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Messed up primary application - what are her options?

(13 Posts)
LG93 Sun 12-Nov-17 21:00:04

Posting on behalf of my friend (child in question is my godchild so trying to help her rectify the situation)

Said child is 4 (summer baby) and was due to start reception in September 2017. Friend was very daft and only put one option on her form as that was nearest, and where she wanted her child. Needless to say she didn't get In as school oversubscribed, and as there were no other schools listed she was allocated to a primary over 45 minutes away, I'm assuming as this was the closest school with spaces once everyone with preferences was catered for.

She's on the waiting list for her 1st choice but it's a small school (rural) and I'm not convinced there'd be a high turnover so she needs to think about her options assuming she has any.

I've convinced her to find other schools more local to her that she'd be happy with (even if not 1st choice) as if she's got to take DC to a school the isn't the one she wants it's better to have one that's not so far away.

What are her options now? DC hasn't taken up her place at allocated school so assume it's been deferred for now. When does she HAVE to start school by, is it the term before/after 5th birthday? (She'll turn 5 in 2nd half of summer term) can she apply for an in year transfer even if she hasn't actually started at her allocated school? Can she apply for her to start in September 2018, and would this be straight into year 1 or would she start in reception making her the oldest (albeit only a couple of months older than the September children) and would this put her at a disadvantage compared to other children?

Would be grateful for any guidance. No nasty comments about how she should have put more down in her first application. I know this (and would have told her if I'd realised she wasn't going to) but it's done now and I just want to try and help her fix it!

neddle Sun 12-Nov-17 21:06:55

Summer born, so doesn't legally have to start school til september 18.
She needs to check the local authorities procedure for starting school at csa (compulsory school age) and then look at three realistic choices for reception. She'll probably have to get agreement from the head teachers, but most are quite receptive now.

Check out the Facebook group for Summerborn children - it's really helpful.

GU24Mum Sun 12-Nov-17 22:28:13

It sounds like she needs to get onto the waiting list for what would have been her 2nd/3rd etc choices if she'd thought about it and speak to the local authority about the procedure.

DonkeyOaty Sun 12-Nov-17 22:32:41

Your friend hasn't taken up the place at the allocated school - did she reject it or just not turn up on the first day of Sept term?

BowlingShoes Sun 12-Nov-17 22:35:44

She should get on the waiting list for every school within a reasonable distance. It's likely something will turn up. As a summer-born, she doesn't legally have to start school until September 2018, but most LA's would still start her within her own cohort (which will be Year 1) so probably no different to joining waiting lists now. There are some LA's that allow places to be deferred for a year and a reception start, but I'm assuming you can only do this for an existing place, which she doesn't have at her preferred school.

Paddington68 Mon 13-Nov-17 06:47:14

Please, please, please speak to the local authority.

meditrina Mon 13-Nov-17 06:53:01

You can defer until later in the school year (up to the start of the summer term) but you have to start during that year, or you lose the place - they are not held over from one school year to another.

She needs to find out local policy about admitting a 5yo to reception. It's something on which there can be no blanket policy always to deny, but it does not have to be granted.

If it is granted, she needs to get this is writing, and then reapply for a reception place in the current round, with a more realistic set of preferences.

If not, then she needs to get on the waiting list of every school she would find acceptable and hope a place comes up that she prefers to the currently allocated one.

StinkPickle Mon 13-Nov-17 06:54:38

I think the law has now changed that as a summer born she’s allowed to start reception in 2018

Check out the fb page mentioned above for help

LIZS Mon 13-Nov-17 07:05:34

She needs to be on the waiting list of any school she would be ok with. Her dc doesn't legally need to be in school/education until the term after her 5th birthday, ie Sept 2018, but she cannot resubmit a Reception application for then unless she successfully argues that her dd should start later as summer born, unlikely since she would be happy enough for her to start now should a place come up at the chosen school. So she she would face the same issue looking for year 1 place. Alternatively she could home educate or look for a private school place (EY funding would last until next July).

CamperVamp Mon 13-Nov-17 07:45:38

She needs to get on those waiting lists ASAP! While ever she is not on the lists, those places will be being allocated to others!

One thing to ascertain: presumably you can’t argue for deferred entry AND an in-year place in her cohort at the same time? So it may depend on which gives her the better chance.

meditrina Mon 13-Nov-17 07:48:13

The law has not changed. It has always been legal to place a child outside their age cohort.

The recent-ish change was the directive tomadmissions authorities that they cannot have a blanket policy of refusing all requests, and instead they must consider each one individually.

It does not mean that parents have any new rights to an out-of-age-group place.

So if she is interested in that, she really needs to find out ASAP if it will be allowed for her individual DC, and make applications (for next year, or for this year via waiting lists) depending on outcome.

When doing this, it'll also be worth giving a thought at least to secondary school transfer, for a decision on being out-of-age-group at primary will not automatically roll over to secondary, so the possibility of needing to miss year 6 needs to be acknowledged.

tiggytape Mon 13-Nov-17 10:56:52

I think the law has now changed that as a summer born she’s allowed to start reception in 2018
The law hasn't changed.
Summer borns could always start reception a year later but they needed (and still need) agreement of the admissions authroity to do this. It isn't an automatic thing parents can insist on (but nor is it an outlandish request that admission authorities can dismiss despite the details of any request).

Some LAs are more receptive to this than others. Some allow it almost routinely. Some still want medical proof that it is in the child's best interests and that the decision is motivated by addressing specific additional needs.

However, in an age where more and more schools convert to academics, it can store up problems for later unless you have a guaranteed route to secondary school transfers with admissions authorities who won't insist a child skips Year 6 to go back into the "correct" year group. In some areas it is much easier to do this than others (academies are their own admissions authorities and don't have to stick by policies the LA made years before)

Assuming she either cannot or does not want to have her child start reception in 2018, she needs to ask to be added to the waiting list of every single school that she would be vaguely happy to accept a place at (i.e. less than 45 minutes away like the one offered). Hopefully she will get an offer that way. But she really does need to cast the net wide.
In addition, she can ask the LA for the details of any school in the area with a space. It might be some have opened up.

Realistically, she has to accept that if she wants a school place, she needs to accept that her 1st choice school is either not going to happen or not going to happen quickly enough. So she needs to be very proactive in asking for a place at every school within the area, accepting any offer she gets and remaining on the list for her 1st choice school in the hope that one day, a place may come up and she can then move her DD.

user071017 Sun 19-Nov-17 06:21:33

Private prep if finances allow?

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