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Primary school admissions - Am i being unreasonable?

(23 Posts)
blahblah212 Fri 19-Apr-13 17:26:03

I didn?t get into any of my 3 choices. My first choice was oversubscribed and I have found out I am number 2 on the waiting list.

In the beginning of October 2012 a family moved into our street further away than i am to my choice of school. They previously lived at an address which was in catchment for the school I am on the waiting list for. Talking about school admissions before the 15th of January deadline this mother said that she had used her previous address that was in catchment for her application and was not going to tell the LEA that she had changed address so that her offspring would get a place at the school. She thinks because she filled in the application in September when the online applications opened and she lived at the address in catchment then she is not doing anything wrong.

I wish she hadn?t told me this as now I know if she had not intentionally neglected to inform them of her change of address my offspring would now be number 1 on the waiting list and closer to getting in.

I have told the woman I know about this but wouldn?t tell anyone. I really feel like reporting her as she has taken someone?s place that is not rightfully hers but then she will know it is me that has reported her. Awkward?.

Am I being unreasonable? Its not going to make my situation any better so I'm going to leave but still annoys me people can do this.

NotAnotherPackedLunch Fri 19-Apr-13 17:30:15

I'd report her.
If it comes down to trekking miles to a non preferred school for 7 years, or causing upset to an acquaintance who tried to cheat the system then it's a bit of a no-brainer.

Fuzzymum1 Fri 19-Apr-13 17:33:16

I'm with packed lunch - I would report her. You may still not get a place but you'll be closer to doing so and if she knowingly broke the rules rather than making an honest mistake then she deserves what she gets.

NorthernLurker Fri 19-Apr-13 17:36:06

Report her.

Snowballed Fri 19-Apr-13 17:42:31

She'll also have to provide up to date proof of the address they have her registered at (ie March council tax bill) wink

gruffalocake Fri 19-Apr-13 17:42:54

Is this actually against the rules though? she is obviously only very marginally out of catchment if she lives on your road. I wouldn't report unless she was actually telling you she knew she had broken the rules and intended to do so and you know it is definitely against the council rules.
It sounds like she thinks she hasn't broken any rules and has simply juggled her house move to fit the criteria. Lots of people do that so I don't think she can be blamed for it

Flibbertyjibbet Fri 19-Apr-13 17:43:36

Report her.

The council will not just take your word for it, they will check with council tax etc so they will be able to tell, and thats what they will give her as the reason if they withdraw the place, not 'someone grassed you up'.

tiggytape Fri 19-Apr-13 18:00:21

It sounds like she thinks she hasn't broken any rules and has simply juggled her house move to fit the criteria.

Well it sounds like she thinks she has if she wants it kept quiet and knew the LA must be informed of house moves but didn't tell them. Put it this way, if she'd been moving closer not further from the school, would she have told them?

The address for admissions is where you are living on the closing date for applications (January) providing that is your permanent home (defined by not having another home that you normally live at somewhere else and that you return to at a future point).

I agree you should report her. The chances are she will be found out when they do the council tax history check anyway so if she's going to blame you, she's likely to blame you anyway when they realise the dates don't tally.

If the LA don't think she has done anything wrong, nothing will happen.
If they agree the address is wrong, she may lose her place BUT she runs the risk of losing her place anyway. Parents breaking the rules on admissions addresses can lose their place even after the child starts school. So if someone reports her next January for example, her child could be thrown out of the school even though he is settled there. Understandably many councils take a dim view of this kind of thing because it is hard enough to fairly allocate places as it is without people being less than truthful about where they live.

blahblah212 Fri 19-Apr-13 18:15:46

She actually said in front of me to a group of people that she wasn't going to notify them of her change of address to give her more of a chance to get in, she knew what she was doing was wrong.

Olisqueen Fri 19-Apr-13 18:36:59

I would report her. At the school my children attend a family were renting in catchment, the landlord gave them notice to move and when she informed the LEA they withdrew her place. She had to appeal and was successful.

tiggytape, what is the council tax history check ? Is it carried out after a school place is offered to make sure parents have been honest?

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Fri 19-Apr-13 19:03:20

God, report her. She has cheated someone out of a place. At the moment that person isn't actually your child (you're just further down the waiting list). But if she hadn't lied the person currently no. 1 on the waiting list would have a place and wouldn't be probably going through hell. I hate this kind of thing and would always report.

AuntieStella Fri 19-Apr-13 19:07:36

The system is often crap, but it's not fixed by turning a blind eye to possible cheating. Indeed, it's made far worse.

Nature and timing of cross-checking against any other Council records will vary between LAs.

titchy Fri 19-Apr-13 19:09:44

Agree you should report her , you'd then move to 1st on the list, but she would probably be 2nd an may well get a place anyway so bear in mind you might be in the school together for the next 7 years!

lborolass Fri 19-Apr-13 19:16:45

Report it, let the LA decide. If her place is taken away she can't really complain and it might makes things fairer for others in the future.

PeanutButterOnly Fri 19-Apr-13 19:25:46

All her correspondence re the school place must still be going to the old address or maybe she got a forward put on her mail. on our offer letters we had to inform them if moving before the start date I think.

5madthings Fri 19-Apr-13 19:28:52

Report her and fingers crossed the waiting list moves quickly and you get the place you would like.

Berilli Fri 19-Apr-13 19:50:51

Hi all,
I have seen people moving in and out in the street that I live, which is very close to an outstanding school. I also see people with kids coming from miles away to that school. So I know for sure that they move closer for the admissions and once the kid is accepted to the school they move where ever they want. My daughter was number 1 in the waiting list for in-year admission and within3 months she dropped down to 3. So I called the council, asked them an honest question asking "if changing adress to a further distance after the admission is finalized legal? or is it cheating? I live 1 minute to school and still on the waiting list where as I see all these families walking way way further away from us" Guess what she said?? she said " It is totally normal people doing this, they can of course live in another borough, we dont mind!!!"
Is this normal? I mean I pay the taxes for this school and still can not get a place sad

prh47bridge Fri 19-Apr-13 20:35:07

It is legal to move after you have got a place. It is not legal to use a temporary address to get a place and then move away. So if these people are renting to get a place and then moving back to the family home that is wrong and the LA should be clamping down on that.

tiggytape Fri 19-Apr-13 22:20:47

if changing adress to a further distance after the admission is finalized legal or is it cheating?

Moving house after getting a place is fine. Lots of people move all the time. So if you sell house A and move to house B and get a good school place then sell up and move to house C - that's fine (legally. I know people feel it isn't necessarily fine morally)

What isn't fine however is living in house A, renting house B for 9 months to get a decent school place (even if you genuinely live in house B for those 9 months) and then moving back to house A again.
The way LAs should decide if it is a cheat or not is by checking council tax records to see if someone moves to a 'better' address and then moves back to their old house afterwards.
It is the having 2 addresses at the same time and picking the 'best' one not the 'real' one that makes it a cheat

blahblah212 Fri 19-Apr-13 23:40:29

The child had not got the place before she moved, places were allocated in April. She filled in the application in september, moved in October and then the deadline was in January to get applications in. She didn't tell the LEA she had moved on purpose so she would still be in catchment she knew for 4 months before the deadline she was living in the out of catchment house and still is. Is that legal or cheating?

tiggytape Fri 19-Apr-13 23:53:59

It is cheating.
The address you are living at on the closing date for applications is the one they must use (i.e. your address in January 2013).
The rules specifically say you must also tell them of any change of address.

The only clarification is to add that the January address doesn't count as the 'real one' if parents rent an extra home or camp at Grandma's house hoping nobody will notice when they move back to their 'real' home after getting a fantastic school place.
That is also cheating even though they are physically sleeping in the rented flat or on Grandma's sofa for a few months. If you have 2 addresses when applications close, the LA will decide which is your real one (i.e. not Grandma's sofa or a tiny rented flat opposite the school when you own a house a mile away and have lived in it for years until school admissions rolled around)

Whichever is your permanent address when applications close in January is the one that must be used

tiggytape Fri 19-Apr-13 23:57:08

To be clear: in your neighbours case: it is not the address she was living at when she filled in the form that matters, it is the address she lived at in January 2013.

prh47bridge Sat 20-Apr-13 00:19:44

Agree with tiggytape. This is a clear case of cheating. I would report her.

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