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Primary school admissions

(24 Posts)
miller599 Mon 07-Oct-13 13:13:47

My daughter is currently 2 and we need to start thinking about school places next year. I have my eye on a new school opening up in Beckenham next year but we currently live in new Addington so won't be in the catchment area. We own our house but wanted to know if we are able to rent in the area of the school and use that address when applying or would I still have to use the address that we own. I hear people rent houses all the time to get into good schools. I'm particularly interested into this school as the is automatic entry into secondary. The school is in Bromley borough and we live in Croydon borough. And all though it seems far apart it would only take 10-15 minutes traveling by car

PatriciaHolm Mon 07-Oct-13 14:31:07

You need to apply from the property in which the child lives permanently. If you rent locally to a home you own, the council can (and do) question whether that move was a permanent, full one, and remove the place, even if you try to get round it by moving into the rented place for a bit.

It happens, of course, and sometimes people get away with it. But in areas where there is fierce competition and small catchments (like Croydon and Bromley) the council are hot on this.

(in fact I've just looked at the bromley admissions leaflet and it says, in bold, "Schools will not accept applications from temporary or future addresses, or rentals if an applicant still retains another property." So that's pretty clear!)

tiggytape Mon 07-Oct-13 14:31:51

No you can't rent just to get a school place.
You can sell your home and rent nextdoor to a good school - that is allowed and loads of people who rent choose the location carefully. But in their case the rented home is their only address for that time.
What you cannot do is keep your family home and camp out in a rented flat for a few months just to use the rented address on the school forms.

The point you will be caught varies: either you will be caught when the council tax history check shows you have 2 homes (one long standing and one new) or you will be caught when you secure a school place and then move back to your real home. Although it isn't allowed plenty of people used to get away with it but now school places are in greater demand than ever councils aren't quite as trusting as they used to be and will check. Plus other parents will report you if they think you're doing something that might cost them a place.

To give you an idea Bromley says:
"This is your child’s permanent residential home address. It is either the property:
> Owned by the pupil’s parent/carer with parental
> Leased to or rented by the pupil’s parent/carer with parental responsibility under a formal written agreement through a recognised letting agency. Schools do not accept applications from temporary addresses or rentals if an applicant still owns another property.

PatriciaHolm Mon 07-Oct-13 14:33:16

snap, Tiggy ;-)

Pooka Mon 07-Oct-13 14:37:34

I think I know the new school you're talking about.

It's highly unlikely, if you did use an address where you weren't actually planning on staying in order to get into the school, that you wouldn't be rumbled.

If it's the school I'm thinking of, it specifically states on the website that it's a local school for local people (very league of gentleman) and I'd imagine the secondary link with the adjacent secondary academies would make it very popular. Given the likelihood that it will be oversubscribed I think people wouldn't think twice about complaining if they thought there was an irregularity in offering a place.

Bromley is quite clear about the rental issue. You have time to sell and move if you are certain that this is the school for you.

tiggytape Mon 07-Oct-13 14:39:07

Patricia is right. Bromley schools are in such demand that the council will check.
Their booklet also highlights Schools may not accept applications from a rental address if the applicant still retains another property. This includes rental agreements and moves to live with family or friends.

The reason they use the word may is that there are rare incidents where you can own a home and still use a rented address eg if your real home is uninhabitable and you cannot live in it or if your real home is in Scotland and won't sell but your rented home is in Bromley (the distance between them would prove you have no intention of getting a school place and then moving back to your real home).

They also go onto say all the evidence they will require to show that you have no links with any old properties eg you need to prove you sold your house before they will accept a rented address and want proof of this or proof that it is uninhabitable or proof that it won't sell and is 700 miles away.

Basically, if you really want that school you will have to sell your home and either rent or buy a new home close enough. Which is fair enough really for an area where even local children cannot get places.

tiggytape Mon 07-Oct-13 14:39:50

and snap with Pooka too

mummytime Mon 07-Oct-13 14:42:34

But if a new school is opening, is it a free school? Will it be in place in time to be in the LA admissions procedure next year?

I am thinking of applying for a local free school, and for this year only you can apply to it "in addition" to the LA schools.

PatriciaHolm Mon 07-Oct-13 14:51:18

The school in question (not hard to find) is opening next Sept and taking applications through the Bromley CAF now. So all the above would apply, and definitely would when/if the OP applies next year (her DD is only 2 atm)

noramum Mon 07-Oct-13 20:15:33

I live in Bromley and my friend has to apply this year for her DS, he is a sibling, her DD will be in Y2 next year. They rent and checked with the council before renewing the lease and despite the sibling status they would have not only to provide tons of paperwork, they also have to state the reason for moving. Bromley is so oversubscribed it is a nightmare at the moment.

tiggytape Mon 07-Oct-13 22:11:07

On the plus side though, if you are a genuine resident and not just swooping in to grab a school place, living in an area where the council is so hot on the issue does make the admissions process more bearable (once all the paperwork is out of the way).
It is one thing to lose out on a school you want because lots of people happen to live closer than you do. It is much worse to miss out because people from other boroughs rent flats to secure a place at your expense and then move back to their real homes again.

miller599 Sun 13-Oct-13 08:36:26

Thank you for all your comments. At present we cannot afford to sell and move to that specific area. We would sell but to an area that is closer and in the same borough as the school but may not be close enough in terms of catchment probably 1 mile away.

My plan was to save up a bit more by renting out my house from early next summer then put it up for sale after Christmas. Whilst renting my place I would have rented a property next July until my house is sold. The deadline for admissions would be the following Jan which would mean that it is very unlikely the house wouldn't have been sold by then so I guess it means I will have to just settle for the schools in my area.

Thank you for the comments they were very useful

NynaevesSister Sun 13-Oct-13 08:43:54

Why are you selling and moving such a short distance to rent? Purely for schools or because you need a bigger place/garden etc?

Our oversubscribed schools allow for this too so maybe Bromley does. A lot of peo

meditrina Sun 13-Oct-13 08:46:02

How does the 'rentals if the applicant retains another property' but work, if the other property is an unsellable one 100 miles away?

NynaevesSister Sun 13-Oct-13 08:47:00

Sorry posted too soon. The LA recognises that these days people get on the property ladder by buying what they can afford eg 2 bed flat and renting it out, and meantime renting themselves eg 3 bed house with garden. So when you can show proof that the property you own is less suitable for you than the one you rent it is accepted. If that makes sense! Not sure I am explaining properly.

NynaevesSister Sun 13-Oct-13 08:49:10

Meditrina, that would be obvious from the distance. You are hardly likely to dump the rental and commute 100 miles just to get into a good school.

adas8495 Mon 14-Oct-13 10:09:55

Hi all,

It would be very nice if anyone could help me out with the following details .
1. Is it true we have to register a child for a govt primary School as soon as they turn 2.
2. Is there any particular area/ catchment area where I am more or less certain that my child will get through a good or an outstanding school .because a friend of mine bought a house thinking that she will get through her top 3 choice of school but she dint and had to send her to a 5th choice which was not very good. So is there any particular catchment area in bromley , Hayes or west wickham where I have 3-5 good schools .


meditrina Mon 14-Oct-13 10:11:45

Yes, I know it would be obvious - but according to the letter of that regulation, it would still be disallowed!

meditrina Mon 14-Oct-13 10:18:09


a) no, not for reception entry. There is an applications window, in the school year before your DC starts. Typically it runs from early in the autumn term and closes in mid-January. You will not automatically be sent information about the need to apply or application forms, so it might be a good idea to find the relevant bit of your LA website now whilst you're thinking about it (and out a forward note in your diary).

The same section of your LA website will tell you when and how to apply for a nursery place. Even if you have a nursery place, you need to reapply for one in reception.

b). The only place in UK where you are guaranteed to be placed in your catchment school is Scotland. And school reputations (and actual performance) can change, as can catchment boundaries (assuming you mean catchment in terms of defined priority admissions area, not just footprint of how close you needed to live). How far ahead are you trying to plan?

noramum Mon 14-Oct-13 10:52:58


1. No. This year children who were born between 1. September 2009 and 31. August 2010 need to apply. Your council should have the current admission forms and information on their website.

2. Bromley is heavily oversubscriped. We live near Pickhurst Infant/Junior and had 5 schools in our area DD could have gotten into in 2011. She currently attends one where the catchment went down heavily after going up thanks to taking in a bulge class last year and a large sibling percentage this year. We like that non of the schools in West Wickham is CoE or RC.

But: a lot of the school were good/outstanding in 2010, I know some are going down due to the new Ofsted standards, one Junior only got "requiring improvement" but when you read the reports you can see how Ofsted has changed. Also a couple of heads moved, one is now a Academy.

miller599 Mon 14-Oct-13 11:00:46

The area I want to move to is nicer. I want to live in Beckenham / west Wickham area not just for the school but for the area. Majority of Bromley schools are oversubscribed and most in the area have a catchment area of up to 0.6 miles. I live approx 3 miles away from this area and I can't afford to move just yet. Of I move house after the deadline it is very unlikely I will get a space in any of the schools within the area and sorry that when I do move I will have to still travel to new add pans back to take her school.

The area I live in is Ok but is not somewhere I would like to settle. My son has just started ravenswood in hayes/keston so do not want to move to far out, which is why I have chosen this area.

adas8495 Mon 14-Oct-13 11:08:12

Thanks meditrina,

My daughter will be turning 2 this coming January and we were looking at shifting to any good area in bromley where while filling up school council forms I can have choice of 6 schools which are good or outstanding .

Suppose if I live in a location in bromley where my catchment area has 4 good schools and 2 under performing school then if my kid doesnt get in the good schools we have no other options but the under performing one.

So is there any particular area ( in terms of close distance from school ) that has more or less good schools .


meditrina Mon 14-Oct-13 11:40:06

It might be worth starting a new thread, and mentioning the areas you want advice on. Because I'm not sure that people who may be able to help will necessarily spot your request here. You could try MN Local too.

miller599 Tue 15-Oct-13 06:08:39


Have a look at the admission booklet and look at the catchment area for each school. I think you may find it hard to find an area where you will automatically get into 6 good schools as schools in Bromley tend to have small catchment areas. It may be best living near specific a school of your choice. If you are moving specifically for a school it is best to think about both primary and secondary which will save you moving again.

Or you could turn it around and look at the really good secondary schools like langley, hayes, darrick wood, ravenswood and look at primary schools around those schools. Darrick wood primary is a feeder school for darrick wood secondary

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