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confused about applying for schools

(9 Posts)
Tanso Thu 16-Jun-11 20:24:20

Hello, I did not go to school in the Uk so I do not know how everything works with regard to applying for schools. My DD is 1 and I am in West London

I have heard that I need to apply (get on a waiting list?) years in advance, but I looked online at the local council and it is saying to apply at the end of the year before. I am very confused.

What about nurseries? I think i should be finding one now in preparation. I just have no idea really.

To make matters more complicated I live on a boat which is on a leisure mooring. This means I can not use it as my official address. Is there any way to do something with the local post office so I have an address there? Could I use it for applying for schools. My PIL live in the next borough so I could use their address but I am worried about getting into trouble, plus they are moving in a year.

I dont expect anyone to have the answers to the second half of this, I just want to know what kind of urgency I am dealing with in terms of finding a school. Am I running out of time???

Coffeeisking Thu 16-Jun-11 20:33:17

Schools applications generally start the september before they start school. but having an address will be important as they need this to assess your child chances of getting into the school. iykwim?

Pre schools can have waiting lists. the best way to know will to call them. popular ones will have longer waiting lists


elphabadefiesgravity Thu 16-Jun-11 20:33:47

Unless you want a private (fee paying) school then you apply the academic year they turn 4. For nursery depending on the council it is usually the academic year they turn 3.

No idea about the boat issue. There must be something in place becasue of travellers.

mrsjohnsimm Thu 16-Jun-11 20:47:17

If your daughter was born between 1 September 2008 and 31 August 2009 she will (in most areas) start Reception in September 2013. If she was born between 1 September 2009 and 31 August 2010 she will (in most areas) start Reception in September 2014.

If you are applying for a state school you don't need to worry about waiting lists at all. You just need to apply the autumn before she's due to start (so autumn 2012 or autumn 2013 depending on when her birthday is) -- your local authority's website should have the exact dates and procedure.

If you are applying for a private school then you may need to consider waiting lists.

Nurseries and preschools can have waiting lists; the best thing to do is to contact them individually and ask.

I don't know about the leisure mooring point -- in principle you could contact the local authority and ask, but then that may alert them to the fact that you are using a leisure mooring as a permanent address and cause you additional problems. You could ask more generally about arrangements for children of travellers as that's roughly analogous to your situation.

bebanjo Thu 16-Jun-11 20:52:19

AS far as i know you can use any post office in the uk as a "care of" address.
Go to your local post office and ask them.
Do you have a heath visitor? If not go to your gp and ask to speak to theirs.
Heath visitors can help by letting you know what the catchment areas are of the schools.
hope this helps.

prh47bridge Thu 16-Jun-11 21:33:19

I agree with mrsjohnsimm with one minor exception - the dates for your daughter starting school that she gives apply throughout England.

Regarding an address, the council will need to know exactly where you live even if you use a "care of" address for post. Most councils use the distance from home to school as a tie breaker to determine who gets in. They clearly can't do that if they don't know exactly where you live. You can use your parents in law as a "care of" address but make sure the council know where you really live.

mrsjohnsimm Fri 17-Jun-11 10:38:19

Do all areas start all children in September now, prh47bridge? I thought some didn't start the youngest bit of intake until January, but that may have changed.

prh47bridge Fri 17-Jun-11 11:05:10

Under the current Admissions Code all LAs must now allow children to start in the September following their 4th birthday. The parents can defer entry until the start of term following the child's 5th birthday if they wish. That is entirely the parents' choice and the school/LA have to comply, although parents should not defer by a full year as they will then lose their place.

Parents can also request that their child goes part time until the start of term following the child's 5th birthday but the school does not have to comply with that request.

mrsjohnsimm Fri 17-Jun-11 11:10:38

Ah, interesting -- I'm between school starters so guess DS started before the new code and DD won't be starting for a while yet. Come to think of it, I have seen some comments on MN about "deferring" recently.

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