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How long can a reception place be held?

(14 Posts)
MonsterDeCookie Tue 27-Oct-15 19:50:59

We have a family in our school who have accepted a reception state school place but have sent their child to an independent school. They have not informed the state school. The mum claims she was unsure of how her DC would settle into the independent school so they haven't relinquished the state school place in case they wanted it? How long can this go on for? There are heaps of kids on the waitlist and the school has a tiny catchment and is very over subscribed.

MM5 Tue 27-Oct-15 20:16:01

If a child begins at another school, their place is relinquished. There should not be this waiting and I would be questioning the school and authority of irregularities.

You can't have a place held.

It is actually not in the school's best interest due to census that occurred on 1st October.

FishWithABicycle Tue 27-Oct-15 20:22:17

Are you sure of that MM5? If a child with a spring or summer birthday stays at nursery for the autumn and spring terms and starts after easter they are allowed to keep their place open. Why would it be different if they are at a private school? I think the answer to the op's question is: two terms if the child was born between January and August, one term if the child was born between September and December.

MM5 Tue 27-Oct-15 20:28:52

If a child starts school somewhere else,money will get a UPN (unique pupil number). This will show their start date of school and nullify the request to delay start.

If a school knows this, it is in their best interest to bring it to admission's attention.

Effectively, the parents would be lying about a delayed start and place lost.

MM5 Tue 27-Oct-15 20:29:46

Not money... They will get

steppemum Tue 27-Oct-15 20:30:07

If the child has accepted a place at the school, but chooses to defer entry until their 5 birthday, the place has to be kept open.

But as soon as a child starts at another school, they are considered to have relinquished their place and the place is not held open.

If the school is another state school in the same authority, the LA know and remove the place. If it is an independent school or a school in a different authority they are reliant on the parent informing them.

If the parent doesn't inform them, the school will remove them from the register after 6 weeks EXCEPT if they are in reception and not yet 5.

The only thing I am not sure about is how the communication between the independent school and the LA works. So in this case, by sending dc to the other school, they have relinquished the place, as soon as the LA can confirm that, then the child is removed from the register.

I would phone the LA and give them the details.

MM5 Tue 27-Oct-15 20:31:11

Also, a delayed start is not a given and, at this moment, a school does not have to agree.

Again, in schools best interest not to do this due to funding and budgets.

ReggaeShark Tue 27-Oct-15 20:36:09

6 weeks I think. Not sure that applies if they start at another school though.

steppemum Tue 27-Oct-15 20:40:12

reggae - 6 weeks if the LA are not informed, they have to wait that long before removing them from the register, but in reception, if the parent is saying that they will start after their 5th birthday and the LA doesn't know they are at another school, they may be holding the place open.

As soon as the LA has evidence they are registered at another school, the place is gone.

MonsterDeCookie Tue 27-Oct-15 21:32:04

Perhaps they have deferred until after 5? Do all LAs have to allow deferral or is it at their discretion?

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 27-Oct-15 22:04:36

LAs and schools must honour deferral until statutory school age (or the beginning of the summer term for summer borns) and hold the school place. That is a right that parents have.

I'm not sure that is still true if they have taken up a reception place at an independent school. If it's a nursery place at an independent then I think it works in the same way as it would if it were any other nursery.

steppemum Tue 27-Oct-15 22:17:34

agree with rafa about the nursery at independent school, but I thought the place had to be held until beginning of year 1 for summer borns?

Even if they have deferred until after 5, if she is in a reception class at the indie school, then they should not be holding a place for her.

prh47bridge Wed 28-Oct-15 00:06:37

If a child begins at another school, their place is relinquished

That is true if the child begins at another state school. The situation is less clear cut if the parents defer entry to the state school and the child enters an independent school. In this particular case the parents have not informed the state school that their child is at an independent school so there is currently no need for them to try and work out how the Admissions Code and the Pupil Registration Regulations interact in this situation. As Rafa points out, if the independent school place is a nursery place the state school place is definitely not relinquished.

If a child starts school somewhere else, they will get a UPN (unique pupil number). This will show their start date of school and nullify the request to delay start.

Not necessarily true where the pupil starts at an independent school as in this case. Independent schools are not required to use the UPN system.

Also, a delayed start is not a given and, at this moment, a school does not have to agree

Rubbish. The Admissions Code is clear. Parents can defer starting their child until the start of term following the child's fifth birthday or the start of the summer term whichever is earlier. The school has no choice. They cannot refuse a request to defer entry.

but I thought the place had to be held until beginning of year 1 for summer borns

No. For summer born children the place has to be held until the start of the summer term.

admission Fri 30-Oct-15 16:43:11

This really depends on what the state school has been told about this child. If the parents are clever enough, they will have told the school they are deferring until child is past 5 and there is nothing in reality they can do about it, until the child is 5.
If the state school have not received such a deferral then the state school should by now be instigating action to establish the whereabouts of this child. That is an admission issue but more especially a safeguarding issue and they should be reporting the none-arrival at the school of this child. It should not be beyond the wit of the school and LA to establish where the child is. For instance a knock on the door at 7 in the evening would very quickly get confirmation of what the situation was.
There is however also the necessity to go through the right process, which says that the admission authority must contact twice the parents to establish what is going to happen.
My suspicion is that the school and LA are somewhere in the midst of finding out what is happening to this child. However that is not going to be a subject that they are going to discuss in public.

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