Primary school admissions - out of the country(7 Posts)
Hello everyone. Please bear with me as this is my first post! I have a question I would love some insight on. My DD1 is due to start primary school next September, i.e. Sept 2016. We currently live in Australia as my husband has a 12 month contract out here, but are due back in the UK end of Jan 2016, so several months before her schooling starts. However, I believe the nationwide deadline for primary school admissions is 15th Jan 2016, for the following Sept. I spoke to our local council before we left early this year, and explained that we would be out of the country at the time of the admissions deadline, but would be back and resident in our (owned) house a couple of weeks later. The council basically told me I had to put our current address on the application, as in Australia, and that on that basis our DD1 would probably not be awarded a place. Then I would have to appeal over the summer, and hope for the best.
This seems crazy to me!! At present I am booked on a return flight to the UK in Jan 2016 two weeks before my husband, so will fly alone with a then 18mo and a 3yo, and we will have to turf our tenants out 2 weeks early, purely to make the application from our UK address.
Can anyone help with the following:
- Will it take them a few weeks to process the applications before making spot checks to ensure people are living where they say they are? Or will they start making checks straight away, i.e. before the end of Jan?
- If they check our details, and we are asked to provide evidence of residential address, will we need to provide evidence from the date of application? (e.g. council tax bills etc). Or will evidence dated a couple of weeks later be acceptable?
I would love to hear others' experiences and advice.
Many thanks all!
Some councils allow a couple of weeks for people moving. Unfortunately yours doesn't so yes you will have to return early etc. they will expect council tax to be arranged so you take over from the date of application. I doubt they'll turn up on your doorstep though! If they do query your dates it wouldn't be unreasonable for them to ask for proof of your flights back home so keep boarding passes.
There is normally a window after the deadline during which you can update the application address and still have it treated as on time. May only be a few weeks but that may be sufficient for your circumstances. Or you move back a few weeks early.
I think that practically the issues will be if they suspect that there is a problem then they will investigate - this could be for example if an eagle eyed neighbour further down the street who isn't allocated a place in the school but knew that you didn't return until the end of January. It does sound like madness, but people become very edgy about school admissions and it would be better to have everything sorted out rather than have to worry about being reported. For evidence I have just had to produce recent (within 3 months) bills/ bank statements with my name, plus something in the child's name (e.g. drs medical card (would help if you register the dc asap so by 15th), or child benefit letter, hospital appointment letter etc.), showing them at the address.
Following as we are living overseas and due back before T is due to start primary school next sept BUT not before the Jan deadline. We don't even have a house in the UK so no idea where we will be living when we do return.
You application needs to be put in on the 15th January 2016. Including council tax bills... electric bills... to show that you reside in that address at the time of application. This is the proof. Any application made after that time will be know as a 'late application' and you will be put to the back of the que. These applications are not looked at with the rest of the 'on time' applications.
Check the small print. We are probably going to be in a similar position to you and the essex rules state:
If an applicant meeting the above criteria owns a property in Essex but is not living in it, perhaps
because they are working abroad at the time of application but they intend to take up residency at
the Essex home before the start of the autumn term, the application will be processed using the
Essex address. Any offer of a school place will then be conditional upon receipt of evidence of
taking up residency at that property in Essex.
(This doc: www.essex.gov.uk/Education-Schools/Schools/Admissions/Documents/Final_Determined_Primary.pdf)
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