Reception application from different LA, moving in August next year(28 Posts)
Seeking some help on understanding how the offers for primary school are made and what to do.
We live in London and will move to Winchester in August. My DD will start reception next year in Winchester so I will apply to the schools there but with a London address. After visiting the schools over there we made our selection of top 6 for the application but all of them are usually oversubscribed. Plus I really set my mind on the first choice.
How will Hampshire LA make her an offer not having a local address as she will not fit the criteria for an offer until long after they are made?
And when the offer is made on first round should I accept anything and have her name on a waiting list or refuse and wait for an offer during the second round?
At this point, you would apply to the schools through your local LEA using your current address.
When allocations are done, you will basically get whatever is left at the end because you will be right at the bottom of the lists due to your address. You may not even get an offer at this point as Winchester has no obligation to you as yet.
When you move, your new address should place you better on waiting lists, and hants will have to offer you something. But it's very unlikely to be the oversubscribed school you have set your heart on as allocations will be done for that in March.
Do not reject an offer, unless you are happy to home educate! If you do reject it, hants no longer have an obligation to you and you will be dependent on getting to the top of waiting lists, which may never happen, or on finding another school which happens to have a vacancy which is likely to be even further away/less desirable than your offer.
I'm afraid some of the advice from Frusso and MostAppealing is misleading.
Agree with PatriciaHolm. Hampshire cannot refuse to offer a place just because you don't live there. They will not, however, accept an application directly from you until you have proof of your new address. You must apply to your current local authority in London naming the Hampshire schools you want. As London boroughs allow you to name 6 preferences, you will be able to name 6 schools in Hampshire despite Hampshire only allowing residents to name 3 preferences. Your LA will forward the relevant information to Hampshire. Unfortunately, although Hampshire have to consider your application, it is unlikely you will get a place from them at this stage as most other applicants will live closer to the schools than you. That means you will end up with an offer from your current LA, almost certainly of a school within your borough. You should automatically go onto the waiting lists for schools in Hampshire but possibly only for your top 3 preferences. Once offers go out it will be worth checking that you are on the waiting lists.
When you provide Hampshire with confirmation of your address in Winchester along with the evidence they require you will automatically move up the waiting lists. At this point Hampshire will have to find a place for your daughter somewhere but it is unlikely to be at any of your preferred schools. You can appeal for your preferred schools but most Reception appeals are infant class size cases which means you are very unlikely to win. You may be lucky and get a place at one of your preferred schools through the waiting list but that will depend on how high up the waiting list you are (which will depend on how close to the school you live) and whether any pupils leave the school.
Your best chance of getting a place at an oversubscribed school in Winchester is to move to Winchester before the deadline for applications. If that is not possible you need to reconcile yourself to the fact that you will be offered whatever school Hampshire feel is best able to cope with an additional pupil once you actually move (or are about to move).
Frusso - you said they won't offer her a place until she has a Hampshire address.
That's not true
If OP applied from a London address to a school in Hampshire that had fewer applicants than places, they would offer her a place in a Hampshire school. Living in London doesn't prevent you from being offered a school in Hampshire if you apply to one.
The only reason OP is unlikely to get a Hampshire school is that the ones she likes are all oversubscribed and they will therefore look at distance and other factors in deciding who to give the places to.
Given that OP is so far away, there's almost no chance she will win on distance criteria against the other applicants and that is why she probably won't be offered a place at a school she wants initially.
If a school has spare places, they have to offer them to anyone who applies even if they live hundreds of miles away at the time of application.
So OP you can either find one undersubscribed Hampshire school and list it last knowing it is the one you'll probably get offered (then go on waiting lists but at least have the comfort of a local school providing your house move is 100% definite) or you can apply to oversubscribed Hampshire schools, not get an offer, possibly get a London offer and then apply again once you move and have a Hampshire address
You can, if you wish (and if the move is certain) use your London application form to apply only for Hampshire schools and none in London at all. This is perfectly allowed and will result in a Hampshire offer as long as at least one school on your list gets fewer applicants than places.
it may not be possible to apply for a Hampshire school with a London address. It wouldn't have been from our London borough but I don't have experience of other London boroughs.
Yes it would. You can apply to schools anywhere you like using the application form from your own London Borough (and in fact all Lonbdon and Surrey admissions are coordinated through a single scheme so it is the same for them all)
And since OP lives in an area that gives her 6 spaces on her form, she can apply for 6 Hampshire schools not the 3 that people who live locally to Hampshire schools might be limited to.
Sorry for triple posting but some advice, as prh has said, is not correct and it may mess up OP's chances with her move if she thinks she's limited to 3 preferences or even that she cannot apply via London to Hampshire at all. She definitely can.
When you are deciding what to do, it's also worth thinking about when your DD needs to take up any offered place. If her birthday is Sep-Dec, that's in September; Jan-March is January; April onwards is after Easter.
So you could get offered a school you don't really want, accept the place but defer until after Christmas or Easter, and hope a better offer comes up from the waiting lists. If you can cope with keeping her out of school, you might prefer that to starting then moving.
how exactly is my reply misleading
You said Hampshire won't be able to offer a place until the OP has a Hampshire address. That is untrue. If the OP applies through her current LA for a Hampshire school which has a place available, that place must be offered to her.
Being unable to offer a place at all (which is what you said) is significantly different from only accepting an application via the OP's current LA (which is what I said).
Will you be moving before June? I assume you'll be moving before September? And will you need childcare over the summer?
Because if you will, and you think you will not get into any preferred school, it is possible to keep your DD in nursery till Christmas (especially if it's a private nursery with spaces available in September for 4 year olds), even if she has a September birthday. This would mean fewer moves, if she was going to nursery anyway in Hampshire.
Alternatively, if there are school nurseries that give priority places in Reception, and any of them have a space in May/June, you might want to look at those (no idea if Hampshire does his - some areas of our LEA do this, some firmly do not).
Ah ignore my last comment, Hampshire seems to have no priority at all for nursery children.
Have you checked with your Local Authority about the application procedure for out of area, try speaking to the admissions office. I moved shortly before my DD started reception, I know that there was a procedure for applying out of district but as we were moving almost 200 miles I didn't bother with that! Also, we didn't know where we would be living in the new area. I applied for her place in our old area, but let the school know that we were extremely unlikely to take it up and didn't go to any of the settling-in sessions.
We had to relocate with DH's job, we ended up renting a property and looking at a school the week before term ended in July! Luckily it was a year of small pupil numbers (the years after hers are rammed!) so we were able to get a place. The admissions office were really helpful via email to us (I still wasn't living there full time until August) because it's not an in-year admission with Reception which complicates things a bit. I did provide proof of our new address (the letting agents wrote a letter, we had the tenancy agreement and council tax bill).
As pp have said, often there is a way of applying for a place out of area, but if it comes down to distance from school then you may be out of luck. Try contacting the admissions office in both LA! Good luck, hope it works out for you.
If there is any uncertainty about the timing of your move, or the possibility it could yet fall through, then you should consider if you you the last couple of spaces on your form for the London schools you prefer.
And I think you need to talk to someone (probably one of the more senior staff) in Hampshire LEA Admissions about their exact criteria for proof of address and what deadlines apply if you are moving during the applications period. And follow up any telephone calls with a written account (email fine) of what you understood from the conversation.
Just to add, some faith schools have admissions policies that mean that anyone of the faith - even if they live at the other end of the country - will be offered a space before anyone not of the faith, even if they live next door to the school.
Our local RC primary school has usually been very oversubscribed, so that you only got in if you could prove church attendance AND lived in the parish/nearby. But every now and then it has just been 'a little' oversubscribed which meant that anyone baptised RC got a space, even if they lived miles away. With the remaining spaces being filled by non-RC people on distance.
If you are religious and would consider a faith school, it's worth looking closely at Winchester's faith schools' admission policies, you might find one where you have reasonable chances of being offered a place even from your London address.
Have you checked with your Local Authority about the application procedure for out of area, try speaking to the admissions office
The procedure for the normal admissions round is the same for every LA. You simply name your preferred schools on the application form you submit to your LA, including any schools in other LAs for which you want to apply. You can always name any school, anywhere in the country on your application form. It is then up to your LA to pass on the relevant details to the other LA(s) so that your application is properly considered. This is required by the Admissions Code paragraph 2.3. No LA can adopt a different policy.
I think the confusion here is that OP is going to apply at the "correct time" for a school place - just out of area.
Most people who move house do so when their child is already at school and they need a new school in a new area (an in year application). they then have to approach new councils and new schools direct to sort it all out.
However OP is moving house in the same year as her school application (and that of every other child born that academic year) has to be completed.
So she has the option of apply to Hampshire schools as part of the normal admissions process not as a special case coming much later than everyone else.
If she finds a Hampshire school with fewer applicants than places (or one that she qualifies for more than local people eg on faith criteria), OP can apply from London, get an offer in Hampshire, move house and take up a place at a Hampshire school the following September without waiting or reapplying or doing an in-year transfers or any of those things.
(of course the disadvantage of that is, if the move doesn't go ahead, her only offer of a reception school place will be in Hampshire whilst her child is in London with no local school to go to. Every child only gets one offer).
Most appealing - you were given the incorrect advice. There is absolutely no such rule and in fact the Admissions Code (the law on these things) absolutely prevents parents being "banned" from applying to any school they choose be it 2 miles or 200 miles away.
They may discourage of course unofficially or advise against it. It causes all sorts of problems when the house move falls through (as sometimes happens) because suddenly a London child has a school place in Hampshire or Yorkshire or Birmingham that they cannot get to - but the council cannot forbid it.
Out of curiosity what was there maximum distance they'd allow you to apply for because plenty of children commute absolutely insane distances every day by (parental) choice?
Nobody tells parents they can't send their child to a school that is a ridiculous distance from home (I'm talking about parents who opt for a commute well in excess of 2 or 3 hours each way for example to get to a grammar school). Some of these families will move between offer day and September but some don't.
I can't comment on the other errors you experienced but the information they gave you about living in London and not being able to apply to a Hampshire school before your move is definitely incorrect.
MostAppealing - As tiggytape says, you were given incorrect advice. It is inconvenient for London boroughs if you want to apply to an LA that isn't in the Pan-London Admissions Scheme which covers the 33 London boroughs plus Surrey, but they cannot stop you applying anywhere in England you want. You can apply for a school in Cumbria if you want and the LA must deal with that. It is true that you probably would have ended up with a London school but they cannot prevent you applying for a school in Hampshire. If you missed out on a place in Hampshire because your LA failed to pass on your application that would be grounds for appeal.
The advice from Hampshire is pretty appalling too. The person you spoke to appears not to understand the process at all. What should have happened is that your LA should give Hampshire details of your application, Hampshire then tell your LA which schools (if any) you qualified for a place at and your LA then offered you the highest preference. If no places were available it would then be up to your LA to come up with a place, not Hampshire. There are no circumstances in which Hampshire would have made you an offer direct. They absolutely should not be discussing whether or not to make an offer with your LA.
If you got any of this advice in writing and your case had ended up with the LGO they would have had a field day with this!
It may be worth looking at some of the rural primaries around Winchester that did not make as many offers as their PAN last year. This would give you a place whilst you went on waiting list for Winchester schools.
Thank you all, your answers helped a lot.
So we are definately moving in August due to DH job relocation, so my plan was to only put school choices in Winchester. My daughter will be 4 in January but I would really like her to start reception in September.
Our first choice is actually a faith school, the only RC school there and we already submitted to them the extra documentation required for the application.
But for my understanding once out of catchment area I am not sure they will offer a place based on faith.
Last year statistics they had 60 planned admissions and 120 applications but then it was saying they made 120 offers. When I rung Hampshire admissions they said it's probably because they increased their PAN, but the lady didn't sound very convincing and when I visited the school the only had 2 entries and only 59 children.
So I am not sure what does that mean.
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