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Moving back from abroad but not allowed to apply for schools until back in uk in June....

(33 Posts)
heyelp Sat 19-Jan-13 07:51:57

Moving back in June. Visited uk yesterday. Went to local council. They will not let me apply until we are back in June. Feel sick. Will never get a good place at schools in June. Have DS age 6 and DD age 5. They will be year 1 and year 2 in sept 2013. Plus I need them both at same school - I am a working mum and cannot cope with 2 school drop offs. What can I do?

papooser Wed 23-Jan-13 20:48:01

Check with your LEA about the rule about whether you need to be physically back in the country - we have just moved back from Australia to S Yorks and were able to apply for places whilst we were still in Australia as we had an address (we had already bought a house). We found out we had been allocated our second choice school as we were about to board our flight! The LEA have never asked to see any proof of address either. So definitely worth checking with them.
Best of luck with it - it's hard not to get stressed about it, and I certainly did, but we found it worked out fine in the end, and I hope it does for you too.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Mon 21-Jan-13 15:53:24

Ah the Rowans? I kind of discounted that as it is pre-prep and selective after reception.

PureQuintessence Mon 21-Jan-13 08:43:52

The private school may ask you to either pay a deposit, or the term up front, to secure a space.

heyelp Sun 20-Jan-13 23:49:32


Thanks for all your posts. To answer questions. Yes DS went to the nursery at the primary school age 3 for 6 months before leaving the uk. Regarding child are, my husband is going to do it over the summer. He needs to change jobs anyway so he will restart in Sept so we are fully covered for child care. Regarding being in the same school if they were privately educated, I would choose a school that would take them both. There is one on Wimbledon Common.

So many strategies and what ifs. I think I will phone private school tmrw and try and secure them both a space there. Then in June will come back and apply for schools in uk. When does term end? Mid July? I am so out of it cos in Italy it finishes mid June. Then I can try and get them a space in state school straightaway - see how we go.

It does seem from all your help though that there's nothing more I can do now....

Thanks all...

kilmuir Sun 20-Jan-13 18:13:51

If DS is 6 and you have been away 3 years how did he go to a school when he was 3 years old. Do you mean nursery

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 20-Jan-13 15:16:30

Hi Tiggy

I didn't think it would be used for any of those things, just meaning that under FAP OP would at least get a space for each child within the summer term. Given it's Wimbledon and all the postings about london school overcrowding,, there could be a big radius of full schools...?

tiggytape Sun 20-Jan-13 13:02:20

FAP (Fair Access Protocol) is only used when a child cannot be placed in any school at all within a large radius (can be 5-7 miles) because are schools all full.
It is not used to ensure siblings can go to the same school
It is not used if a parent wants a desirable rather than an undesirable school
It is not used to make sure journey times are easy or acceptable to the parent
It is an emergency measure used when literally every single school within many miles is full and this is quite rare. More usually what will happen in an area of high school demand is that 2 siblings will be split up and potentially sent a few miles away from home to school (2-4 miles would certainly be deemed accetable) and will have to wait on each other's waiting lists to get a place at school together.

teacherwith2kids Sun 20-Jan-13 12:38:43

(Sorry, should have made clear - the first-placed sibling must START in the summer term. DS started 3 weeks before the end when we moved, and as a result DD got a Reception place 2 days before the end of term as someone pulled out for the September)

teacherwith2kids Sun 20-Jan-13 12:33:06

Moving in the summer term may advantage you if the school has a sibling did for us.

Say you are given a school place for older sibling at a school that you would find acceptable BUT there is no place initially for younger one. Younger one is placed on waiting list but importantly they will be placed as a sibling, and if the sibling rule is in place they are likely to be near the top.

Then if any child leaves at the end of the summer term in the younger sibling's year, they will be offered the place.

If you wait until September to place the older one, then the younger one would only have sibling priority from the beginning of the Autumn term, and so will only be offered any places that come up after the beginning of September, with all the ones that came up over the summer having been already given to children higher up the waiting list over the summer holidays.

You would need to check whether the sibling rule works both ways in deciding which sibling to get into school first. Some rules work both ways - so the older sibling would get priority based on the younger sibling being in the school. Others only work 'downwards' so you would need to place the older sibling first.

Eggs Sat 19-Jan-13 21:32:17

This happened to me last year. We could not apply until we had a council tax bill, however if your children are out of school, they are a priority case and will get put to the top of the queue. We got 2 places in different schools and once a space became available in one of the schools for the other child, I had to move her. It was disruptive at the time, but now a year on it has all worked out. Best of luck.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sat 19-Jan-13 19:59:00

Thinking about it the nearest co-ed junior is surbiton high.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 19-Jan-13 19:56:05

OP, I believe under Fair Access Protocol, they will have to find you two spaces within a reasonable amount of time and reasonable travelling time (your definitions of reasonable and theirs may differ!) Then you can be on waiting lists elsewhere. I don't know if you can go on waiting lists before you have a place somewhere, but expert posters on here will know that.

Do you know how you are planning to cover childcare in the school holidays? Holiday play schemes get booked up early.

exexpat Sat 19-Jan-13 19:55:22

I don't think coming back in May would necessarily help - people tend to move schools at the end of term rather than right in the middle, so unless you are going to move in April (Easter holiday) I don't think your chances of a school place would be much higher in May than in June. But by June schools may have some idea if anyone is leaving at the end of the summer term, though unfortunately some people don't actually tell the schools at all, just fail to turn up at the start of the following term. Do you have alternative childcare options for June and the rest of the summer if the children don't find school places immediately?

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sat 19-Jan-13 19:51:54

Your dc will be in different schools anyway if you go private so you will have different dropoffs anyway, even if its only the distance between willington and wimbledon high.

heyelp Sat 19-Jan-13 19:48:49

Oh thank you everyone. So kind and helpful.

So.......what should the plan be? Come back end May (in Italy they won't do much work in June anyway :-) ) then apply for school mid term? Would that be better? And then in the meantime get them a place in private school secured....just in case....? Then word would pay any cancellation charges (or I could ask at least...) gosh uk system seems so much more difficult than other countries....

exexpat Sat 19-Jan-13 19:42:14

Private school sounds like a good back-up option.

I was in a similar position, moving back to the UK mid-year, and I/my mother spent a lot of time on the phone to the LEA and all the schools within a reasonable radius of the area I was moving to (I didn't have a place to go back to so was juggling rental agencies etc at the same time). It was very stressful, and I had started talking to a couple of private schools, but I did eventually get a place for DS in a decent state school in year 4.

You may end up waiting until September, but there's a good chance in an area like Wimbledon that there might be some turnover over the summer. I think polite persistence and regular checking with the school/LEA is the way to go.

PureQuintessence Sat 19-Jan-13 19:35:50

Yes yes, to starting in Summer term. The kids get a school place, if not together you can be on the waiting list, and they get holiday, and start in September. Sounds brilliant.

heyelp Sat 19-Jan-13 19:32:54

We arrive back beginning June. The schools in Italy have broken up then so the kids would have finished the year. But I guess they could start UK system then....

No we are not religious and they are not baptised. I was brought up a Quaker.

PureQuintessence Sat 19-Jan-13 19:27:59

If you are religious, and want a faith school for your children, you might be able to talk to the schools directly, if you can back up your application with certificate of baptism and reference from your priest. Then when you fill in the LEA application form, you put down the Faith school you have spoken to as Nr1, and a few others for the sake of it.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 19-Jan-13 19:24:30

It sounds like you would be an in-year entry rather than a late application anyway - if you arrive back inJune you will need a reception and a yeAr 1 place for the last 4-6 weeks of the summer term, surely?

lopsided Sat 19-Jan-13 19:06:17

I'm pretty sure they won't accept the letter. Most areas, especially over subscribed ones only accept applications once resident.

Once you have one child in the odds are good of a place coming up for your other child to join.

heyelp Sat 19-Jan-13 18:50:21

I mean that I would ask work to cover any 'cancellation fees' if we do eventually find the place we want in state school

heyelp Sat 19-Jan-13 18:49:17

I have a letter from my employer saying I am being relocated. It has been written by lawyers and is a big company. I didn't even bring that up - so maybe they would accept that...but even if, there are simply not the places in the school I would have liked eg a stones throw away and the one my DS used to attend.

Private school is an option but not anything we had ever considered before. I wanted them back in the state system. However I think we will go ahead and apply for that and then get our names down for the school we want in June. Regarding the fees etc, to be honest I will ask work to cover that - I was expatriated and they do that as best they can with no detriment to the family. I could argue I was forced to pay these fees through the fact I moved abroad for the company....interesting one!

Salbertina Sat 19-Jan-13 10:17:20

In not dissimilar position so watching with interest.

LIZS Sat 19-Jan-13 10:13:42

If you were to get places at a private school in anticipation that a local place came up, by June you would have to give a terms' notice or be liable for a term's fees in lieu even if your dc never start there. If state places came up you'd need to take them up very quickly so once they have started on the private route you'd need to factor in the potential extra cost of up to 2 terms' fees each. 2 infant places could be tricky to find in a single state school in that time frame as class size limit of 30 applies. Logistics of dropping off etc at 2 schools won't be taken into consideration, so you may need to get one child collected by a cm or use before/after school care.

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