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(27 Posts)
MamaDuckling Sat 11-Nov-17 09:25:11

Hello,

We are currently abroad but planning to move home in time for DS to start reception in 2018.

Do I need to be on both the electoral roll and council tax statements to apply? We own a place next to the school but its tenanted at the moment. I know application deadline is January, just trying to get my ducks in a row....

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 11-Nov-17 10:40:18

When you say getting your ducks in a row, do you mean you want to know if you have to move back into your property before January, or do you want us to help you commit school place fraud?

prh47bridge Sat 11-Nov-17 10:43:09

It is entirely up to the local authority. Different LAs have different requirements. Many check against council tax records but some don't. Some check against the electoral roll, others don't.

You need to talk to your LA about the whole situation. From your post, it looks like you may be thinking of moving into this house after you apply. If you are not actually going to be living in this house before the deadline for applications the LA may not accept an application from that address. What matters for the vast majority of LAs is where your are living at the time of application, not where you plan to live by the start of term. If the LA do say they will accept an application from this address before you move make sure you get it in writing. That way you will have evidence of what they said, which you will need if they actually do something else.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 11-Nov-17 10:43:13

To answer your question, you need to be resident in the property on the deadline day. How much notice do you need to give your tenants, because you don't have much time.

MamaDuckling Sat 11-Nov-17 10:57:07

Calm down Rafals, I'm looking into the whole thing not trying to commit 'school place fraud' for goodness sake. It's our home, we've been away for two years and want to move home for our son to start school. I don't think that makes me a criminal quite yet does it??

passthecremeeggs Sat 11-Nov-17 12:58:00

You need to be living in your house by the application deadline. Many LAs will check against electoral roll etc. It's not enough just to own it.

meditrina Sat 11-Nov-17 13:05:21

Unless you are Forces or some other qualifying civil servant returning from a governmental posting, you cannot apply from overseas (even if you own a property you intend to return to).

Some councils might accept applications outside the rules, but you really cannot count on that. You need to enquire and get the answer in writing if you are going to rely on it.

Otherwise, yes using an address at which the DC does not reside is fraud and can nullify your application - even after your DC has started at the school.

BrieAndChilli Sat 11-Nov-17 13:19:28

You would need your tenants to have moved out of the property especially if they also have kids at school/applying as 2 seperate families applying from the same address will raise a lot of flags.
You would then need to be on the electoral roll and council tax etc for that property. Technically you could be on a long term holiday for a few months between applying and September as you wouldn’t be living anywhere else in the uk but the address would need to be your address only and would need to be your only address.

MamaDuckling Sat 11-Nov-17 13:26:20

Thanks all for the answers. Our tenants only need a months notice and they don't have kids so I think we can get the council tax and electoral roll sorted.

tinypop4 Sat 11-Nov-17 13:30:23

We were in this situation - we bought back our move home date a couple of months to Nov instead of February as our LA required your council tax number in the application.

Frazzled2207 Sat 11-Nov-17 13:41:21

Yeah ours needed a council tax number too. Round here I think you’d get away with it if you had a council tax number.

cantkeepawayforever Sat 11-Nov-17 18:03:58

Mama,

Your child MUST be 'ordinarily resident' at the address stated on your application form (so your UK address) at the application deadline for that address to be used for place allocation.

A local authority I searched provided information for overseas applicants thus:
"You can apply from overseas but you must submit your application using the address where the child is living at the time of application [ie your overseas address if that is where you are living at that point]. The “time of application” is the entire time period from the point when applications can be made in November 2017 until the closing date on 15th January 2018. If you are applying from your UK address in this county you will need to provide proof that you have
permanently moved to the UK address before the closing date. Please note that if you own a property in the UK and are currently overseas the UK address cannot be used for allocation purposes
unless you have permanently moved back into this address before the closing date."

A child's home address is also carefully defined - so it states it has to be where they habitually reside with their parent or legal guardian, and if this is split between 2 parents, then it is wherever they spend 3 school nights - Sunday through Thursday.

Council tax etc isn't the point - it is where your child LIVES that matters, and that they will check.

cantkeepawayforever Sat 11-Nov-17 18:07:10

We live in an area where attempts to obtain school places outwith the letter and spirit of the rules has been an issue, so checks of registration at doctors, local pre-schools, all bills, and house visits are not unknown - and remember that those who may be deprived of a school place by such people are a VERY common source of information that leads to those school places being taken away.

If you intend NOT to commit fraud and obtain the place legitimately, then your child needs to be present, living in the house permanently, by mid-January.

cantkeepawayforever Sat 11-Nov-17 18:09:28

It's our home, we've been away for two years and want to move home for our son to start school. I don't think that makes me a criminal quite yet does it??

It is absolutely fine AS LONG AS you return by the application deadline. Otherwise, unless the school is so undersubscribed that you are allocated a place from abroad because nobody else was allocated it, then yes, by applying knowing full well you don't meet the rules IS fraud.

cantkeepawayforever Sat 11-Nov-17 18:20:58

Whoops! 'you are committing fraud.'

MamaDuckling Sat 11-Nov-17 19:39:50

It's so frustrating, really don't want to be separated from DH for 6 months on the off chance that we might get into this school! Hotly contested school, our distance is 0.14km. 30 places.... what are our chances??

cantkeepawayforever Sat 11-Nov-17 20:26:01

What is the last admitted distance for the last few years in your category (presumably 'others, by distance')?

DCs went to a 2 form entry primary. For DS, we got in from 40 miles away, mid year - his class was never full, all the way up to Year 6. DD got in from about half a mile away, having moved, as a late applicant sibling into reception. Two years later, we had moved to within just over 100 metres of the school ... and we wouldn't have got in as first time applicants, as there were a HUGE number of siblings and the school had had an outstanding Ofsted.

Whether it is worth moving back is up to you to judge - what is the 'school of last resort that you would get by moving back as a late applicant' like? What is the churn of children in your desired school over the last few years (because you can put yourself on the waiting list and will be high up on it because you won't be that far away)? If a few children always leave during the reception year, and your child is summer born, it may be worth applying as a late applicant, getting on the waiting list, then sending your child to nursery or pre-school and hoping that a place comes up during the year.

However, obviously, your best chance of a place would be to move back beforeJanuary.

TheHobbitMum Sat 11-Nov-17 21:11:33

I just wanted to add that my kids primary is over subscribed and much sought after. Every year places have been withdrawn when application fraud had taken place in the same scenario you are talking about OP. Although not from abroad but another address ( I live in a small town where a lot of second homes are). If the school is sought after I'd move back to make sure you are in your home by deadline.
Don't forget that your tenants may not move out after your month's notice, they may be wanting council help so they'll be told to stay put until court action has evicted them. Good luck with the application

MamaDuckling Sun 12-Nov-17 08:26:59

It's a large borough and I'm nervous they'd allocate us something miles away. I need to work (probably a train community), so really need to be within walking distance of the school.

Are there rules around how far from home they can allocate you?

MamaDuckling Sun 12-Nov-17 08:27:35

There is a new school but it's a free school on a temporary site. I can't say I'm overly keen on that option.

MamaDuckling Sun 12-Nov-17 08:32:39

* train commute

cantkeepawayforever Sun 12-Nov-17 10:49:38

Mama, I seem to remember that anything up to an hour's travel time from your home has been established by appeals cases to be 'reasonable' - if that is also over 3 (I think - it varies by age) miles and is the nearest school with places, transport for your child (but not you) will be provided free. If, however, you were allocated a school less than the cut-off distance away from you but chose to reject it in favour of a further away, better one, then no free transport is provided.

meditrina Sun 12-Nov-17 11:10:15

You need to find out if your LEA will accept an application for a child resident overseas at all (they do not have too, unless Forces etc).

If they won't, then you will only be able to apply once you actually move, and this will almost certainly be treated as a late application and, in practice, this might have no discernible difference from the outcome as an application from a distance of hundreds/thousands of miles away; unless there are schools which allocate by lottery or ones with faith criteria you meet who do not routinely fill their faith places (so you would score one even at huge distance, before the first non-faith applicant).

If a late applicant, or if you do not qualify as an on-time applicant for any of the schools you list as preferences, you can expect to be offered the school nearest to the address you use for applications which has a vacancy (this is why I said it amounts to much the same thing). The UK address is obviously rather more useful for this!

What is considered a 'reasonable' distance varies depending on local geography and transport links, but it shouldn't be more than about 45mins. If it's over 2 miles for an under-8, free transport must be provided for the pupil.

If there are no places whatsoever within a reasonable distance, then there is provision for the LEA to force a school to go over numbers (via the Fair Access Protocol), but I seriously doubt they would do this before the child resides in the borough. Also, you don't get to choose which school in these circumstances, it'll be the LEA deciding which school is best able to cope with an extra pupil.

eddiemairswife Sun 12-Nov-17 16:55:02

Recommended maximum travel times are 45 mins for primary, 75 mins for secondary.

MamaDuckling Sun 12-Nov-17 17:34:00

Blimey, well thanks everyone. We've decided to move home and go for it, you've got to be in it to win it right?? I don't want to risk coming back mid year and being offered a place 45mins away.

Thanks for all you help

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