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School admissions + moving house = STRESS! Help!

(6 Posts)
Teapig Wed 04-Jan-17 21:15:00

I'd be really grateful for any advice on applying for schools when in the middle of moving house and catchment area.

DD will start school in Sept this year so I need to get my application in by Jan 15th. BUT we are moving house, about 4 miles from where we live now , and we want DD to go to school in our new area.

I understand we can apply for schools in the new area and we have until 2nd March to evidence our new address, which I think is doable but we are in a long chain so it is entirely possible we will complete after 2nd March.

What happens if I put schools down for our new area but we complete after 2nd March? Will we then be assigned a school in our current area and have to go through in-year admissions to find a place in our new area? Would that be the case even if we complete a couple of weeks after 3rd March? I don't know if they can use any discretion.

Thanks for reading if you got this far. Any advice or insights would be fantastic. As if house moving wasn't stessful enough, adding the school deadline into the mix is really stressing me out!

prh47bridge Thu 05-Jan-17 00:06:11

I assume the 2nd March date came from your current LA?

If you miss the date for completion the LA may use your existing address. They won't automatically rule you out from your preferred schools but the distance may mean you won't get in. If you don't get any of your preferred schools you will be offered the nearest school with places available based on your current address. You will then be able to appeal for schools near your new home but your chances will be slim if the schools run classes of 30 pupils in infants. Once they are happy with your new address you can ask the LA to see if there are places available any nearer than the school you have been offered but there is no guarantee.

They are already being quite generous in giving you until 2nd March to evidence your new address. Most LAs don't give anything like that much leeway for changes of address. You can ask them if they will accept a later date but I suspect the answer will be no. If they do say yes make sure you get it in writing.

According to your post 2nd March is the date for evidencing your new address. That does not necessarily mean you have to be living there. Many LAs will accept a solicitor's letter confirming exchange of contracts. If that is the case for your LA that might give you a little bit more breathing space.

Alex83 Sat 07-Jan-17 12:15:33

We're in exactly the same situation, only moving 1 mile down the road but very oversubscribed schools in our area with small catchments. It's so stressful OP isn't it!!! sad

I've been speaking to our local admissions office and they have said we just have to provide proof of EXCHANGE on the new property by the cut off date (5th Feb for us) and it doesn't matter when we compete and move in after that, as prh47bridge said. If we can't provide proof of exchange before that date then they'll allocate a place based on our current address but use our new address for DD's place on any waiting lists.

That's just our local area though so you'd obviously need to check yours. Good luck!

Janine2015 Mon 09-Jan-17 03:34:05

I have recently moved to Epsom. Ewell. And my daughter got accepted in primary Epsom school Y1 but it take me more than 45 min walk and I have another baby while ewell grove and Wallace field is just around the area maybe 10 min walk. I had to refuse their offer as its long walk distance and till now my daughter is at home. Is the council will leave the matter?? How long shall I wait till they have a solution. Am so worried 😓

prh47bridge Mon 09-Jan-17 08:16:09

The council has fulfilled its responsibility by offering you a place at Epsom Primary. They don't have to come up with another offer. As you have rejected Epsom it is now up to you to find a place for your daughter. You need to contact the council and find out which schools have places. If you don't find any of them acceptable your only alternative is to home educate.

You can appeal for your local schools but both the schools you name have a PAN of 60. That means any appeal will be heard under infant class size rules which would make it very difficult to win. If the walk to Epsom Primary is genuinely more than 45 minutes each way you could argue that your daughter should be treated as an excepted child on the grounds that there are no places available within a reasonable distance from home. However, according to Google, Epsom Primary is a 22 minute walk from Ewell Grove and 27 minutes from Wallace Fields, so I doubt an appeal panel would accept that argument.

I know this isn't what you want to hear but, if the place at Epsom Primary is still available, your best move would be to accept it. If you don't you may end up with a school even further from home. You can, of course, go on the waiting lists for the local schools and hope that a place comes up at one of them eventually but you can't keep your daughter out of school while you are waiting for that to happen.

PatriciaHolm Mon 09-Jan-17 10:48:39

As PRH says, the council have done what they need to do. They offered you a place, you turned it down, they don't have to keep offering places until you get one you like better I'm afraid. Have you requested to put her on the waiting lists for nearer schools?

Unless you are in the position to home educate your child, I would echo the advice above and ask if the place is still available. If you live 10 mins from both Ewell Grove Infants and Wallace Fields Infants, (which are over a mile apart) then I can't see how Epsom Primary is more than about 35 minutes walk away at most, less than 2 miles, so that will be within the advised distance for a child of your daughter's age. I know it's a journey you would rather not do, but you can only be offered a space where one exists.

Has she got a scooter? With you pushing a pram and her on a scooter, the journey should be manageable.

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