this as misleading information and the offer of the school place will be withdrawn.

If you move to a new address and have advised us, once our address verification procedures have been satisfied, we will revise your child’s position on the waiting lists for each of the schools that you prefer so that you receive the correct outcome.

If such a move takes place after you have received an offer of a school place, in order to be permitted to retain the offer, you must satisfy the Council that the change of address was not anticipated prior to the offer of a school place.

In your situation if you have a good reason for the move (eg you are expecting another child and need more space, your existing child is getting older and you currently live in a flat and would like a garden, you need more space for an aged parent to come and live with you, you got a dog/cat/rabbit and need a garden, you can't afford your current place and need to downsize) they won't think you are gaming the system. However as you are moving further away from the school you want, you will probably have to show that you have a good reason for this and make sure to notify them on time about your move. In addition, if you offer on the house and it's accepted and you think it will go through and you will end up living there, I would tell them sooner rather than later. When people do game the system round here, they do exactly what you are doing - get into preferred school and then move away to an area near a less popular school. Also, your move is very much anticipated. So, in your shoes, I would call the admissions team and explain what is going on and ask them what you should do in order not to have your application treated as fraudulent. They are very nice, both on email and on the phone and will help.

Having said all that, as you think your new address will be OK for the school you want, it should not make too much difference. Best, though, to communicate with the admissions team in advance so they can see you are on the level.

HerculesMulligan Wed 11-Oct-17 14:56:10

Thanks, @Absintheandchips.

If you're who I think you are, you visited us with your T in a superhero t-shirt just after my T was born. I should have just texted you! Moving because (as you'll recall) we're two floors up and T needs a garden, and because my parents are finally fully retiring so we need a spare room.

AbsintheAndChips Wed 11-Oct-17 20:36:54

Oh hello! You haven't texted me, but you may have an old number!! Hope the house is lovely and my architect recommendation was of some use!

xx

AbsintheAndChips Wed 11-Oct-17 21:06:45

Oh sorry, just realised you mean you should have texted me instead!!

I am currently in the throes of secondary school applications, hence why I am extremely up to date on the rules.

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