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Primary School In Year Admissions for 2 children - Advice please :)

(12 Posts)
BellaLEL Fri 28-Mar-14 14:59:56

So. We are moving house, around 3 miles away and to a different borough in Greater London. My eldest is in year 1 and second child is due to start school (reception) this coming September. I was on the phone to the local authority of which borough we are moving to and was told that it's possible that my eldest could get a place but other child wont. And second child could be offered a place at another school. Or she would be placed on a waiting list until after her 5th birthday so she could miss out on reception completely! This is quite stressful to think of without the stresses of moving house. My eldest is at a school that we can technically get one bus to which my second child is likely to get a place as I have already put in her application. I don't drive and have researched how long this bus journey takes and is 40 minutes! That could possibly seem normal for some people across the country but having been used to walking with 3 small kids it seems quite daunting to be stuck in awful traffic on a busy bus.

What I'm asking is that if anyone has been in a similar situation, how easy or difficult is it really? Should I take the risk of getting my eldest a place in a local school and have my second miss reception? Or do I just keep them at their current school, take the journey on the chin and apply for them both to have in year applications the year after?

I just want to make the change, if any, to schools easy for the kids. And without too much stress.

Thanks smile

Northernlurker Fri 28-Mar-14 15:30:53

Tbh I would try not to worry about this too much right now. You have a place for one child and hopefully will get a second place at a school that you can travel to. That's good. So don't give up the places at the current school, get moved and then see how things stand. It's a long time till September and a lot of things can change. When you are actually resident you'll be able to meaningfully know where you are on waiting lists.
40 minutes on a bus won't be fun but at least it's only one. Is there any chance of cycling it? I know you have three little ones - I'm thinking dutch style wheelbarrow bike! That would be fun. Do you have a partner who can drive? Any chance of them doing one or two school runs a week to give you and the youngest dc a break.

BellaLEL Fri 28-Mar-14 15:59:21

Well I do actually drive but had to get rid of the car due to saving for a house. However, I am trying my luck to see if we can at least get something smaller, like a run around, if this is the decision we decide to make. Although the idea of a wheelbarrow bike sounds fun I would be an absolute mess trying to do that where we are. I'd be way too scared.

Yeah I think keeping my eldest at her current school seems the safest option for now. I can't imagine my second missing reception. I have discovered so much has changed recently with the admissions process. I thought I could just contact a school, ask if they've any places but everything is done through the local authority. I can't even arrange a viewing of prospect schools unless one of my kids have been offered a place!? Not entirely fair for in year applications. Though that could be selective, other schools or councils may differ.

Thank you for your reply. Fingers crossed it goes a lot smoother than anticipated! smile

prh47bridge Fri 28-Mar-14 16:36:57

The LA has given you poor advice. They must find a place for your younger child even if all schools are full. They cannot delay until she is five. They don't have to put her in the same school as your eldest but they must find a place for her somewhere.

BellaLEL Fri 28-Mar-14 17:12:22

Sorry, I don't want to look like I'm bad mouthing the LA. There was more to it. That's my worst case scenario.

I was told that it's highly likely that my youngest would be offered a place different to my eldest. Being without a car that prospect seems rather difficult. The borough I'm moving to is one of the largest in London so to get what I'm given makes me think she'll be offered a place a way away. So with this, the lady I spoke to said that if I REALLY want my children to attend the same school THAT would be my situation. But was also told that by law a child must be allocated a placement in the September after their 5th birthday, regardless. So it's possible that after all that waiting she would still be put in to a different school.

She was very helpful and descriptive smile

bobot Sun 30-Mar-14 16:59:31

We were in the EXACT same situation until last week. Same aged children, not able to drive, same conversation with the LA etc etc. In the end we were advised to delay our dd's application until her older brother had a place in a school, and them she would hopefully get in on sibling criteria. Had she not, I would have delayed her school start and put her on a waiting list.

But we decided not to do any of this. We asked both our LA and the neighbouring one for a list of schools with current vacancies in the relevant year groups. Found a lovely little village school in the next county, that has spaces for both and we absolutely love. We're also happier with the size of the school as all in our town are four form entry. So we are sending them there. It is 3 miles away, but an hour's round trip by bus - I'll just have to live with it. We are hoping that my dh can take them in the morning, and I will only have to make the journey once as I'll be taking 2 yr old and newborn along! Good luck!

LizzieMint Sun 30-Mar-14 22:31:05

I just came on here to search for threads about this problem to see if what I was doing was OK. smile We are planning to relocate (hopefully in summer hols) but to a location around 2hrs drive away from where we are now. I have 2 kids in primary school already (yr3 and yr1) and we will effectively base our house hunt on what schools we can find that have spaces for them both, so I've just emailed the two relevant councils and requested lists of schools with places. Hopefully there will be some!
Bobot, how long did it take from getting the info to getting a place? was it easy to decide on the school you wanted?

BellaLEL Mon 31-Mar-14 17:13:12

You see I was told by some people I know that you could just call the schools up to see if they have places, so I did. I spoke to two schools in this area and they both said the same thing to me - "You have to speak to the LA, it's not the schools's position to give you those details it all goes through the LA". So why is it different for you? I'm guessing it's because it's in London, but to be honest I think I'm just going to keep my kids at the school they're at (or going to be at). I was also told by these schools that I wouldn't be able to view the school unless my kids were offered a place? I'm not going to accept my children going to a school just going by an ofsted report.

Your situation gives me hope though! smile

Thanks for your reply smile

admission Mon 31-Mar-14 20:04:01

You need to understand how the admission process works for different sets of pupils.
If we are talking about the admission process for pupils entering the reception year or year 7 at secondary school, then the LA is responsible for co-ordinating the admission process and offering the places. That would apply to your child who is entering reception in September
However for in-year admissions and this would apply to your year 1 child, it is the schools responsibility to say whether there is a place available and to make the offer of the place, which the LA then confirm. This has been the process since last September but there seems to a level of confusion about this and some LAs still seem to be operating so kind of system where they try to still be in charge of in-year admissions.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Mon 31-Mar-14 22:19:10

We don't do our own in-year admissions, we chose to have the LA continue to process all admissions. We would tell you what, if any , places were available though.

Different schools in our LA may have chosen differently though.

sunnydaylucy Mon 31-Mar-14 22:50:18

We went through this situation this time last year.
Our LA has a web page with MS Excel document which is updated every Friday afternoon as to availability of places (from reception to yr11). Not always accurate but a good guideline as to already over subscribed year groups. We actually got our 2 DC's (Yr1 & Yr3) at the time into a school that said it had no vacancies on the list as it also depended on their date of birth!
In my experience calling the school was the best way, most were very helpful, some were just rude! the LA dealt with the applications though, not the school.
Good luck with your search.

BellaLEL Tue 01-Apr-14 18:54:59

@ admissions. I didn't know it was put through that way since September, I assumed that it was always the case. But that's good to know. I will call the LA tomorrow and ask specifically what the process is for that particular authority. I only called 2 schools so I may as well call some others too.

Thanks for all your responses smile

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