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In year transfer or September transfer from overseas.

(12 Posts)
Jakartamom Mon 29-Oct-12 06:36:57

Hi, I am new to mums net, but hoping for help and advice.

We are British family who are living overseas, returning to uk at the end of our current school year (June 21). We have not been schooled in the uk at all, and I am trying to find out how to best get a school place in the over subscribed area we are moving to. I have two girls currently in y3 and y4. I have spoken to the LA but I cannot make any application without an address, but all schools in the area would not currently have a place for both of them. We would initially be renting for 6 months to one year whilst we house hunt.

My questions are ..
- if we start school september 2013, it appears I have to apply by jan 2013, which would mean we have to rent a house in January, but we would not be living in it until June 2013 which seems financially crazy. I am worried that even if we rent in january that there is a problem as we are still overseas until 21 June. Any ideas? I am not trying to 'cheat' the system at all, just want to make sure I am doing it correctly.

- if we do not apply in January, but apply in June 2013 when we return for a September start does this mean we would probably have no chance of a school place as they would already have allocated places for those who applied in January?

- am I better off applying for a July 1st 2012 start date in eg may 2013 when we will have a house organized, rather than wait for September start? I am thinking that the girls could have two weeks in their new school before the summer break.

- what happens if there are really no school places for my girls in the area? How far could I have to travel to take them to school? Would I have to home school ( I would be terrible at that and we would prob have open warfare within a day).

If anyone has any ideas or info it would be a big help. It is freaking me out a bit trying to work this out in my head! We are living in Indonesia which makes popping back to sort things out really difficult.

mummytime Mon 29-Oct-12 07:13:49

You are confused!
The January cut off has no relevance to you, as neither of your DC will be going into year R or in some areas year 3. That cut off is only for new entrants to school ( year R or year 3 if there is a separate junior school ). You will be an in year applicant. So it doesn't matter when you start to rent a house, and once you apply and are offered a school place you will be expected to take it. (Unless you are a "crown servant" eg. In the military or some kinds of civil service role.)

When you arrive, apply for schools (you don't apply for a set date). The LA is supposed to find you school places within a "reasonable" time, if a school has places they have to be offered. You can also ask to go onto the waiting list of schools you like. Also you can appeal for a school place (once every academic year), which you may want to do once one of your DD has a place. At your DDs age, there is no legal limit on the number of children in a class, so you have more chance of winning an appeal.

If the school offered is I think further than 3 miles away (if it is the closest school which can offer a place) then you should be offered free transport, however I believe in London this is covered by the free bus pass, and you may or may not be happy about 8 and 9 year olds travelling by themselves by bus. There is a limit on how far they can be made to travel, which I think is about 1 hour, so quite a long way.

What I would suggest you do is forget about schools a bit, other than making sure there are some nice ones near where you will live. When you move (or even when you sign the contract for your rental) apply for schools via the LA. then if places come up before the summer holidays, accept them. Post for further advice the if you get offered two places at different schools (there are people here who can advise, not professionally, on appeals).

The schools will probably be full, but that has nothing to do with the January deadline, but people do have to move and children are moved schools for other reasons. Don't panic.

Funnylittleturkishdelight Mon 29-Oct-12 07:26:03

Mummytime is spot on!

Jakartamom Mon 29-Oct-12 08:19:04

Ok thanks, I had no idea that we will always be in year applicants, even if they start in September! I thought it seemed crazy! I think I was assuming that we are new as we have not had any education in the uk before. The LA were not too clear on this when I asked them the same questions....

That makes things A LOT easier, and I will just apply when we have a house and are in the UK.

Do you have any idea how long a 'reasonable' time is for a place to be offered? I was hoping to not interrupt school too much. If it is within a month I can probably handle that without going completely mad :-)

I will try not to panic too much. Thank you!

mummytime Mon 29-Oct-12 09:43:13

I think "reasonable time" is supposed to be about a month, however this could run into the summer holiday given the time you are arriving. Also some LAs have been known to delay as they have actually have no school spaces. This is more a problem in London than the North West of England.

However if you have difficulties once you are here, do post again, as MN has "gurus" who know quite a bit about admissions and they can give you there advice on who to contact and what to say.

amidaiwish Mon 29-Oct-12 09:48:46

where are you planning on moving to?

there is a lot of movement in schools in juniors ime. (SW London). Quite a transient population, moving in/out of the area/country for work opportunities. Plus some move their kids into the independent sector yr4/5 to try and make it easier to get a place in the associated senior school. So even if there are no empty places, places do come up regularly.

Jakartamom Mon 29-Oct-12 10:56:12

We are moving to the West Yorkshire , north Yorkshire area to be back near my parents, and hopefully live a more normal life! No idea if this is going to be a good move or not, but I really want my children to be brought up in the UK... We have been very lucky to experience two good overseas schools, but they do have limitations, and I want to get off the expat band wagon. (I know some would say that is dumb). I am pleased you say more kids are transferring, I was thinking my girls could be the two new girls in a rural school where they are the only ones with funny accents and an odd background.

Big thanks to mummytime, I am breathing more easily already. I have never been one to panic too much, it seems kids and schools are changing that!

mummytime Mon 29-Oct-12 11:15:36

You will probably find it much easier then, there may even be places in the schools.
Your children may seem exotic to start with but I'm sure that will wear off faster than you expect.

trinity0097 Wed 31-Oct-12 16:24:03

Just warn your children not to constantly go on about their old school. We had children start this term from overseas and they really get on your wick constantly saying, 'in Dubai we did.....' I'm sure that if I as an adult find it irritating 7 weeks in then the kids must be too!

MaKettle Wed 31-Oct-12 19:28:08

We came back to Birmingham from France this summer. It took two weeks for my son to get a place and three weeks for my daughter (in same primary school).

midseasonsale Wed 31-Oct-12 19:41:06

Yes the January cut off only relates to kids entering reception year only - which yours are not. People leave and start various other school years with next to no notice in the UK (couple of weeks) and in fact you might suddenly find that there are a couple of schools that can accommodate both children in July due to a turn over in pupil numbers. People moving away or changing schools, going private etc etc. All you have to do is ring round the schools when you are house hunting and view the schools at the same time as viewing houses. Tell the head head you would like a space at their school with the start dates of July 22nd or what ever. Then when you have an address, quickly make everything more final and formal.

Jakartamom Fri 12-Apr-13 08:22:03

thank you all, i have just logged back on and seen your helpful messages! I am back on here as we are moving this summer!

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