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Affect on school admission when moving away from school catchment area after receiving admission confirmation

(18 Posts)
samsg Thu 19-Nov-15 17:17:00

First of all, apologies if this question is asked before and already answered. I couldn't find this specific situation so asking it here.

We are currenly living on rent and got a kid who will start school in Sep 2016.
There's a very good school-A near by where she'll definitely get admission as it is just few yards away and we will be in rented property until around Apr 2016. (please read below before thinking I am fraud)

We have been looking for our own house for quite some time and managed to find one within budget last week and got offer accepted (in mid nov). New house is about a mile away from where we are currently living and there's another oversubsribed school-B near by new house with small catchment area . The whole process of contract exchange will take 2-3 months and current possible date of contract exchange is somewhere in Jan end to mid feb. As this house is in run down condition, we'll be spending another 1-2 months in renovating it before move.

Unfortunately all these dates are clashing with primarly school admission process. Up until 15th Jan, we'll definitely be in the rented house and fill the school form with current address. I am expecting to move into new house after renovation somewhere in April (if no gazamping) by when I guess we would receive admission confirmation in chosen school-A.

My main worry is.. what could happen to admission application once we have moved.. as my kid will get admission in school-A which will be outside the catchment area of new house. At the same time, school-B will be in catchment of new house but all places will already be taken up thus any 'new' late application filed in April will give slim chances to get into school-B.

I wouldn't have enough money to send kid to private school and cannot afford to get admission into least preferred state school due to this tricky situation.

Please can someone advice my options in this case. I have spoken to council and they haven't given me any clear response to make decision. It will be highly frustating if school-A admission is cancelled and kid doesn't get into school-B either because of tricky timing.

Again apologies for long question. Appreciate your time in reading and responding to this.

louisejxxx Thu 19-Nov-15 17:49:53

I think the worst case scenario would be that you'd be investigated for defrauding a place, although I guess you'd be able to argue that you're now at a disadvantage as you've missed out on getting in to school B. How long have you been renting your current house? If a short period of time then this probably won't help you...The longer the better to prove that it wasn't a calculated move.

caroldecker Thu 19-Nov-15 17:59:25

My understanding is the address used is the one lived at the time of application - unless fraudulent, you will keep place offered at A regardless of the move.

anotherdayanothersquabble Thu 19-Nov-15 18:04:02

I would push for earlier exchange and apply from your new address even if you haven't moved at the time. It was 6 years ago but we had exchanged but not completed by school application deadline and it was accepted.

prh47bridge Thu 19-Nov-15 18:24:30

Once a place has been offered it can only be removed if the offer was made in error or your application was fraudulent or deliberately misleading. They cannot take the place away just because you move. There is a risk that they might think your application was fraudulent, particularly if you have only lived at your current rented address for a short while. However, assuming you can give them evidence that you have lived at your current address for a while that shouldn't be a problem.

There is no way you will end up without a place at all. Even if the council withdraw someone's offer they must still come up with a new offer. They can't leave people without places.

nancy75 Thu 19-Nov-15 18:27:21

In our borough you have to live at the application address on the first day of the new school

samsg Thu 19-Nov-15 21:05:42

I moved from a different city (50 miles away) to this city 4 months back only. Reason was to move closer to London for work and good schooling for kid. Rather than buying house straightaway in a new unknown city, we decided to live here on rent for few months to find out good safer areas.

So, by April next year, we'd be living in rented accommodation for around 9 months. Not sure if it is considered as short term or fraudulent in this case.

caroldecker Fri 20-Nov-15 00:10:52

I think your only address in 50 miles would be ok - how far is the new house?

prh47bridge Fri 20-Nov-15 07:20:46

In our borough you have to live at the application address on the first day of the new school

That is not legally enforceable. The Admissions Code, which has the force of law, is clear that there are only limited circumstances in which an offer can be withdrawn after it has been made. Once the child has started school the place can only be withdrawn if the application was fraudulent or misleading. A change of address does not justify withdrawing a place.

samsg - As you moved 50 miles I would not expect the LA to think that you have acted fraudulently. However they may investigate, especially if the property you are renting has previously been used for short term lets by people trying to fraudulently get a place at school A. If you have any problems you will get plenty of help on here.

CrotchetQuaverMinim Fri 20-Nov-15 07:27:32

Could you put School B first, if you think it's a pretty good school too? Even if it has a small catchment and your rented address is a mile away, you might still have an outside chance of getting in. Then you could put School A second, because if you don't get into School B, but are very close to School A, then you would be given it. If you then moved and they try to take it away because they think you were being fraudulent, it would be clearer that you were genuine since you hadn't even put School A first and really had intended and wanted to move to your new address in time.

of course the risk is that you did get into school B, and then the house move fell through, but it doesn't sound like it's that far away, so might still be a reasonable choice.

tobysmum77 Fri 20-Nov-15 07:47:44

I honestly have in rl never heard of anyone being investigated for fraud its a mn (probably London) phenomenon.

I would put school B first though, as the poster above suggested then go onto the waiting list. Its hardly your fault that the system we have won't give you a place at the school local to where you will be living.

admission Fri 20-Nov-15 15:40:22

Believe me Local Authorities across the country do investigate suspicious and reported breaches of the admission regulations. In my LA a small number of parents this last year had their school places removed in the summer term due to fraud, with a larger number having been told before the April allocation date that school allocation will be based on a different, more appropriate address than that on their application form.

Your situation is all about the two dates in January and April. You have not been renting for that long, so it will start to look a bit dodgy, especially if school A is very over-subscribed. As long as you are still renting on January 15th (the on-time cut off date) and do not own the other house on that date, then if you are offered school A this would be a perfectly legal situation and you can defend it if the LA come asking questions. So make sure house purchase completion date is after Jan 15th

It would be even more preferable if you did not move into new house until after the April allocation date but not essential. If you do move before hand then you should immediately inform the admission office of the change in address but confirm in writing that you want them to use the new address only for communication purposes and that you admission application stands as is. That is just to stop them making a mistake and changing the address and thereby instigating a situation where it is assumed that this is a late application.

From what you have said there is no possibility of being able to put down School B as first preference and expect to get a place from the rented accommodation address. In January the correct address is the rented property. Many LAs do allow a short period of grace for those who are moving around the January cut off date but correct address is that at which your child is spending the majority of the week. That from your post is definitely the rented accommodation. Any attempt to change preferences after Jan 15th is likely to be counted as a late application, which would mean you would only be considered for a school place after all on-time applications have been allocated.

To me that means you should assume the worst that the purchase falls through and put down school A as first preference and therefore a banked place as you rent only yards away, with school B as second preference. You could consider school B as first preference but then you need to consider how you would feel if you got the place at school B and the house move fell through. Is it a commutable trip every day from the rented accommodation.

If you go for the safer option of school A as first preference and get a place there and then the move does happen, you can confirm the place at school A and then put yourself down on the waiting list for a place at school B. Then you hope that a place becomes available and you are top of the waiting list.

Youknowit Fri 20-Nov-15 22:53:59

Go on your council's website. There will be an admissions document which will give you the answer. Your application should be based on the address you live at when you submit the application but you should tell them when you move. If you don't, you are at risk of having your place removed if you otherwise wouldn't have got a place.

teacherwith2kids Sat 21-Nov-15 09:43:28

"In our borough you have to live at the application address on the first day of the new school"

Locally, very oversubscribed school with history of fraudulent applications does LOOK at address on entry to the school and compare it with application address - but only as a prompt to investigate further should the two be different.

So e.g.
- Move from 50 miles away, rent for 6+ months, apply to school and get in, buy permanent house so address on entry is different: would be investigated, but would be found to be OK.

- Own house locally but outside catchment, rent for 6 months inside catchment, apply to school and get in, return to original house so address on entry is different: would be investigated and child would be removed for fraudulent application.

Luckily, they have got a LOT better at picking up potential fraud at 'pre-application' stage (including, most recently, liaising with local primary schools), so fewer are detected once the child has joined the school.

prh47bridge Sat 21-Nov-15 09:49:19

but only as a prompt to investigate further should the two be different

I expect quite a few councils do that. That is absolutely fine and the kind of check all councils should be doing. If the investigation shows that the application was fraudulent they can then take the place away. What they can't do is automatically remove the place just because you've moved.

Good to hear that your council is taking positive steps to deal with parents trying to fiddle the system.

Efferlunt Sat 21-Nov-15 10:02:40

I don't see how it's wrong to apply from address A if that's where you are living at the time. if you haven't completed at that point it would be impossible for you to move into a house you don't own or apply from it for a school place until then. The form asks you for your address at time of application. Therefore you have done nothing fraudulent and I'm not sure they would have any grounds to deny you a place even if you had moved.

prh47bridge Sat 21-Nov-15 11:28:15

Nobody has said what the OP is doing is wrong. There is, however, a risk that the council will investigate this as a possible fraudulent application.

samsg Sat 21-Nov-15 22:10:15

You all are rockstars!! Thanks for spending time in reading my long post and answering genuinely to my concerns.

What 'admission' has posted in his/her long answer is what my feeling was... i.e. completion after 15th Jan (as before 15th Jan, it is not possible anyways). Stay until April confirmation date ..not just to be on safer side for admission but to use such time renovating house to standard of living.

After reading all other comments, I am can kind of feeling relaxed that council will/should not remove my child from school A admission and move her to least preferred under subscribed school just because I bought permanent place half a mile outside catchment area.

Kids admission is something I cannot afford to take risk with.

Before finalizing this house, I had also put higher offer for another house in the existing School A catchment to avoid any possible problem with admission but someone came with even higher offer way beyond my affordability. I will prepare paperwork for the worst case scenario and show this effort as well to prove that we were genuinely interested to stay in same area where we are renting.

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