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primary admissions - would you do this and is it ethical?

(29 Posts)
benetint Fri 01-Jul-11 15:18:06

Our local school is labeled as "rough" by the parents who are from the area. I followed the advice of the lovely mumsnetters on here and had a look round for myself. I must admit I felt a bit intimidated in the playground and one of the dads put his fingers up at me when I got in the car. It might just have been a one off, but coupled with the reputation of the school this really put me off.

Anyway, I've had a look at some schools in other areas and I've fallen in love with one of them. The problem is its oversubscribed and you need to live within 0.2 miles to get in. With the market being the way it is I doubt we could sell our house, particularly with the revenue we'd need to purchase a house in this other area. So another option would be to rent out our house (long term) and rent another house in the area we want to move. I certainly wouldn't move in, get my daughter in the school and then move out. It would be with the idea of renting in the other area long term until we could afford to actually buy.

So I just wanted people's opinions on this. Do you think its an ethical thing to do or do you think the other parents in the area would hate us?? I would worry so much about tenants in our current house letting us down and us not being able to afford to pay for both - basically putting school above our family's financial security. Do you think I'm getting myself way too het up about schools and I just just relax and go for the local one? Or should I move heaven and Earth to get into this good school?

Thank you all.

mollymole Fri 01-Jul-11 15:21:20

if the school is really so bad do what you have to in order to get into a different school - this is your childs future you are talking about

AMumInScotland Fri 01-Jul-11 15:39:13

Why not find somewhere to rent in the area, and move in properly? Then you would actually live there and nobody could complain (and you couldn't be "found out" later).

Some schools will check up on whether you are genuinely living in the address you have put down - specially if they are very popular.

Mandy21 Fri 01-Jul-11 16:07:51

I honestly don't think you'd get away with it. I think you would have to move into the rented house, at least for 6-12 months to demonstrate that it is your normal place of residence. Our school was particularly over subscribed and applicants had to produce proof of address this year. This meant a copy of the mortgage statement for the property or a tenancy which had to be for at least 12 months, with further documentation of utilities supplied at that address. In our area, if you've moved into the area recently, the LEA requires "proof of your removal and may also require proof of disposal of your previous home". I'm not sure that you could get round this, but even if you could, it would only need a neighbour of your "new" address / anyone who walked by to notice that the property was empty and news would quickly spread that you hadn't actually moved in and had "cheated" in getting a place. The LEA is then entitled to withdraw any offer of a place and there is no way of knowing what you'd be offered as an alternative. I think its a very risky approach.

newgirl Fri 01-Jul-11 16:12:21

I think move there properly - it's better long term as you have kids round, share pick ups etc. If you just use the address ( or thinking of it) be warned that in my dd recep class a child was removed at first half term as parents had rented in area but not main residence. Really embarrassing for parents and sad for child.

bubblesincoffee Fri 01-Jul-11 16:13:21

I think it is slightly unethical, but to put it bluntly, so what? This is your child's education and happy childhood we are talking about here, and you only get one chance at it.

I would do whatever it took to provide my dc with a good education. It may have been a one off that a parent was that rude to you, but it might not have been. Your child could be a genius and still not achieve her potential in a school where the majority of parents have a bad attitude.

Can you build up some savings just in case you do get let down by tennants just so that you have a couple of months worth of rent to fall back on? It's not easy being a landlord.

bubblesincoffee Fri 01-Jul-11 16:14:56

confused OP said she would move there properly!!

benetint Fri 01-Jul-11 16:16:30

Thanks so much for your posts!

I'm so sorry my original post was unclear, I meant move in properly (maybe start renting a year before she was due to start school?) with the view of actually moving into the property and living there long term.

snicker Fri 01-Jul-11 16:17:00

OP says she would move in properly and stay there until she could buy in the area.

I would do it but I know some people have had problems due to not having enough time left on their tenancy agreement to satisfy the admissions criteria. You will have to make sure the landlord will give you a tenancy agreement that covers the time.

mycatthinksshesatiger Fri 01-Jul-11 16:22:20

are you sure it's actually possible to rent in the area you need to be in? If the catchment area is so very tiny it's highly likely that there will be massive movement into that small area and those properties will be at a premium. if it's such a tiny catchment area it could also shrink depending on numbers of twins, children with SEN in your child's year group too so you could end up still not getting in. Don't want to be a prophet of doom and gloom but friend did something similar in Hertfordshire and didn't get in, even though they were literally opposite the school.

swanker Fri 01-Jul-11 16:26:35

Moving to an area permanently is fine- whether you rent or buy makes no difference.

AMumInScotland Fri 01-Jul-11 16:48:24

Oh I think I misread your OP then. I don't see any ethical problem whatsoever in moving into a catchment area by renting there and renting out your owned house.

There may be practical problems - you'll need to be very careful to meet all the criteria - but no ethical ones. And I would do it myself in an instant if I thought it would give my child a decent education.

MissBetsyTrotwood Fri 01-Jul-11 18:56:56

Well I'm always the first to say go and look around the rough school and see for yourself but if you did that and you didn't like it (who would when a dad sees fit to do that!) I don't think its unethical to do as you say.

BUT the local authority might not see it that way. It would be good to find out exactly what their policy is; I doubt taking your word as proof you won't move back once a place is secure will wash. I'd put your current place on the market asap. Then, if it doesn't sell, at least you have proof of your intention to move permanently.

All this is conjecture though. I've not a clue and getting the right advice from your LEA will be the only advice worthwhile as they all have different policies I think.

We went with the local 'rough' school and have not been disappointed yet. However, when we looked around we really liked it and the bad rep is an old one - new head, permanent staff and loads of money having been pumped in have made a big difference.

Good luck.

sunnyday123 Fri 01-Jul-11 18:58:20

agree its fine! I was going to to do this myself this year as my two DDs are likely to be separated otherwise but couldnt face renting out my home (which i love). If you plan to do it long term then there's unlikely to be huge issues but for me, renting for a year or so could have ended up still costing a lot and you have no idea what stated your house will be left in. Plus theres a 50/50 chance my daughter will get in and to go through all that for nothing would have been to costly. I know near me, the oversubscribed schools ask for proof of address but with no time scale on. Think its unfair to say a year as what if you relocate just before genuinely?!

Also schools can fill quickly with siblings alone so best look at the past few years to see how far the catchment went to.

LynetteScavo Fri 01-Jul-11 19:02:47

Not unethical, IMO, people buy in "nice" areas with "nice" schools all the time. Renting is just as valid as buying...in fact you are helping the economy by letting and renting. wink

MerylStrop Fri 01-Jul-11 19:06:46

It's not unethical at all if you move to a rental property in the area with a view to buying there. It's one of the reasons people move.

If you did happen to move back out of catchment even a couple of years down the line, the school may take a dim view, and any younger siblings might not necessarily get a place. I'd put your house on the market AND available for tenants, and get into somewhere in catchment asap. Well before the deadline for applications.

Jux Fri 01-Jul-11 19:08:54

I think if you were absolutely genuine about moving there permanently, rather than for however long it took to get her into the school, then there's nothing unethical about it at all. It's what most people do if they can.

MerylStrop Fri 01-Jul-11 19:08:57

Also to say schools do change, sometimes quite quickly. Our school was like some kind of best kept secret when DS started and there are only 26 in his class - this year it's oversubscribed by 50%

MissBetsyTrotwood Fri 01-Jul-11 21:12:06

I know Meryl ! I feel a bit 'shh' about DS' school. blush

sassyminder Fri 01-Jul-11 21:47:39

You already went to check the 'rough' school with a mindset that it was nit good enough for you..I mean yours daughter... wouldnt you? Did you really keep an open mind and positive atitude yourself on the day of your visit? I also am curious to know why was that parent rude to you???????
I - I meam - my DD got my 5th choice school and I was absolutely devastated and feeling like the queen of the losers as everybody else iin my group got their 1st choice.... I also wanted to move out my area not only because of schoold but to be closer to transport links and shops....after so much crying I decided to pay more attention to my area, to get to know the people and children around me and to observe the school and I completely changed my mind even before attending the induction day. Now I still want to move (as I need a bigger place) but I am looking for something even closer to that school that once was my 5th choice but now is my favourite one. And even if we are offered a place at anyone else I wouldnt go for nothing. I was to absorbed on other peoples comments who clearly was just repeating what they heard and being led by appearances and racism.
Why did that parent was rude to you again??

Rosebud05 Fri 01-Jul-11 22:03:38

We live in a 'rough' part of town and no-one has ever put a finger up at me, let alone at school.

What was the context in this happening?

You don't mention what other impressions you formed about the school from your visit.

sassyminder Fri 01-Jul-11 22:41:33

sorry my last post is full of errors because I have a 'rough' computer, but if someone put a finger up to you for nothing sure you can report them for assault or something?

skybluepearl Sun 03-Jul-11 19:23:20

rent or buy in the catchment of the school you want kids to go to. aim to be there at least a few months before you apply for schools

PfftTheMagicDragon Sun 03-Jul-11 20:17:20

You can rent or buy in the catchment that you need to be in. You don't have to prove that you have been there for a minimum term. You just need to be able to prove that you do live there, genuinely. As long as you do, whether that is by buying, or renting, then that's ok.

Of course, you may still not get in.

PfftTheMagicDragon Sun 03-Jul-11 20:17:48

Meant to add, we moved into our house 5 days before the start of term. The sale went through just in time!

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