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Moving house and applying for school place

(4 Posts)
DejaB00 Sat 20-Oct-12 14:32:01

This is my first post and I'm hoping I'm posting in the right place. Please point me in the right direction if not!
My ds is 2.5 and we're hoping to move house in April/May 2014 (long story!), the year he's due to start school. This move will take us to a different catchment area to the one we live in currently.
As applications have to be in for January, does this mean there is very little chance my ds will get a place near our new home? Will I be able to apply for a school on the basis we are moving to their catchment? Have any of you experienced this?
Thank you for your help 😊

admission Sat 20-Oct-12 17:42:38

When you apply for school places it will be to the LA in which you live. The cut off date for on-time applications will be early January 2014, so the LA is the one where you currently live.
You can state a preference for any school, anywhere in the country, so I would suggest that if you know where you will be moving to that your preference is to the school where you expect to be living. Being realistic you are likely to be the lowest pupil on their admission criteria order list, so you will not get a place unless all the place are not filled, but that is the chance you take.
Preferences 2 and 3 you need to decide on and I would suggest that at least one of them is the safe bet where you currently live, just in case the move does not happen as planned.
By the time you are moving the allocations will be decided and the actual allocation date is the 16th April. What normally happens is that there is a 2 or 3 week period for parents to confirm or decline allocations, after which places will be filled from waiting lists. If the move has happened you need as a priority to get the new address accepted by the LA, so you are then further up waiting lists but the important thing is to get your child's name on as many local school's waiting lists as is possible. All allocations are via the LA admission office but you do need to keep in close contact with schools also, as some LAs have periods where in effect the schools do the filling from waiting lists.
I will be honest with you and say you could not chose a worse time of the year to move house with a child needing to get a school place and would strongly advice considering if at all possible a move before the cut off date for on time applications in early January. I think that if you are tied to this time period then you have to accept that you are probably not going to get your first preference school and the school you end up with may well be a distance away and considered a poor school.
One other point and that is, if you are in the armed forces or abroad working for the government then there are other rules that apply that potentially improve your chances of success.

mummytime Sat 20-Oct-12 22:19:54

I'd just like to point out that people do move after the allocation date, also if it is a big entry year LAs sometimes have to add bulge classes. So if you don't initially get a place at your preferred school do stay on the waiting list, you could get a pleasant surprise. You should be put onto waiting lists at the position you would have been put if you'd applied on time. So if you are now closer to school than anyone else on the list you may go straight to the top.

The LA has to offer you some kind of place, it just might be further than you want.

Do consider how long you can hold out, in one of my DCs reception class one child moved in the first week (to be instantly replaced). In another of my DC a girl left after 1 term as her Dad got a new job.

DejaB00 Sun 21-Oct-12 15:06:44

Thank you for your answers. The whole waiting list situation is a little reassuring smile
The move would actually be only a couple of miles away, within the same LA, but we could end up in 4 different catchment areas, 2 of which are much better than the other options. Plus being able to walk my DS school is, to me, really important.
We are currently renting due to a financial disaster 2 years ago, and slowly recovering paying debts off. So unless our lottery numbers come up, the mortgage won't be ready in time for the January deadline.

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