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What happens to those who rented to get into a good school?

(17 Posts)
Fiona2011231 Sat 07-Dec-13 21:35:42

I was told by a few friends that in reality, many people, who already got a house, would rent near their preferred schools so that they can increase their chance of getting into that school. It is a bit like cheating, but it can work effectively.

I was wondering what happens after they achieve their purpose. I mean, in September, they would know the result. Then will they be able to terminate the rent in October while the school cannot do anything about it? Or will they have to wait for at least a few months before they can stop renting and be back to their normal house?

Thank you.

curlew Sat 07-Dec-13 21:38:49

Don't do it Fiona. People have the place taken away from them on a regular basis. They do check.

IrisWildthyme Sat 07-Dec-13 21:49:55

depends on the local authority - but in many cases if you own one place and rent another in the same town the onus is on you to absolutely prove beyond doubt that the rental place is your real home and in most cases they will assume the owned place is the correct address. When the LA find out the child loses the school place which was obtained fraudulently, and will be given a place wherever there is an undersubscribed school (likely the worst school in the area) and the place will be given to the victim of the fraud, the child who just missed out on a place they were entitled to. -this can happen even after weeks into the term, it is not the case that the school can't do anything about it.

Fiona2011231 Sat 07-Dec-13 22:01:55

Thank you so much for your kind advice.

In my case, I feel both said and frustrated as I was informed, through anecdotes, that in my preferred school, some people have got in thanks to this cheating. I myself have to settle for the second choice.

Is there any way to make a general complaint to force the council to do the investigation at the school so that other parents can get in while the cheating people are out?

curlew Sat 07-Dec-13 22:04:04

If you have names, and feel so inclined, report them to the LEA.

tiggytape Sat 07-Dec-13 22:12:12

Many people who get caught cheating do so through being reported by other parents. And why not - a fraudulent application has a direct impact on everyone else even if it is only waiting list position.

If you report any cases you know about, the council can check their address history and are obliged to do this. It is their duty to make sure the admission rules are complied with and the school places go to people who genuinely qualify.

Over the last 2 years or so though, most councils have been really hot on this and getting stricter all the time. If your area is has very oversubscribed schools, it is reasonable to expect admissions to scrutinise everyone, or at least everyone who moves house within a year either side of school applications. As to what happens to those caught cheating – they have their places taken away. Even if their child has already started at the school and has settled and made friends. Even if this leaves them with no local school to go to.

Fiona2011231 Sat 07-Dec-13 22:35:29

In a case that I know of, that family had rented a place one year before they applied for the school. In Sept this year, they got what they wanted and now they are still renting. All the time, they already bought a house on mortgage. And yet they still got their preferred place.

It showed that if parents are willing to rent for one year, then the council might not be able to do anything even if they know.

curlew Sat 07-Dec-13 22:47:55

If that was their main or only residence at the time of application and they had council tax and electoral roll details at that address, then that was their address. Rather different to temporarily renting just for application purposes.

moldingsunbeams Sat 07-Dec-13 22:51:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiggytape Sat 07-Dec-13 23:22:52

molding is right

You can move house as often as you fancy and you are allowed to move for a good school as long as the move is genuine i.e. you don't hang on to your old house.

This is what the council check when they look at your council tax history / addresses registered in the past few years with schools and Drs

If you move from rented house A to rented house B in order to get a good school and then later move again to rented house C - that is totally fine. You never had more than one home at a time. You didn't returned to a previous home having secured a good school from a temporary home.

What isn't allowed is owning house A but moving out of it to live in rented house B for a year and then moving back to house A again once you get a school place you want.

Is the house on the mortgage being renovated? We are currently renting but we have bought a house to do up and it is not in habitable condition. If we were in the school admissions round arguably we could use the rental address because we actually live there and couldn't live in the other property ( nor could anyone else).

IrisWildthyme Sun 08-Dec-13 00:25:55

fiona they won't act on a general complaint - they don't have the resources to investigate everybody individually but they can and will take action if there is some specific and verifiable allegation. Do you actually know any details or believe there exists tangible evidence of the fraud which you could alert the Council to (e.g. as Chaz says above there can be legitimate reasons for having 2 properties) or is it just hearsay i.e. someone saying "there's loads of parents who actually live miles away getting places" but without naming names.

NB it can be perfectly legitimate for someone to live miles away and still get a place if they have an older sibling who got in legitimately in an earlier year. In most LAs having a sibling at the school gets you to the top of any priority list as schools understand what a nightmare it would be to have to do simultaneous drop off and pickup at 2 different schools.

rasberryYoghurt Sun 08-Dec-13 08:27:54

Chaz, some councils are taking a hard line, even when the main house is uninhabitable. And so they should in my view. In [[ this case]] a local councillor and cabinet member messed up big time. Her owned home was next to an unpopular school and was being renovated. She chose to rent a property at the opposite end of the borough, 90 minutes commute away, next to a very popular and oversubscribed school. Not exactly a good example for a councillor to set!

rasberryYoghurt Sun 08-Dec-13 08:31:55

This time with link......

Chaz, some councils are taking a hard line, even when the main house is uninhabitable. And so they should in my view. In this case a local councillor and cabinet member messed up big time. Her owned home was next to an unpopular school and was being renovated. She chose to rent a property at the opposite end of the borough, 90 minutes commute away, next to a very popular and oversubscribed school. Not exactly a good example for a councillor to set!

tiggytape Sun 08-Dec-13 09:20:59

raspberry - Councils can make a judgement call in cases where people own house A and rent house B.

In most circumstances it would automatically be the case that house A is the admissions address even if the family live in rented house B for many months. However, the council will consider letting the family use house B as their address if:

- House A is uninhabitable eg flood damaged with no electrics. However people who intentionally make their family home uninhabitable by choosing school admissions time to rip the boiler out and take the roof off for remodelling won't get as much leeway as people whose house was never inhabited by them or whose house got made uninhabitable against their will (eg a house fire)

- the rented house is converted into student flats and will never serve as a family home again. The parents can prove they have no way of ever moving back to that house and therefore the rented house is the only family home they have.

- the family are relocating for work and the house they own is 200 miles away. The family can therefore prove they are not renting just to get a good school place before moving out of rented house and back to the house they own. There's no way anyone's going to commute 200 miles for school. The suspicious renters are those who rent less than an hour's commute from the house they own.

The system does not allow a rented address to be used for school admissions if the parents have another home elsewhere but it has flexibility for the council to consider special circumstances and make allowances for people.

teacherwith2kids Sun 08-Dec-13 10:23:56

Some schools routinely report any changes of address within the first year of a child attending the school to the council for investigation.

If it turns out to be a completely genuine move, no problem. However, in cases where the family is moving 'back' to an address that they previously lived in, then if that house is outside the admissions area for the school, the place is removed.

As to what happens to the children - for secondary, I know of a child still being HEd in Y8 because the parent refuses to send the child to the alternative school, despite there being no chance whatever of the child getting a place in the preferred school until beyond GCSEs....

I see the point you are making. In our case we were already in this rental property then bought a house to do up, we are still in the rental property because we had to gut the do up property as it hasn't been updated for decades. As PP have said there can be genuine reasons why people are renting and own a property.

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