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Home visit or school place removed???

(37 Posts)
newschoolmum Wed 19-Jun-13 19:49:41

Namechanging as some other local parents know my usual name.

I really don't want to become a complaining parent before dc1 even starts school, but have just received my first letter from them.

There will be a home visit in less than 2 weeks time. I think home visits are a great idea where feasible, but the letter then says the time (lunchtime) and day are not negotiable, and if we do not have the visit that day, the school place will be removed (not may, or possibly if evidence suggests the child doesn't live at your address - will!)

I'm sure there are people locally who fake addresses to get kids into certain schools, but this isn't one of those schools!

Is requiring a visit even legal? They don't actually mention anything about the purpose of the visit - I was idly wondering about taking dc1 to nursery anyway and letting them loose on DH who will have just woken up and be grumpy. smile For extra annoyance, the letter was addressed only to me despite DH being on all the LEA paperwork, but that's really probably not worth raising at this point. [sigh]

tethersend Wed 19-Jun-13 19:52:16

They can't withdraw the school place- only the LEA can do that, and they won't.

I'd be tempted to call their bluff.

tethersend Wed 19-Jun-13 19:54:12

Assuming its a state school?

Pozzled Wed 19-Jun-13 19:55:03

I'm pretty certain they can't do that. You'd have a damn good case for appeal if they tried to remove the place.

If it were me, I would certainly complain, in writing, to the Head, and at the visit itself- if I could make it. If I couldn't make the visit, I would phone and inform the school of this, and suggest alternative times when they could see me at home or at school.

tethersend Wed 19-Jun-13 20:09:26

Yes, the admissions code (2.12)states that the admissions authority (usually the LEA) must not withdraw a place unless it was offered in error, obtained fraudulently or there has been no parental response to the offer within a reasonable period of time.

So I'd refuse point blank on principle.

tethersend Wed 19-Jun-13 20:10:00

admissions code 2012

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 19-Jun-13 20:11:25

They can't do that. Dh is a teacher himself and can't get time off in term time and I work too so it would have been impossible for us.

Csll their bluff.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 19-Jun-13 20:13:50

I always read these threads and wonder what the school's answer to someone say in my situation single parent working full time unable to take holiday at this time of year. Would be penalised for this? Fortunately it was never an issue for me, but I do wonder.

exexpat Wed 19-Jun-13 20:14:50

How on earth can they insist that you are there at lunchtime on a weekday? There must be thousands of working parents who wouldn't be able to do that.

DD's primary went to visit them at their nurseries/pre-schools, to get an idea of what they were like - or is this more about checking that you actually live where you say you do?

AlienAttack Wed 19-Jun-13 20:19:09

The school very clearly can't take your DC's school place away because you are not available for the proposed timing of the home visit. But really, are you sure it says that? Is there no option given to call the school to rearrange for a more convenient time?

Fizzypop001 Wed 19-Jun-13 20:49:07

Great start to school already being mean my letter was nicely written from head teacher himself and said look forward to seeing us and about the home visit said that if we changed the time or date school start would be delayed which is much more better then what you have said i would be angry too if it was put like that

badguider Wed 19-Jun-13 20:52:02

There's no way i'd agree to this - if it's a day i'm working and ds is at nursery then i'd say they're welcome to drop into my office if it's me they want to see or to ds's nursery if they want to meet him but that neither of us will be at home that day. sorry smile

tethersend Wed 19-Jun-13 21:01:17

Most parents who could not make this meeting are fairly prudent and have other commitments. A small minority will not care enough about their child's education to make the effort. Should their children be punished?

The idea that a school can withdraw a place from a child under these circumstances is laughable.

Contact the LEA first thing and let them know what the school are threatening.

CashmereHoodlum Wed 19-Jun-13 21:10:07

This is unlawful.

I found the home visit utterly pointless, and I blotted my copybook by not letting the teachers upstairs. I had no idea they would want to see the child's bedroom!

sparkle12mar08 Wed 19-Jun-13 21:25:39

I'd write a very passive aggressive letter back saying that "you assume their letter was an innocent administrative mistake given that, as you are sure they must be well aware, the school has no legal authority to remove the place (reference the Code, etc.). Unfortunately you won't be available that day but you look forward to meeting the staff in September." In other words, "fuck you".

Blu Wed 19-Jun-13 21:42:57


We found our home visit very sweet and DS enjoyed meeting his new teacher and TA before starting school- they certainly did not ask to see his bedroom!!

This sounds bizarre! Do you think they are actually investigating you for a fake accress? Is there any reason they might do that? But I saw a documentary about the schools admissions system and the woman made a surprise visits to see if they actually lived there, she didn't make appointments and let them prepare.

Also, our pre-Reception home visit was in the week before term started, or in the first week when they started them in batches fr the morning only - it wasn't as far in advance as this.

Very odd. I would make further enquiries!

Fizzypop001 Wed 19-Jun-13 22:10:28

I think you should do what sparkle12mar08 said their being rude be rude too good one lol

Ragusa Wed 19-Jun-13 22:19:09

What kind of school is this? Is it state or private, maintained or academy?

It is ludicrous to say your DC's place will be taken away if you don't comply. They would NEVER get away with that.

I think the passive-aggressive response is a good idea, providing of course your school is bound by the admissions code ( eg it is a maintained sch or acaemy required by funding agreement to abide by it).

newschoolmum Wed 19-Jun-13 22:32:15

Yes it's a state school, LA controlled (not academy, religious, free school or anything). There's a separate date for dc to visit the school.

Letter says "I will be making a home visit on [date] at [time]. We are unable to change this date. It is essential that this visit takes place or your child will not be able to start at the school."

I suppose technically there's a difference between your child can't use their place and the place being lost, but it's bloody subtle and certainly says the visit is compulsory for attending school!

learnandsay Wed 19-Jun-13 22:37:44

And let them know you've also asked for a response from the minister for education.

Ragusa Wed 19-Jun-13 22:41:00

I would just call school and say you need a different time/date. The threat of not being able to start is an empty one...

It could well be that the visit days can't be changed because special cover arrangements have been made for teachers on tge scheduled day. I know when our pre-sch is doing home visits, the pre-school has to shut for two days to free up teachers for home visits.

If you get no joy with sch then you can ask LA for advice.

mummytime Wed 19-Jun-13 22:41:35

I wouldn't act the LA who might be able to have a "quiet" word. It is illegal.

quip Thu 20-Jun-13 07:19:06

This would set my teeth on edge too. You don't have to let them into your house and the language in the letter implies otherwise. Most parents won't challenge this as they don't want to rock the boat. It's rude and presumptuous. Good luck with your response to the school.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Thu 20-Jun-13 07:25:52

That is outrageous.

newschoolmum Thu 20-Jun-13 09:07:24

DH assumed the visit was just to check we live here, and quite agreeable. Then was stunned when I said he could always take dc back to nursery after - never occurred to him they might want to see the kid, and is convinced that's not needed as the letter doesn't say so!

So have perfect reason now to ask for clarification. :-)

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