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can you stay on waiting list for state primary whilst attending private school?

(14 Posts)
CristinaTheAstonishing Thu 25-Aug-11 23:12:09

Moving into new area, hopefully in the next few weeks. Nearest three schools oversubscribed and possible offer doesn't look too good on paper. If DD were to go to a private school (provided we haven't left it too late and she gets past any examination/interview), could we keep her on the waiting list for one of the state primaries near new house? Thank you.

whomovedmychocolate Thu 25-Aug-11 23:15:11

Yes of course you can. There's a lot of movement in the first term at most state primaries. However check out the withdrawal arrangements for the private school to make sure you don't have to pay for the full year if you pull her out.

CristinaTheAstonishing Thu 25-Aug-11 23:21:02

Thanks, WMC. Private school is £9900 a year, I don't really want to be doing it unless there's an end in sight. We're thinking of visiting both schools, then taking DD1 to the given school and if she's unhappy in it or if it's too bad academically then having something else for a while. Would that change things, if we pull her out of her offerred state school then ask to be placed on waiting list for a better (and only 200 yards away) state school?

yellowsubmarine41 Fri 26-Aug-11 00:58:41

No. Your dd doesn't have to be in full time education until the term after she turns 5 (this includes HE). You can be on the waiting list of as many schools as you like, I believe. It would make sense to get her on waiting lists as soon as possible, especially before the autumn term shuffle starts in primary schools.

CristinaTheAstonishing Fri 26-Aug-11 01:07:51

Thanks, Yellow. She's starting year 2, so needs to be in school. HE not really an option (we both work). We haven't exchanged on the new house yet, which is why we haven't been pushing about this until now as we didn't have the certainty of an address in the new area. It's all a bit messy timing-wise.

The school we've been suggested provisionally is 2 miles away and I understand she'd be getting a taxi to and fro. Just not a very good school acc. to Ofsted report and we hadn't heard of its name until today and don't know anyone living in the area. Thanks for your post and the info she could still be on waiting list for another state school.

sunnydelight Fri 26-Aug-11 07:03:07

If you are definitely intending to move her as soon as space in one of your preferred local schools becomes available, I really wouldn't start her in a private school tbh. What happens if she (and you) absolutely love it, she makes great friends, starts enjoying the "extras" you often get in fee paying schools etc. If keeping her there is not an option it's probably better off not starting.

You may find the school she has been offered actually works for her (and you) and that way you have a real choice whether or not to move her. Also, as has been said, you normally either give a full term's notice, or pay a term's fees in lieu in private schools - some are flexible but many are not. Technically even if you removed your daughter a week in to term you could be liable to pay two terms fees.

BlueArmyGirl Fri 26-Aug-11 07:20:03

Cristina

have you been for a look around the school she's been offered/likely to be offered a place at. Just because it doesn't look too good on paper does'nt mean there mightn't be things about it that you like. It might only be a stop gap, until she gets a place in the 'better' school, but it mightn't be as bad as you think.

CustardCake Fri 26-Aug-11 09:20:13

We know parents at our (state) school who have done this after Year 6. We're in an area where the O.K or good secondary schools are oversubscribed and you have to live virtually in the playground to get a place. As such lots of people are disappointed with the school they are allocated and some decide to do a term or two at private school and wait for a place to come up.

This is only a logical if an end is in sight though ie if your new house will be close enough to your chosen school to put you very near the top of the waiting list. You would need to find this out in advance. You might logically assume 900m for example would be very close but they might never offer beyond 500m in some schools.
And its only logical if you have 2-4 terms worth of fees to pay for it without crippling yourselves financially.

The good news though is that in a year, when she starts Year 3, the class size limit ceases to apply and you have more chance of getting a place at the school you like either on appeal or on off the waiting list whether she does a year in private or a year in the school you're not keen on first.

prh47bridge Fri 26-Aug-11 11:05:55

Just one minor correction to the advice given so far.

I and other experts have always understood that you have the right to be on as many waiting lists as you want. However, in a case raised by an MNer earlier this year I understand the Schools Adjudicator's final ruling was that LAs are permitted to limit the number of waiting lists on which a child can be placed. I think the Adjudicator is wrong but the only way to get this ruling overturned is to get a judicial review. I will be suggesting that the government clarifies this issue in the proposed new Admissions Code, hopefully by insisting that parents do indeed have the right to put their child on as many waiting lists as they want.

CristinaTheAstonishing Fri 26-Aug-11 20:18:12

Thanks all for the helpful advice and reassurance.

sunnydelight - I get what you're saying about friendhsips and extras and moving her yet again. Friendships would, hopefully, happen whichever school she attends as a stop-gap and, quite frankly, she could have 100 times extra activities with the money we'd save. I don't want private education for my DCs as I think it's ridiculous to pay the extra money when the borough is full of outstanding and good schools.

Bluearmy - we haven't seen the school yet as only just found out yesterday and we're 5 miles away, so not even word of mouth. The reason my DH was in a panic is that the Ofsted (done in June 2010) highlights the issue of bullying. I don't know how often that is mentioned in an Ofsted report but that was quite scary.

CustardCake - totally agree about having an end in sight and only doing it for a few terms and only if absolutely needed. I had no idea about the year 3 change in class size, so that is great news. New house would be only 200 metres away, hopefully that's short enough. There are 6 others on the waiting list at the moment, though.

prH47bridge - thanks and well done for doing something about this. I suppose you've met lots of parents who just grumble and moan for a while, then thank whoever when their child gets in/is no longer interested etc and get on with their lives. Which is fine, of course, only so many battles you can fight but good on you for keeping it going.

Saracen Sat 27-Aug-11 03:08:33

If you really think that a place will become available at a state school you like, one other option is to home educate for a short while and use a childminder to look after your child while you work. Some families do this in the long term out of choice. It seems to me that that could be much cheaper and simpler than tying yourselves in to a private school.

You can ask the CM to do some work with your child if she is willing, or educate her yourselves when you aren't at work. With individual attention, it needn't take many hours. (When a child is being educated by the LA and is off school long-term, with an illness for example, they are only obliged to provide a minimum of five hours' tutoring per week. Tutors say that in most cases that's enough to keep the child caught up with her class.)

BlueArmyGirl Sat 27-Aug-11 08:29:54

Cristina

If you decide to go and have a look round ask them what they've gone in the last year to adress the issues identified in their ofsetd report - you would like to think that there have been some hanges if it was that big an issue. If there haven't been then that's a good enough reason to not want to consider it. If they want to schools can change or begin to things effectively in a relatively short amount of time so it is not necessarily still the case that what was an issue a year is ago is still the same level of issue. Having said all that I have no idea what was identified on the report or how that would make me feel as a prospective parent.

CristinaTheAstonishing Sun 28-Aug-11 09:02:56

Saracen - you reminded me that a good many years back I was reading up on HE and I know that checks and obligations aren't too strict, we could fit in the minimum requirements. I'm just thinking that we wouldn't be there during the day with the DDs to do it in a relaxed manner, it would be like home tutoring them ourselves (as we only have weekends and evenings with them). I've done enough of that last summer and autumn for DS's secondary school entry, I need a break.

Blue - thanks for suggestions, it is sthg we'd need to ask specifically. I'd have thought Ofsted reports would be rather coy in discussing bullying and call it challenging behaviour or something, this was very clear it was bullying and that parents felt this wasn't addressed and that teaching overall was too relaxed.

sunnydelight Sun 28-Aug-11 23:32:25

Remember if your new house is only 200m from the school you may well find that some of the people on the waiting list live further away thus putting you higher up the list than no. 7. We once moved one of our kids mid term following a house move although we wanted to wait until the end of the year as we know there was a family moving in closer who would replace us as top of the list once they could prove exchange.

Life is so much less stressful here in Oz where you have an absolute right to a place at your "catchment school". My kids don't go to school nearby but I could rock up at our local primary today and say "I'd like a Y2 and a Y6 place please" and they could start tomorrow.

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