How long before spare school place 'released'?(13 Posts)
Just wanted to get some idea of length of process- we are on the waiting list for a place at another local school (DC currently year 1). The year group at that school is full. If or when a child does leave, how long is it usually before the place is offered to the first person on the waiting list? Is it once all official forms have been completed? Or is there a specific period of time that has to elapse before the place can be offered?
There is no specific period of time. The place should be offered as soon as possible after it becomes vacant but not before the child leaves.
Does that mean that places can't be arranged/sorted out at all before the child leaves or just that the new child can't physically start until the previous child leaves?
They can't sort the place out at all before the child leaves.
If the parents of the child that is leaving change their minds (move falls through, for example) the school cannot refuse to let them keep their place just because it has been offered to someone else, nor can they withdraw any offer that has been made. So offering the place before the child leaves risks them ending up with an additional pupil. The place therefore shouldn't be offered to anyone until the child has actually left.
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Interesting, have been wondering the same thing.
One child from DS' class is leaving at the end of the school year, starting the new school year in a new school (the family is moving in the summer holidays). I was wondering when the space would be allocated. A friend who is on the waiting list asked the school office and was told 'as soon as they confirm in writing that they are moving' or some such.
Now (about a month after they said they had confirmed in writing) school gate rumour has it that the space has been offered, offer accepted; the name of the new child has been bandied about.
So if what you say prh47bridge is correct (and I don't doubt it!) then school could be in mighty trouble if the family decided not to move after all (which is highly unlikely, but you never know). Or is it possible that the 'confirmation in writing' acts as some kind of binding 'we are giving up our place at the school' statement that the family would no longer be able to change?
Although I understand the reasoning behind only offering a space to a new child once the old child has actually left, I can see some major drawbacks. Especially if the school offices are mostly closed during the summer holidays!
If the space is only offered once the child doesn't turn up in September,
- if the first and second placed children on the waiting list decide, each after 2 weeks, not to take up the offer, and perhaps there is some lag between first school day and place being offered, and between first offer being rejected and second offer (all very likely in my opinion) then it could easily be half term by the time the new child gets to start. With a school space having been vacant for all those weeks. And the new child having had to move in the middle of term rather than at the start of a new school year.
- even if the first child on the waiting list does accept, they will have to buy new uniform within days rather than having had the summer holidays to get ready, and they will have started the new school year at their old school just to move after a few days. Maybe having had bought new uniform for their old school. And they won't have had any opportunity to mentally prepare for the change.
It just seems cumbersome and inefficient! It seems to me there should be a way for schools to be able to 'safely' offer a space when the parents of the child who is leaving have committed to leaving at a certain date. Rather than waiting until the child has actually left. On the side, would a child be said to have 'left' after how many days of not attending school?
The Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations detail the circumstances in which a pupil can be removed from the register. They do not include parents saying "we are giving up our place". Parents are entitled to change their mind at any point. In general a pupil can only be removed when they have stopped attending the school.
Of course some schools take the risk and offer the place when they have been told the pupil is leaving. They may get their fingers burnt if the move falls through.
The regulations don't define how many days of non-attendance constitute leaving the school in most circumstances. They simply talk about the pupil having ceased to attend the school. The only defined timings relate to unauthorised absence. If the pupil has an unauthorised absence of at least 20 school days, or an unauthorised absence of 10 school days immediately following an authorised absence of more than 10 school days, they can be removed from the register.
Interesting. So a child leaves the school at the end of the summer term maybe moves hundreds of miles away over the summer. The child that gets the place is the child that best meets the admissions criteria on the second day of the school term, when the first child doesn't show, rather than the child who meets the criteria on 20th July? Is that right? It must be desperate for families who know a child has left and are first on the waiting list in July. I bet they are crossing fingers a newcomer doesn't move in!
This is where it gets complicated. Without a case going to judicial review nothing is 100% certain. It could be argued either way - the child has ceased to attend at the end of summer term so the place can be awarded then (but what then if the child turns up in September), or the child hasn't ceased to attend until the first day of the Autumn term. You could even argue that the place must not be filled until September in case the parents change their mind but the place should then go to whoever was at the head of the waiting list at the end of the summer term. I really wouldn't like to say which argument is correct.
Thanks prh. This must happen often though? Also to add complication the "space in July" child would be admitted under one admissions criteria but the " space in September" child would be admitted under a new admissions criteria- VA school. Lets see what happens but it's a stressful situation for those waiting for a place.
Where a pupil in my DS's class left while there was still a waiting list, places were effectively filled immediately - the 'current' child left on Friday and the 'new' child was there on Monday. So there must be the ability for councils to make that call, if they choose to, if all involved accept there is a risk that a chain of moves collapses at the last minute if for any reason a family change their mind about moving.
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