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No school places

(8 Posts)
MrsLadywoman Mon 05-Sep-11 17:04:42

Sorry for this long post but I want to get all the facts down... A friend of mine went back to Ireland for 18 months to take her maternity for her second child. Now they are back and their older daughter is due to go into reception year. At the time the forms were meant to go in for school admission, they were still abroad, and because they were honest about their living arrangements (rather than just say they were in the London flat the whole time), they now don't have a place at any of the 6 schools in their area. Instead they have been offered a place in a temporary reception class at a children's centre. They've turned that down, as they don't feel it would be a great start for their child. But how common is this? Can it really be true that there isn't a single place in Brent for a reception year child who lives local to so many schools? I wondered if anyone else has experience of this and knows how likely it is that their daughter will eventually be offered a place. And how long this might take?

IndigoBell Mon 05-Sep-11 17:50:57

Yes it's true - that is why they were offered a place in a temporary classroom!

Classes can't go over 30 kids. Birth rates vary quite a lot - and we're currently in the middle of a big bulge.

amistillsexy Mon 05-Sep-11 17:59:05

I think it's worth going to look at the Children's Centre.
To be honest, if my DS (who starts Reception tomorrow) had a chance to go to a Reception class at a CC, I'd be pleased.
I think it would be a good environment, as they would be with other young children (the ones at the Nursery) and as Reception classes follow the EY curriculum, they should be doing things more like they do in Nurseries than they do in KS1.

CustardCake Mon 05-Sep-11 18:00:58

Yes its true especially in London. It happens even if people apply on time and don't move away for short periods. Its perfectly possible to live within a mile of several schools, apply to them all and not get a place at any but instead be offered a school in another borough or in a temporary classroom like your friend. It may well have happened to your friend even if she had stayed put / lied about being in her flat for that period of time.
It is all down to siblings and the birth rate each year plus a chronic shortage of primary places in London generally where, unless you live on top of a school, it can be hard to get any local school at all.

Is your friend on waiting lists for the schools she wants? If not tell her to make sure she gets added to them all ASAP and hopefully a place will come up. The bad thing about London is the lack of places but the good thing is that the population isn't static and very often people move away and create vacancies.

MrsLadywoman Tue 06-Sep-11 19:43:58

Thanks for your replies. I think they are turning down the CC place mainly because dad can to stay at home til a place comes up (yes, she is on the waiting lists). It's not ideal, and he would rather she was mixing with other kids, but worried about the disruption of being in one place, then uprooting as soon as she is offered somewhere. Just seems quite mad that there aren't enough primary schools to offer every child a place! I hadn't realised it was that bad...

jintygeorge Tue 06-Sep-11 21:21:14

I would take the place - my daughter should have started school on Monday but we haven't got a place anywhere at all (London). At least they'll be part of a peer group, learning, being part of a class and progressing. As a temporary situation, I would have thought it is preferable to returning to nursery (our most likely scenario), home schooling (which I was advised to do by the council!)... unless your friend is in a position to go private. It's bl**dy rough, and I feel for your friend. Where in London is she?

MrsLadywoman Wed 07-Sep-11 00:09:03

Brent. My kids are at one of the schools they put down and I reckon that they should wait for the 1st day of term (tomorrow). It's likely that several reception kids just won't turn up as they've found other places but just not notified the school, and there is always a fair bit of movement in the first 2 years anyway. But it's a scary situation. 5 years ago it was just a matter of not getting a place at the top school on your list, now there isn't a place at any of the 6 you choose!
Oh, and private isn't an option!!!

mummytime Wed 07-Sep-11 10:26:35

Well even if people do "not turn up" or move away, what is to say your friend will get the place. You can go down as well as up waiting lists, all it needs is someone to move into the area closer to the school than you.
I know of people juggling two different schools for 2 or 3 years, as they cannot get their other child a place at the preferred school even though they have a sibling there.

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