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Moving house with two children in different school years

(87 Posts)
Pinkjenny Tue 03-Jan-17 08:38:34

We are moving house in the Summer. Dc are currently in Years 2 and 5. I've just done a bit of nosing around the council website, and now I need a good lie down. So basically, I have to put their names on waiting lists, and then just hope a place comes up in two different school years in one school?

NancyJoan Tue 03-Jan-17 09:39:43

Well, it depends if the school you want is already full. Have you been to the area, listed schools etc. Might be good to have a couple of school on your list, if there are several options.

But, otherwise, yes. If the two year groups are full, what else can the school do?

AdventuresInHifi Tue 03-Jan-17 09:43:40

Ks2 doesn't have the class size restrictions as ks1, so might be worth focusing on your year 2, and then going to appeal if necessary for your year 5. I was in a similar position and council strongly suggested I put in a mid year application for ks2 anyway even though over the phone the school had told me they were full in that year group. I could appeal if necessary. 10 days later she had a place without an appeal. I've since found out Nobody had left in the year group either.

LIZS Tue 03-Jan-17 09:46:09

At least you wont have infant class sizes to contend with come September. You can make an in year application via the LA and they will offer you places once you meet the residency criteria, but may not be at same school. Then also go on waiting lists and if needs be appeal.

Figure17a Tue 03-Jan-17 09:49:14

It depends on where you're going to but if it's an area where schools are over subscribed then yes,I'm afraid.

The one saving grace us that schools can be forced to take "displaced" children I.e. Those without a school place at all, even if full and even if there are other children, in another school,on the waiting list.

That wouldn't happen if there are other localish schools with places though. Also, no guarantee that both children would get the same school.

chipsandgin Tue 03-Jan-17 09:54:17

We have friends who moved their two children to two schools then DC2 spent a year in one before moving to the same school.

We moved 300miles last year but had one in primary and one in secondary so had two different schools. I was so fixated on getting DS1 into the brilliant secondary I just assumed that DS2 would go to the primary at the end of the road (into Year 1). DS1 got his place, DS2 ended up at a very 'diverse' school a 15 minute drive away. However it has turned out to be an incredible school & he loves it so it turned out fine.

But yes, in answer to your question that is exactly what will happen, you will go on a list and be offered one or two schools before the date that you want them to start, but they will be whatever is available - so choose your 1st, 2nd & 3rd choices well. Plus they can't put you anywhere near the top of the list (or use your new address) until you can prove your new address with a either a tenancy agreement or proof you have exchanged contracts on a purchase. Once they have that - and presuming you are close to the school and fit the criteria better than anyone else on the waiting list at that moment - then they can offer any places that become available.

It is fair enough though. Class sizes are limited to 30 in the UK, those class sizes tend to be full in good schools. People before you will have tried and failed to get their kids into that school and will have to have accepted and deal with their second/third or whatever they were offered choices - so there is no reason why you should be able to rock up and pop your kids into whichever school you fancy I guess!

The admissions team where we are were really helpful though, worth a phone call to make sure you have a realistic view of the process. Also the school secretaries were helpful (one told me that there basically was no chance in hell I would get him in, she was right!). If you visit each of the potential schools they will tell you how full/oversubscribed/have tons of people on a waiting list they are so you can manage your expectations. Good luck!

Oblomov16 Tue 03-Jan-17 10:15:10

Schools would be one of the first things I looked at when thinking of moving house.

Figure17a Tue 03-Jan-17 10:38:51

How Oblomov? Genuine question, I've never been in this position but am on the receiving end of cars from many distraught parents.

They've done their research before theyove, they know all the school in the town are good, they've moved very close and within catchment to their first choice, but there are no places, anywhere in the town. Children allocated (not so good schools) on the two neighbouring towns.

In some parts of the country there are literally no places at good schools

Pinkjenny Tue 03-Jan-17 10:45:54

It's all a very difficult chain of events, makes sense when I think about it. But we don't even plan to move until after this school year. It all sounds a little insurmountable.

Pinkjenny Tue 03-Jan-17 10:48:27

Maybe it would be better to wait a year until they would be in different schools anyway sad

Oblomov16 Tue 03-Jan-17 10:49:05

Exactly 17. That exact scenario is the most common. Most schools, if good, have waiting lists. If you asked anyone, upon researching an area, upon finding a house you liked, if you asked anyone, anyone who was in the know, any estate agent, anyone who knew anything about the local schools : what the chances are of getting into any of the good schools - the chances are slim to none . If people move knowing that then that's fine but I'm surprised most people seem surprised by this.

Pinkjenny Tue 03-Jan-17 10:54:48

I don't really understand how this has taken a weird confrontational turn. I haven't moved, it's January, I'm talking about September and just wanted to understand whether this was the case.


Figure17a Tue 03-Jan-17 11:02:13

Don't most people move because they have to though? I don't know many who voluntarily change dcs schools.

I went to 5 different schools because of moves with dad's work. My parents found a house they liked close to the new job and I went to the local school. Never occurred to anyone that the catchment school wouldn't be able to accomodate me. The current situation is ridiculously stressful

Pinkjenny Tue 03-Jan-17 11:07:06

I feel a bit naive now, I never imagined it would be this hard!

LIZS Tue 03-Jan-17 11:10:38

If they'll be separated in a year anyway, potentially facing that sooner needn't prevent you moving next summer. Although whether changing again a year later would suit your dc1 only you can judge.

Oblomov16 Tue 03-Jan-17 11:12:42

Yes, sorry, it's just that in a few olden days you would have got a place. Now it's just mental.

eddiemairswife Tue 03-Jan-17 11:31:21

Don't rely on information from the school secretary or even the head teacher. Contact school admissions in the LA you are moving to.

Pinkjenny Tue 03-Jan-17 11:32:25

I spoke to one school secretary this morning who said the chances were 'virtually nil'. Admissions don't open again until tomorrow.

HelenaGWells Tue 03-Jan-17 11:33:56

I called the schools and asked if they had space then applied to the one I wanted via the council. Otherwise just apply for an in year transfer and list the schools in preference order.

TeenAndTween Tue 03-Jan-17 11:43:09

Pink I would strongly advise you move before end October so that you are in a fixed location for your then y6 to apply for secondary.

If your kids have to be at different primaries for a year, then so be it, it will only be for a year.

Infant class size rules don't apply so once moved you could appeal for a place and may be lucky.

Plus, say you move right outside a school then you would be top of the waiting list.

So in your situation I would try to, if practical, move to a location in catchment for good secondary && with a cluster of 'good enough' primaries.

bojorojo Tue 03-Jan-17 11:45:11

If your children are currently Y2 and Y5, you are looking for Y3 and Y6 for September - right? Therefore the same school would be an advantage. Where I live, there are junior schools (Y3-Y6) and Combined Schools (R-Y6). Can you look around and list all the possible options and then speak to the LA admissions team about how you apply for any school with vacancies. They will also have a good idea where there are likely to be vacancies so you will not waste so much time. The LA sould also hava a current list of school vacanices so you can see who may have a current Y2 and Y5 place which may be worth looking at for September.

I am sorry to say that you may not find exactly what you want. There may not be places in the same school. You may have to travel to two schools. You may have to travel to find any school at all. Do trawl through as many schools as possible if the LA can give you a list. Not every single school will be full. A move in Y6 is obviously less than ideal. I assume you cannot stay where you are for another year?

Pinkjenny Tue 03-Jan-17 11:45:56

So it's important then, to take a longer term view and get dd into a decent primary to get into a decent secondary?

bojorojo Tue 03-Jan-17 11:46:22

Absolutely move to a good catchment for secondary.

Pinkjenny Tue 03-Jan-17 11:46:35

We can stay where we are for another year but ideally not.

user1477282676 Tue 03-Jan-17 11:47:35

When you're resident in the new house or at least have paperwork to prove when you will be, they have to help you then. You may not get the schools you want though. What area is it OP?

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