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Relocating & changing schools

(12 Posts)
Dillydollydaydream Mon 19-Sep-11 13:00:31


We're moving out of the area and need to change my dc school. We have got a form to fill In asking for 3 choices but having not seen the schools I'm not sure in which preference order to list them?

Are we allowed to visit the schools to help make the decision or do we just accept what school we're given. Not sure how it works!

We live pretty much equidistant to 3 primary schools all In our catchment area.

So what usually happens when you apply to schools in a new area?

Runoutofideas Mon 19-Sep-11 13:17:08

Do they all have spaces for your children? Round here it would be hard to find somewhere with spaces so your "choices" may be quite limited. If they do have space then I would try to have a look around them first before filling the form in.

lostinthought Mon 19-Sep-11 18:30:14

Hi. We are moving back to the UK from abroad mid-term and have just completed the mid-year application form. I am not in the country, but I gather that any of the schools would have been happy to show us around.

On the form I listed the three schools I most wanted for DD. One of them is our closest school, but the other two are further away with less appealing schools in between. I emailed each school before making the application to ask if they had any places in DD's year and to request a prospectus where it was not available online.

One school said it had one place in DD's year, one said no places and one said yes, but they thought another application had already been submitted so the place could go quick. I listed all three schools anyway.

The county admissions officer for our area has been great. We just need to get into one of the preferred schools now. Not sure what happens if none have a place free but everyone seems to be doing their best to help us out. Hope that helps a little!

HooverTheHamaBeads Mon 19-Sep-11 19:04:43

You can go and see all off of the schools, meet the head and get a feel for the school. That is the most important thing to do. You could ring the school first and ask about places but it's the LEA who will allocate the place.

HooverTheHamaBeads Mon 19-Sep-11 19:06:08

Also as a starting point read all three Ofsted reports but most important will be your gut reaction. Also practicalities like after/before school provision may be a factor if you will be working.

prh47bridge Mon 19-Sep-11 19:27:02

Yes you can visit the schools. Check first with the Local Authority to find out which schools have places. If none of your three local schools has a place you may find that you will be allocated places some distance away. Unfortunately there is often limited choice when you move. Having said that, if you fail to get places at your preferred schools you can appeal, although your chances of success may be limited if any of the appeals are for Reception, Y1 or Y2.

yellowsubmarine41 Mon 19-Sep-11 19:36:28

phr, how easy is it to find that information out?

A friend of mine whose application got lost in the post last winter shock and wasn't allocated a school says that she has had no joy actually finding out from the LA which schools have places. I was surprised to hear this, as I know a couple of other people who found that information out very easily ie just phoned up (same LA).

Apparently, the last contact she had with them was an e-mail from them saying that someone would get back to her, which no-one has for some months. I thought there must be some sort of leverage to force their hand ie appeal, ombudsman, but she seems to think that their delaying/lack of action is going to help her get into her preferred school, even though it's oversubscribed and nowhere near her closest school.

This sounds unlikely - I think she should get proper legal advice, but she thinks that if the LA make a mistake they have to give her the school that she wants.

Sorry to hijack thread. I'm a bit worried that she's wasting valuable time just waiting when she could be proactively phoning to see if anyone hasn't turned up for beginning of term.

prh47bridge Tue 20-Sep-11 01:10:24

It should be as simple as making a phone call. Some LAs are less forthcoming, though, as they have had problems with parents who have found out which schools have places then kick up a stink when, months later, the parents finally move into the area only to find that the schools concerned are now full up.

And I'm afraid your friend is mistaken. The LA do not have to give her the school she wants if they make a mistake. If the mistake directly deprives her child of a place at he school it would be different but failing to get back to her on which schools have vacancies is nowhere near good enough.

From what you say it sounds like she hasn't even applied yet (apart from the application that was lost in the post). That means she can't appeal and there is absolutely no way the Local Government Ombudsman would order the LA to give her a place at her preferred school in these circumstances. Indeed, I doubt the LGO would even be willing to look at the case.

She needs to contact the LA again to find out about vacancies and get her application in. Until then she is, as you say, wasting time and potentially missing out on places that might have been offered to her child.

yellowsubmarine41 Tue 20-Sep-11 07:22:18

Thanks prh, you truly are the font.

That's interesting what you say about it sounding like she hasn't actually applied yet - from the latest - hurried - conversation we had, I wasn't sure that she had either.

She's quite difficult to persuade of the facts of the situation sometimes (and a bit head in the clouds - even when other parents got a letter confirming their school choices at some point before allocations and she didn't, alarm bells didn't ring!), but I'll try.

Thanks once again.

Dillydollydaydream Tue 20-Sep-11 09:51:22

We've filled in the 3 closest schools - all in our catchment area. The ofsted reports all look pretty good, def no worse than current school.
I'm a bit concerned they'll put them both in different schools. School run would be a nightmare sad
I have one dc in yr1 and another in yr4 so ideally both would go to the same school.
If they give us a really awful school do we have to accept?
Will I be able to home Ed til we eventually get a space at a better school. Argh! moving is soooo stressful sad

prh47bridge Tue 20-Sep-11 10:15:48

You don't have to accept the offered school. However, the LA is under no obligation to come up with another offer. If you are unhappy with the offered school you can enquire as to whether any other schools have places. They are likely to be further away than the offered school but if there is one that you find acceptable you could then apply for a place at that school. You are entitled to home ed and keep your child on the waiting list for your preferred schools. If you go down this route make sure that the LA is aware that you still want your child on the waiting list. It is not unknown for some LAs to get this wrong.

yellowsubmarine41 - You are welcome. I hope you can get your friend to understand the situation she is in.

Dillydollydaydream Tue 20-Sep-11 10:33:58

Thanks prh. Will just have to see what they say I guess. They said we usually hear in 15days so I'll have to wait it out!

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