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Wrong address on School Admission - please help!

(137 Posts)
namestresses Wed 03-Aug-11 10:29:30

Hi All,

I need your help - I am so stuck, I just don't know what to do.

When we applied for a primary school place, we lived at house X, close to our preferred school but out of catchment. Catchment is a not-so good school.

We moved house in April, just up the road to house Y, same catchment as the not so good school but slightly further from the preferred school.

We got the letter in May saying we hadn't got into the preferred school and we had got into the catchment one. Disappointing, but unsurprising since preferred school is oversubscribed. Went on waiting list for preferred school.

ANYWAY... (sorry for long story history!)

I got a letter yesterday saying that we had been offered a place in preferred school! I was SO SO SO happy I screamed.
Until DH pointed out that the letter was redirected from old house X.
The LEA didn't have our new address.
I informed the council but didn't realise the LEA was a separate 'entity' as it were.

I feel sick. I mean, I actually feel physically ill. I don't know what to do. Accept the place and change address with the school once we start, or tell the LEA we aren't at that address and lose the place we wanted?

We WERE at house X when we applied. I THOUGHT I had done the right thing by notifying the council. But now I am so worried that if I am honest and correct it now that I know my mistake, I will lose a place we so desperately wanted.
Can anyone offer advice? Please be kind - I was naive and I feel like an idiot already, I don't need to be flamed sad

scurryfunge Wed 03-Aug-11 10:33:15

You had accepted that your child was going to go to the non preferred school anyway. I would let the LEA know and see where you go from there.

If another parent was in the same position and you found out the address was no longer current, would you complain?

cjbartlett Wed 03-Aug-11 10:35:20

Always best to be honest
Otherwise you'll be awake all night worrying

RustyBear Wed 03-Aug-11 10:40:31

You might find you would still have the place- presumably it would depend on whether there were any others on the waiting list who live further away than your old house but closer than your new one.

cjbartlett Wed 03-Aug-11 10:48:11

What a shame you moved!

namestresses Wed 03-Aug-11 11:28:19

cjbartlett I know, tell me about it. Sadly we had no choice, landlord wanted to sell. We offered him more money to stay but he was having none of it. As it happens, he still hasn't sold the place and is going to put it back on the rental market but of course we are tied in here now!

That's for advice. I have been up all night stressing and worrying.

I am a super honest person - to a fault, my honesty has sometimes got me in a right mess, and I am really screwing myself up.
I just feel so STUPID. I THOUGHT it was all ok.

The catchment school is pretty shocking. When I visited there was broken glass all over the library floor and the library had been shut for 6 weeks as a result, there were leaking pipes all down the corridors and yes, whilst I had accepted it, I really wasn't happy about it.

I see this as a chance and I am really struggling with doing what's RIGHT and what I want for my DC (a good school, obviously).

So I see these as my options...

1. I plead stupidity (not hard, clearly) and keep the place, and change address with the school later. Is this risky? When should I do it for it to be least risk? Would this even work? I do have a council tax bill for the old place as it's not really that long since we moved.

2. If they ask for more than council tax (ie utilities), I would fess up. I am not going to actively lie, and I would accept the ramifications.

3. Fess up now and accept the ramifications.

I feel like crying.

Mumwithadragontattoo Wed 03-Aug-11 12:28:44

Hold on don't they go by the address that you were living at when you made the application? I would just accept the place and then change address with the school when DD starts. I am a very honest person but cannot see the point in muddying the waters at this stage. If they ask for current proof of address then I would explain that you moved but honestly wouldn't bother otherwise.

namestresses Wed 03-Aug-11 12:40:48

* Mumwithadragontattoo* yes that's kind of exactly what I was thinking - you put it a bit more succinctly than me grin

I blame my pregnancy hormones for waffling!

Yes, when I applied I was living at that address. I'm not now, but because I had told the council I moved etc etc I just sort of forgot about it.

If I tell them we have moved after DC starts, they're not likely to send scary people round or anything though are they? I can worry for England. I can certainly prove I was living there when we applied, we lived there for almost 3 years.

LIZS Wed 03-Aug-11 12:46:57

Does it ask you to confirm your details now though ? If your dc is starting Reception then they may have pre-start visits etc which will force you to clarify where you now live. tbh these "mistakes" have a habit of coming back to bite you.

Mumwithadragontattoo Wed 03-Aug-11 12:48:56

I don't think anything could happen to your DC's place. I don't think you have done anything wrong at all. I honestly wouldn't do anything except accept the place and make sure your Royal Mail redirection is valid until after your DC goes to school. Once she's started email the school office with updated address.

namestresses Wed 03-Aug-11 12:49:37

Well.... if we have to clarify where we now live, I will.
Lying to that extent is not something I am inclined to entertain. I'd be too scared.

Blu Wed 03-Aug-11 12:51:54

You were at that address when you appliled.
I would accept the place, then in 2 weeks time tell them you have moved.

Blu Wed 03-Aug-11 12:52:47

After all, you might not have ever noticed that the letter had been re-directed...

namestresses Wed 03-Aug-11 12:53:29

Blu - yes, that's what we were hoping to do.
Will it get us in trouble doing that though?

namestresses Wed 03-Aug-11 12:54:04

Blu, I didn't notice, bloody DH grin

Mumwithadragontattoo Wed 03-Aug-11 12:54:31

I agree if they ask you to confirm your address then you will obviously have to give them them the new one (although I still don't think that would affect your DC's place). I can remember another thread where someone had moved further away than you during the application process and actually wanted the LEA to give them a different school for their DC and I think they were basically told that the one near the old house was enough to comply with their duty to provide a school place.

namestresses Wed 03-Aug-11 13:06:19

You have all been so helpful (and made me feel like less of a criminal).

I was awake from 2am last night - so screwed up I just couldn't sleep.

School admissions seems to be a very emotional and fraught business - I had no idea until I ended up doing it myself!

I think I will come clean if asked (as you say, it might make no difference!) but otherwise I will accept the place and change my home address later.

Mumwithadragontattoo Wed 03-Aug-11 13:11:27

Sounds good to me. I hope your DC enjoys their new school.

admission Wed 03-Aug-11 15:59:05

This could be a problem and U think you need to be truthful because the consequences could be catastrophic.
The place has been offered to you as you are top of the waiting list, which will almost for sure be because you are the nearest to the school, based on the old address. It is also a clear request from the LA that you tell them of any change fo address. The problem is that the LA will ask for confirmation of your address or if they don't they will smell a rat when you change your address in a couple of weeks. Don't forget that you have already informed the LA of the change of address so they will fairly easily be able to prove that the place was offerd based on an incorrect address. The outcome of the LA establishing that is that you will almost for sure loose the place and if the other catchment school has also filled the place then you will find your child going to a school even further a field.
I believe that you have to be honest with the LA. Tell them that you have moved, that you did tell the LA on x date and you assumed that this would be recorded on the paperwork for school admissions. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that this has actually happened and the LA were just incompetent in putting on the wrong address. The other thing is that even with the new address you might be still the top of the waiting list and therefore entitled to the place.
Yes you may be really unlucky and loose the place but I would suggest that there is a better than 50% chance that your new address will be found out and you may suffer the consequences.

Mumwithadragontattoo Wed 03-Aug-11 16:37:56

I think you need to have a look at the admission rules for you local auth. Looking at the ones where I live if you move after the final date for applications (plus 2 weeks wiggle room) they will not amend your application although they will use your new address for correspondence. If this is the same for your local auth I would have thought the place would still be offered to you based on your address at time of application (as that one stands and cannot be amended).

Admission - are you saying that because it is a waiting list place different rules apply and they would look at the current address rather than address at time of application?

MumblingRagDoll Wed 03-Aug-11 16:43:05

I suspect you'll be fine....let us know....have you called them?

LIZS Wed 03-Aug-11 16:45:45

When you requested to go on the waiiting list were you told to advise LA of any change in circumstances ?

namestresses Wed 03-Aug-11 16:48:05

LIZS no I wasn't - I just asked to go on it. End of conversation!

I haven't called them because I don't want to arouse suspicion!

I have scoured the council website and it doesn't say anything really - I could have a look at the national generic admissions one? I'll do that now.

MumblingRagDoll Wed 03-Aug-11 16:53:44

What year is your DC? It's unlikely they'll be pipped to the post because someone lives a tiny bit closer isnt it? Tell the buggers afterwards.

namestresses Wed 03-Aug-11 17:06:01

DC is just joining reception.

I have scoured the council website, the school website and seen nothing pertinent to my situation. I just logged on to eadmissions website and it does say something on there about you must notify a change of address - but it says my application is closed anyway!!

So I have decided - stuff it. I am going to change his address later, once he starts.

If I do get 'caught' or investigated or whatever - I'll deal with it. I am giving up work to be a SAHM at the end of the year anyway, if worst comes to worst and they withdraw the place and the nearest school is 10 miles away.... well then I'll either put him back in private nursery (if I am still working) or homeschool him and apply again later!

I didn't lie deliberately. I thought I did the right thing ... now I realise the onus is on me to CHECK I did the right thing, and I didn't, and that's my fault and my responsibility and I accept that.
But I now find myself in what should be a happy situation (it's a great school) and instead am shitting myself.

Between doing what's 'right' by the LEA and what is 'right' by my DC... I'll choose my DC. I wish it wasn't a choice I have to make but I cocked up.

Admission - thank you for your feedback. I realise that's the situation I am in, hence being so screwed up.

I'm not a risk taker, but I think this once I might!

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