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Help me with primary school application please....

(17 Posts)
PesoIsMyFavourite Tue 14-Jan-14 09:12:50

We are currently abroad, due to husbands job. Our home in the UK is currently rented out. DH contract is until the end of september, and we will know by mid feb if we are returning to the UK or staying another year. Ds1 is due to start school in September ( and so myself and kids will come back in the summer to settle back in if thats the case) and so application for primary school due tomorrow, and I am obviously applying in case we do return. I have submitted it already online, but can still amend.

My question is this; when we return to UK we will be buying a new house, as we have outgrown ours. I have applied for schools in the area which we are looking to move to, this is only the other side of our smallish town, about 2-3 miles from where our current house is. My quandary is, do I write in the additional information section of the online form that we are looking to move in to these areas, hence I am applying for them, and that we are currently abroad, although we still own a property in the town, and can prove it is let out until June, in case we come back this year. Or do I not bother telling them any of this?

I did call the county council before we moved abroad, to ask them if they needed any proof that we would be returning to the uk, or any proof of our address, and they seemed indifferent, and informed me that they don't really check addresses for primary school applications....

I guess I don't want the schools wondering why I haven't applied for any of my nearest schools. The admission policy for the schools doesn't really have catchment boundaries, it's based on who lives nearest etc.

Bit concerned that I won't get any of my three choices.

Does my post even make sense?!

poopooheadwillyfatface Tue 14-Jan-14 09:16:24

I believe you will need to make a late application once you are back living in the UK.

LIZS Tue 14-Jan-14 09:18:22

You can't use a potential new address to apply from. tbh you are chancing it anyway as they may or may not recognise and address you are not currently resident at . They may ask for a Council tax bill or child benefit letter as id. If you don't get any of the 3 you've named (can you opt for more ?) then you are likely to be allocated the nearest left with spaces to your UK house. You can then go on waiting lists if you do make the move.

PesoIsMyFavourite Tue 14-Jan-14 09:19:42

No we only have the choice of three schools....

titchy Tue 14-Jan-14 09:19:52

Agree you cannot apply now, you do not live in uk. If you put your rented out property down as your address your application will be regarded as fraudulent.

poopooheadwillyfatface Tue 14-Jan-14 09:20:14

Additional info section is for relevant info that will affect which category the admission falls into eg a sibling already attends, a looked after child, medical or social need that increases your chance of a place.AFAIK telling them about a planned move won't be useful.

PesoIsMyFavourite Tue 14-Jan-14 09:20:54

Would be annoyed If we had to provide proof later on as I already contacted the County Council to preempt this before we left England hmm

sashangel Tue 14-Jan-14 09:22:01

I am not sure about your situation but I do know that when I applied for my daughters school I had to out in my council tax reference number to prove where we lived so they could check.
My sister had to put in her application where she was living and was moving the following month but didn't have the reference number for her new council tax account so had to ring them and amend it when she moved.

Sorry I couldn't be any more help

PatriciaHolm Tue 14-Jan-14 09:24:24

So you are applying based on the address you own but don't live in? I'm very surprised the LEA weren't bothered by this, as it's not normally allowed. If you are coming back to an area where all schools are undersubscribed they may not pay too much attention but if, as is more normal, good schools are oversubscribed then it's not permitted. You need to have a permanent address here you are living in to apply.

To your question, telling them of a planned move won't make any difference. Admissions will be done on the admissions criteria only, which in most of the UK would mean you are very unlikely to get into a primary school some miles from your home unless it is a very unpopular one. I think you need to be prepared for your DC to be admitted to a poor school you don't request at first, and then get yourself on waiting lists for ones you would prefer once you have a proper address here.

LIZS Tue 14-Jan-14 09:25:31

We were able to apply from our UK address as by then the house was empty and we were paying CT etc on it. Regulations change and even though you checked with LA the information would have only been as good as the time and circumstances you described then.

prh47bridge Tue 14-Jan-14 09:26:15

As you are currently living abroad the LA should not process your application. If they discover that you are not currently living at the address you have given they are entitled to treat your application as fraudulent. This means you could lose any place that has been offered even after your child starts school.

Putting that to one side, anything you put in the additional information about moving house will be ignored. The schools don't get to see what other schools you have named so they won't wonder why you haven't applied for your nearest schools. And the LA has to use your current address for admissions purposes.

You may not get any of your choices since none of them are near your current address. If you don't you will be offered a place at the nearest school with places available. That will, of course, be based on your current address.

PesoIsMyFavourite Tue 14-Jan-14 09:32:44

Ok the f word (fraudulent) has scared me. Off to phone the LEA now....

PesoIsMyFavourite Tue 14-Jan-14 09:34:19

No requirement to enter CT reference on application , only need details if child had SEN or sibling at relevant school. Form is very basic....

prh47bridge Tue 14-Jan-14 09:37:12

As PatriciaHolm says, if you are in an area where the schools are undersubscribed there may not be a problem. But I'm glad you are phoning the LA. Best to get it sorted out now rather than face problems later.

If they do say you can go ahead with your application I would strongly recommend getting that in writing. As a minimum you should email them with a summary of the conversation and keep the email. That way you will have evidence of what was said in case there are problems later.

prh47bridge Tue 14-Jan-14 09:38:01

Most LAs don't ask for your Council Tax reference. They still check Council Tax records to make sure they match.

tiggytape Tue 14-Jan-14 10:20:15

They don't council tax details from you directly. The checking process is done automatically using the name and address you give when you submit your form.

You are not allowed to apply for a UK school place from abroad even if you do own a house here (only in special circumstances is that allowed eg if you are a Crown Servant)

So, as prh says, if they are allowing you to do this get it in writing as you may find the person you spoke to did not fully appreciate your situation and you don't want to run into problems later having the place removed.

You certainly aren't allowed to apply from a future address you don't own yet but you can to any school in any area you want once you live in the UK. If you apply to ones far from home, they will assume you're planning to move and that is fine but you have to bear in mind that you are unlikely to get popular schools in the new area since they will be filled with people living much closer. Most people applying to schools further away in anticipation of a move are limited to choosing the undersubscribed schools in their new area since a school with spare places will take anyone who applies from anywhere.

Do get the UK resident bit sorted out and confirmed in writing though because the rules do not allow it and if your LA are flouting the rules, that's their problem but you don't want it to come back to bite you. Otherwise the initial checks (which don't happen until after the deadline) will show you don't live at that address and it is at that stage your form could be discarded as a fraudulent application

PesoIsMyFavourite Tue 14-Jan-14 12:36:52

To update, the person I spoke to advised me to apply a month before we return to the UK, so I need to cancel my online application and then apply in the normal way at a later date.

Am very glad I posted on here now, as I was going on the initial conversation I had with the LEA, who told me to apply in the normal they don't really check addresses for primary school applications?! I believed this as we are not in a city, and none of the schools are outstanding as per ofsted. Etc, they all vary in their culture, ethos etc so not one school is in big demand iyswim. Thanks mumsnet, saved me from being accused of being fraudulent!

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