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council doesn't put our son on waiting list

(10 Posts)
ukmama Fri 15-May-15 11:39:20

Hello Mums,

I'm a newbie here)

Could you please advise if there are any time limits for council to react when they get an application to a primary school?

We'd changed our address and I made a late application on the 30th of April asking to add my son's name to waiting lists at 2 schools. We've rented a flat that is just opposite the first school - we're looking at their windows every day. The council asked for proof of address and I immediately sent them all the documents we had by email. They confirmed they did receive them and ... nothing has changed since then. I regularly call them to check our position and every time I get a response that - well, yeah, they acknowledge the receipt of all the necessary documents from us but they haven't add my son's name into their system because "they have lots of applications at the moment".

Is it really so time-consuming to add a name on waiting list? More than 2 weeks have passed and I still don't know our position (it must be number one).

The school is extremely popular, I believe the most popular school in our borough. And this council's slowness is driving me mad.

TheMoa Fri 15-May-15 11:45:54

I don't know if there is a time limit, I believe 'a timely manner' is the phrase they use.

I wouldn't get your hopes of a place up too high though.

If the school is that popular, there may be no places coming up at all.

Religious, sibling, SEN, considerations etc. may mean you have to look elsewhere.

How old is your son, do they already have a school place somewhere?

ukmama Fri 15-May-15 11:55:56

Dear TheMoa, Thanks for your reply. This school has 120 places, it's not a faith school, and we live in the area with high mobility and where many children go private. So, I still hope that we'll get the place by September. I just wonder why it's a problem to add a name on waiting list - just to make things clear. I'm getting nervous because I can do nothing about it sad

Yes, they gave our 5th choice which was just a filler sad I was shocked and disapplointed but still had to accept that place. And since our tenancy was coming to end anyway, we decided to change the area (but within the same borough). My son is 4 now, born in March.

jeee Fri 15-May-15 11:58:52

Just a thought, but could the flat you're renting be one of the flagged flats - the ones that people rent to get their child into a particular school? If you haven't got a property elsewhere, I'm guessing you'll be entitled to go on the waiting list, but it's possible they're investigating you, to find out if your move is genuine.

ShadowFire Fri 15-May-15 12:07:55

You're not necessarily no. 1 on the list - e.g. if there are siblings who also applied late, they'd be higher up the waiting list.

I don't know about time limits for getting on waiting lists, but my council told me that waiting lists are compiled after the "reallocation" day, 8th May (when deadline for accepting the school places offered has passed, and any places not taken are offered to children who were below the cut-off in the first round of offers). So I would expect waiting lists here to be up and running soon.

Has your DS been offered a place at another school?

ukmama Fri 15-May-15 12:17:57

Dear jeee,

Thanks for your thought. No, we don't have a property elsewhere and we're not afraid of any checks as our move is genuine. Can this be an excuse for the borough to not add us on waiting lists?

Dear ShadowFire,
Thanks for your reply - it gives me a hope. Yes, as I said before, we had been offered our number 5 choice which I added just to not get into another school near us with "requires improvement" rating. I accepted that place as I didn't have much choice but I definitely don't want my son to go there sad And now that we've moved it's too far away from our place.

titchy Fri 15-May-15 16:48:07

Waiting lists will be changing daily at the moment as reception allocations have only just happened so they will be dealing with all the ontime applications still. Once they do process your application you should go into the place you would have had if you'd applied on time though so you shouldn't be disadvantaged even if they are a bit slow at the moment.

ukmama Fri 15-May-15 17:21:33

Dear titchy,

Thanks for your reply - I like what you said. Keep my fingers crossedsmile

admission Fri 15-May-15 18:04:45

There is a reality that the admission offices are incredibly busy at the moment. What normally happens is that they do regular updates on the waiting lists in some kind of process (sometimes school name order) as trying to just deal on a minute by minute basis is just not practical.

In the previous 2010 admission code there was a paragraph 3.23 which said that applications made outside the normal admissions round must be considered without delay. There is no such paragraph in the current 2012 code, which is a shame. However it is quite clear that once the admission office have received your information and confirmed your address details that you should go on the system quickly.

It is not clear from your post whether they have in fact considered your late application yet or not. If they have not done that after two weeks then that is, in my opinion, too long. In effect you are in limbo land as nothing is happening. If you have been rejected for a place at the school, given they will have already checked your address details, then as you say going on the waiting list should be achieved quickly.

My feeling is that you should not phone up but get something in writing off them. I would email them saying that you have proof of them accepting the application on X date and that two weeks later you still have not received confirmation over whether there is a place. State that if there has been places offered since X date that you believe that you should have been offered that place, given your nearness to the school. This might or might not be true but if you do eventually need to appeal for a place, it draws a very clear date line after which the LA has no excuse for you not being on the waiting list as a minimum.

ukmama Fri 15-May-15 20:55:26

Dear admission (sorry for using your nickname) - thanks a lot for your detailed reply. Yes, I'm in limbo land, as you said, and still don't know what is going on there. They have not given any reply to me so far. And I'm starting to suspect the worst things (since they're not putting my son in their system they're probably trying to allocate other applicants because my son still "doesn't exist" in their system. Crazy thoughts, but I'm really getting mad). I sent them all the docs on the 6th of May, not so long ago - does it matter? Because their officer rejected my proof of address when I handed it to them together with my application (which quite surprised me). She said they'd request for it later (why can't they accept it at the same time?). Anyway, since then I've got no news at all. Each time they say "give us a call on that day". You're probably right, I must start writing to them instead of phoning.

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