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Moving house with y1 child - a question about catchment areas

(19 Posts)
WalkingDownTheRoad Sat 14-Jan-17 19:58:08

I'm thinking of moving area this year with DC who are already in primary school - would aim to move in summer so they would be y1 and y5 in sept.

This is probably a stupid question but how does it work with catchments? I realise that there is no guarantee of places in schools being available, even if we move into the catchment, but are the priorities for waiting lists the same as for entry into reception? Are you better off the closer you are to the desired school?

ohdarling Sat 14-Jan-17 20:01:07

Yes, the priorities are the same. However, you would do well to look ahead at the secondary schools. They may or may not work on catchment. Some work on 'linked/feeder schools' so you don't get in unless you've been attending a linked/feeder school even if you do live on their doorstep. Where that is the case, you need to make sure you're in catchment for the right primary school, and that the right primary school actually has places.

Wolfiefan Sat 14-Jan-17 20:03:02

Look at the relevant website for your area. Many places in the UK don't have a defined catchment.

WalkingDownTheRoad Sat 14-Jan-17 20:38:13

Thanks, the area we are looking at has defined catchments, though living in catchment doesn't guarantee entry as there's more kids than places. I'll phone the admissions people from the local council for advice and look at secondary admissions criteria too - thanks for the tip. smile

smellyboot Sun 15-Jan-17 08:24:15

The priority for wait list is normally the same as reception for each LA or school where that applies e.g. Faith schools. This is only of those queries where a call to the LA admissions team will be needed. Very good point re high school.

HelenaGWells Sun 15-Jan-17 08:30:34

The secondary catchment is important as well as your eldest will be applying not long after moving. It's worth calling some schools to see what space is like. My kids primary is a brilliant school and I got my kids into year 1 and 3 with no issues but I think if I was to move now I'd struggle. It's very random as it depends on people moving away as you move in.

mummytime Sun 15-Jan-17 08:34:44

Are you moving to Scotland? Or within England? Or in Wales?
I believe the answers for all three will b different.

If England, you will get a place if there is one at the school. You also have more chance of getting your year 5 child in a school on appeal. You can also keep them at their present school if you can get them there.

If you can I would ideally move about summer 1/2 term, and then HE if necessary until a place becomes available, but be able to "take up" a place as soon as it becomes available. It also gives you time for appeals etc. Before the LA stops for summer.

prh47bridge Sun 15-Jan-17 08:47:18

The priority for wait list is normally the same as reception for each LA or school where that applies

No, it is not normally the same. It is always the same. No need to ask the LA. The Admissions Code makes this mandatory. An admission authority (the school or the LA depending on the type of school) must use the same priorities for the waiting list as they use for normal admissions.

WalkingDownTheRoad Sun 15-Jan-17 09:57:25

The move is in England and is too far to keep them in current school. Is it worth calling the LA to enquire about waiting lists currently in our preferred schools? I don't want to waste their/my time. Argh, this is going to be so stressful.

smellyboot Sun 15-Jan-17 10:03:38

Sorry PRH - you know mouth more than me - wasnt sue if there were any exceptions to it, so didn't want to say 'always'

WalkingDownTheRoad Sun 15-Jan-17 10:16:19

Just checked - the local 'Good' secondary catchment is huge and everywhere we're looking would be well within it so it's primary that's the issue.

So if we get a house that's extremely close to the preferred school, and there's people already on the waiting list who are further away we would jump in front of them - is that right (assuming both are only on distance priority to simplify things for my poor brain)?

Thingvellir Sun 15-Jan-17 10:32:32

We moved over Xmas and just been through this (my DC are Y1 and Y4). It was difficult because out of all the schools in a 4 mile radius were full in Y1 and only one school (fortunately one I liked) had a place in Y4.

Round here (SE) every school has a defined entry criteria for in year admissions so you need to read that on each school website. The LA has a list of schools that you can search by postcode, the LA site showed which years they have spaces (updated twice a month). Independent schools can sit outside the LA process so don't forget about them - our closest school is an independent.

The premise of our council is to place at the nearest school with places, working first from your list of 4 preferences, then from all schools. (So if you put a preferred school on your list that is further than another school that has a place, you'll get the preference one). I guess councils might be different, but they will all state clearly in their in year admissions site how they operate.

In the end we got DD (Y4) in to the school that already had a place. DS (Y1) got placed in our closest independent school - sheer luck the week before we moved that a child moved away and created a space. He was on a waitlist at the school already and by distance got to the top of the list as waitlist a work on distance, not tine the waitlist - so proximity to the school is importance just like reception entry).

We are very lucky it all came together. If DS had not been placed, I believe the council would have given DDs school instruction to go over the pan and accept DS as child 31 in their Y1 class.

I completely agree with pp to check secondary - we actually started with this and are very close to our chosen secondary, and DD is attending the feeder school for it. We chose location based on secondary and then worked through the primary options.

Now the only issue we have are separate drop offs which I am just about managing, and also a minor issue is a fair amount of side eyes in the playground of DS1s school - it's a very desirable school and locals in the village seem a bit hmm that we've turned up from London and scooped up a place when there are many 'local' children who've been waitlisted for 2 years not getting in - the lists really do work on distance ...

Good luck!

Thingvellir Sun 15-Jan-17 10:33:33

I X-posted with you OP but think I answered your question wink

prh47bridge Sun 15-Jan-17 13:32:47

Is it worth calling the LA to enquire about waiting lists currently in our preferred schools

You won't be wasting their time whatever you do but yes, it is worth asking. They will be able to tell you which schools locally have places.

So if we get a house that's extremely close to the preferred school, and there's people already on the waiting list who are further away we would jump in front of them - is that right (assuming both are only on distance priority to simplify things for my poor brain)?

That is spot on.

smellyboot

Being cautious if you are unsure is sensible. No problem with your post. The ones that annoy me are those who confidently assert things that are wrong. smile

WalkingDownTheRoad Sun 15-Jan-17 15:30:22

Thanks all, I'm so much clearer about the process now smile

Last Q if anyone knows - at what point in the house buying process can you go on the waiting list? Offer accepted, contracts exchanged or completion?

PatriciaHolm Sun 15-Jan-17 16:03:40

That will depend on the la - you need to ask them what evidence they require.

mummytime Sun 15-Jan-17 17:44:53

You can go on the waiting list any time (including now), but you will be expected to take up the place within a reasonable time.
Ideally apply when you know you are moving, and it's close enough to moving date for you to be able to get your children to the new school promptly (a couple of weeks or so).
Then as soon as you have the LA's required proof of new address get your address changed, and you should move up waiting lists.

WalkingDownTheRoad Sun 15-Jan-17 17:51:29

Thank you grin

Thingvellir Sun 15-Jan-17 22:34:25

In our case you could go on the waitlist at exchange of contracts which was enough to get the place that had a vacancy, but until we were actually living in the new house they would not do anything about the child for whom there were no vacancies.

You have to be able to take up an offered place within 10 days here. We had to provide proof of exchange of contracts (solicitors letter) and then a utility bill once we'd moved in

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