Moving around application time - what to do?(5 Posts)
Hello. Am hoping the wisdom of Mumsnet will save me sleepless nights on this.
We're in a chain at the moment - moving across the country - and DS1 will start school September 2017. Solicitors and estate agents are confident that we'll get to exchange by 15 January (all mortgages in place and surveys have come back fine). The LA website is clear that they'd accept a solicitor's letter confirming exchange of contracts as proof of address - so once we've exchanged we are fine, but we're not there yet and obviously there's always the risk of Something Going Wrong.
So. Would it be okay if I were to put in an application now for the address we're moving to even though right now we don't live there?
My reasoning is that the paperwork might not all come together until right at the end and it could all get hectic.
I don't want to be or seem deceitful and would tell the LA the background.
I'm pretty sure that you need to apply using the current address until you have exchanged. Where we are (Surrey), there's a period of about a month after the official deadline for changes/late applications for genuine circumstances which I'd think yours woud be? In terms of the house buying, has everyone raised (and had answered) all enquiries and are the contracts agreed? If so and it's really only a question of circulating contracts and people sending the deposits to their lawyers, that is probably enough time. Good luck - sounds very stressful but hopefully it will all come together.
Enquiries raised and mostly answered - should be answered soon. One contract raised, the other not yet. Aaargh.
I am afraid this is where the LAs and the guidance for admissions start to go in slightly different directions. The official national guidance is that the address to use is the address which the pupil is living at on the 15th January, assuming you leave the application to the last minute. If you apply before you exchange contracts then officially you have to apply through the LA that you currently live in, using the current address. However many LAs, because they have been burned by more unscrupulous parents over false addresses being used, have adopted a policy of saying we need to see documentation like a solicitor's letter to confirm you are living at the address. Well when you exchange contracts you are actually living somewhere else not at the address you are confirming will be your address sometime in the near future. These issues just make it much more opaque than transparent.
You clearly need to follow the advice of the LA where you are moving too and furnish the letter confirming contracts have been exchanged as being the address to use for admission purposes. Ideally you need to have that in your possession before you fill the form in, so that you are totally OK, in terms of what the LA say you should do and before the 15th Jan. The LA will, as GU24 says, have some kind of policy to allow a few weeks for those parents who are moving house immediately after Jan 15th but that assumes that you have already completed and submitted a form before 15th January. So you would need to use your current address in the LA you currently live in but put the schools you prefer assuming you are going to move. The current LA will then send the form through to the new LA. If you use the current address and send it to the new LA then they will reject the application as not being on their form and secondly the application having to go through the current LA. There is also the potential for something to go wrong and the application form to be mislaid. You can then contact the LA in the short time frame allowed after 15th Jan and confirm you have exchanged and the new address is this one.
That kind of leaves you with one other alternative if you are struggling to complete before the 15th and that is to submit an application to the new LA using the expected address. I fully accept that this is a madness of the admission system but it is illegal until you move in to the new house but might be the least hassle, especially if you do it without having any conversations with the LA you are moving to. If you have already had conversations with the LA, then they will have been noted and your address will have been red-flagged as something to be checked out in their checking phase before places are allocated. If completion is after the 15th and you applied before the 15th, you will probably be deemed to have submitted an incorrect application and be treated as a late application and bottom of the queue when it comes to places being allocated.
Sorry not really giving you an answer but you do need to think carefully about the way forward and the absolute most sensible way forward is hound your solicitor etc to complete ASAP.
Thank you both so much. Hugely helpful. It is madness. Hounding it is!
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