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Moving primary school after reception year?

(2 Posts)
timlondon Mon 01-Feb-16 11:06:04

We live in South London and have a 1 year old and 3 year old.

The long-term plan is to live in Surrey for reasons of space, proximity to family and the countryside.

The problem is we are not yet ready to move. Ideally we would stay in London for 2 more years, leaving when our kids will be 3 and 5.

My question is this – if you are applying to a state school outside of the reception years, does this make it difficult/impossible to get a place at a decent school? I assume you go on to a wait list and will only get an offer if another child leaves the class (and you happen to be top of the wait list).

If this is true, I think we have to pick between moving now or accepting we may have to go private if we move later.

Interested in your thoughts and experience.


tiggytape Mon 01-Feb-16 19:16:09

The deadline for reception applications if January 15th of the year in which your child could start reception that following September. So usually parents are applying when their child is aged 3 or 4 depending on when the child's birthday falls.

So yes, if you are applying for a reception place for your older child when he or she is already 5, you will have missed the on-time application round and be reliant on finding a spare place at a school as close to home as you can.

You won't necessarily have the option of a very local school even if you move house to live very close to one you'd like. You'd be reliant on there being a space free.

In much of Surrey that means waiting for a child to leave (although more rural or less accessible schools may not always be full).
Many popular schools fill all their spaces very easily. You can ring around and try to get an idea of local patterns if you wanted to. Schools in your target area would be able to tell you if they'd had any free spaces in September over the previous few years and might be able to indicate if they generally have a low or high turnover or pupils.

Generally however your assumption is right. If you move when your child is already of reception age - especially to a densely populated county - then your chances of getting a local and desirable school place straight away are more limited than if you'd lived near that school and applied on time.

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