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No place offered. What next?

(20 Posts)
thousandpapercranes Tue 17-Apr-18 20:08:05

Has anyone applied for primary school places from a different county? Clearly on distance we would be last on any continued interest list.

We weren’t able to move to Kent as planned last summer, so we made the application from Essex, in the hope that we would be offered a place and then move at the end of this school year as dd1 is currently in year 1 and all our preferred schools currently have no space for her, we didn’t want to move her to a failing school.

Out of our four choices we haven’t been offered a place for dd2 for September. I spoke to our current LA this morning who seemed a bit clueless. As far as I know were on the continued Interest list for all four schools and I’ve been advised to move before the next allocation deadline on the 23rd April which is just not possible. The second round deadline is on the 28th May, which we may just be able to pull off, but still very unlikely, due to work commitments and having dd1 still at school here.

What are my options now? I assumed the LA would have to give dd2 a place. We were hoping that we’d be able to get dd1 in at the top of a list as a sibling. Now looks like I’ll have them both without a place for September! Damn it! We should really have moved earlier.

OP’s posts: |
ButternutCrinkleFries Tue 17-Apr-18 20:11:03

I don’t understand, sorry. Are you currently living in the place where you are applying for schools? We recently moved to a new area and couldn’t complete application form until we had proof we had completed on the house sale. It meant ds missed a couple of weeks of school but he’s got a place now.

LIZS Tue 17-Apr-18 20:13:29

It is unlikely dd1 would count as a sibling until after dd2 has actually started. They have to offer dd1 a place once you are in a position to apply (sometimes shortly ahead of a move, sometimes only once in situ) then dd2 would get sibling link.

thousandpapercranes Tue 17-Apr-18 20:31:05

We applied from Essex, for Kent schools, distance is roughly 50 miles away. We will be renting first before buying. We do fully intend to move, it’s just that various things happened at the 11th hour that prevented us from doing so last summer. I’m completely confused, we were under the impression that we’d be allocated a place whilst still living in Essex. That’s has certainly been the information that the LA gave us back in December.

LIZS So we won’t be offered a place until after we’ve secured a rental in Kent?

That complicates things a little, as I’d want dd1 to finish Y1 at her current school given there are no spaces in Y1 in our preferred Kent schools. Gahhh!

OP’s posts: |
Barbie222 Tue 17-Apr-18 20:35:59

I think it comes down to exactly where you live at the time of application so yes normally you do need proof that you are in Kent. Once you are they will have to find a place, using their county in year applications.

LIZS Tue 17-Apr-18 20:36:12

For dd1 possibly not, but you need to check Kent's in year policy for when you are deemed resident. The exception is if a school has a vacancy and no waiting list they are obliged to offer it but you would need to be in a position to take it up within a reasonable period of time.

PatriciaHolm Tue 17-Apr-18 20:50:26

Kent have no obligation to you until you have a provable local address. If the schools you applied to can't offer a space, they don't have to come up with anything else at he moment.

Essex do as you still live there so they should come up with something for you, though I guess you don't want it!

All you can do at this point is make sure you are on waiting lists (if a space comes up and you are at the top of the list you will get it regardless of where you live). Then as soon as you have proof of address that Kent will accept (check what this would be ) then tell them, and Kent will need to find you something.

thousandpapercranes Tue 17-Apr-18 20:57:15

YY for dd1 we need to be resident before being offered a place.

If we rented a house in Kent now with the intention of moving in around June, would that be considered fraudulent? I already know the answer to that!

I’m sure it will all work out. At worst we’ll have to move them both once places become available, not ideal, but not the end of the world either.

OP’s posts: |
ButternutCrinkleFries Tue 17-Apr-18 21:50:10

It probably would be fraudulent (not entirely sure though!). More importantly once you apply you’d then need to take up the space. So if you’re applying for a child already at a school bit you don’t want her to start new school until September the wouldn’t hold a place for you. They might offer it, but then when your child didn’t turn up for school they’d withdraw it.

DoublyTroubly Wed 18-Apr-18 07:38:47

I’m pretty sure that if you rent a house now they aren’t going to come around and check if you’ve physically moved in yet! There is often an overlap between properties for various reasons (eg having to give notice on rent)

RockyRoadster Wed 18-Apr-18 07:51:26

Did you apply via Essex or Kent for a reception place for DD2 in Kent? I think you need to apply via the LA where you currently live and they liaise with any other LAs involved. Is that what you are saying happened, but you haven't been offered a place for DD2?

gallicgirl Wed 18-Apr-18 09:59:07

When are you moving?

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest moving as soon as you can rather than waiting for the end of the academic year. I think the time would be better spent settling into a new school during year 1 and then your daughter will be ready to work along with the rest of the class straight away when year 2 starts.

thousandpapercranes Wed 18-Apr-18 10:33:11

I was thinking along the lines of using the new address in Kent for the purpose of second round applications for dd2. Staying here in Essex M-F so that Dd1 can remain at her current school till the end of the academic year.

YY applied through Essex LA for Kent. We can’t move until early June at a push.

The issue is that schools with availability in Y1 aren’t that good. One is a failing academy and the other is ok but still not a great fit.

I would rather keep Dd1 at the current prep for as long as possible (committed on fees till autumn term anyway), in the hope that a space opens up before the next academic year. I’d rather place her at a prep than any of the schools with availability. But then that opens up a whole other set of other problems as I can’t afford two sets of fees just now.

OP’s posts: |
ButternutCrinkleFries Wed 18-Apr-18 11:18:43

Oh, I see. It’s probably fraudulent but I can’t imagine anyone would check if it’s for a child due to start in September. I’ve just moved from Kent with a dc in year 1. Pm if you’re moving to the Weald area, I can let you know about the schools.

thousandpapercranes Wed 18-Apr-18 20:21:11

I’ve had some brilliant news. There seemed to be some error in their system and we should have been offered a place. The LA confirmed today that dd2 has been offered our third choice school for September. It was really out top choice, I never thought we’d get in as it’s a small village school but it turn out it’s been a small birth year and they have spaces to fill! And a child has just left Y1, so a place is available for dd1 too. Now just to get organised, find somewhere to live, and move all within the next 2/3 weeks.

OP’s posts: |
Barbie222 Wed 18-Apr-18 21:37:24

Hooray! Good luck with the move smile

dungandbother Wed 18-Apr-18 22:53:41

Glad news.
I am posting just to correct a PP that you need to live locally to get a place. That is incorrect in Kent. Any school which has a space and no waiting list must offer you that place regardless of your address. Up to you if you want to drive hundreds of miles.

I had this with a school in Kent refusing me a place - I had the rental in the bag but hadn't moved and I was a different county. They had a space (several). They refused me admission.

I spoke to the council who wholeheartedly agreed with me and said they would back me. The school (an academy) absolutely gave in. They obviously felt they were above the law.

On a different note, if you'd taken a rental for DD2 for this year, it would have failed. Kent policy is that you provide proof of address for you AND THE CHILD. so your tenancy agreement sticks but you'd need to get proof of address for the child as well. Not infallible but not so easy.

PatriciaHolm Thu 19-Apr-18 13:16:45

Any school which has a space and no waiting list must offer you that place regardless of your address. Up to you if you want to drive hundreds of miles.

That's the case everywhere in England. If a school has a space, it must be offered, regardless of address, but you would be expected to take it up quite quickly - a space wouldn't be held for much more than a couple of weeks.

The issue OP had is that originally none of the schools she wanted had a space, and if she doesn't live in that LA, then it has no obligation to find something somewhere else. If she did live in that LA, it would. That's the difference.

Seems to have sorted itself out now anyway!

KingLooieCatz Fri 20-Apr-18 10:18:46

We used to live in Kent, and I remember being asked for proof that DS lived at the address to get into reception. How does anyone do that? 4 years old don't get utility bills or bank statements. Most children with no complex underlying health conditions don't get appointments by letter. What the Hell do the council expect you to produce? It gave me the rage. They'd have been welcome to come round and inspect the property.

Glad it's all been sorted in your case - they might have rumbled you when they asked where her last school was and it was 50 miles from where you said you lived though.

Anyways we moved to Scotland and DS was accepted into a fab school with no evidence whatsoever of anything and there we happily continue to this day.

MarchingFrogs Fri 20-Apr-18 10:52:04

What the Hell do the council expect you to produce? It gave me the rage. They'd have been welcome to come round and inspect the property.

What you can produce for a 4 year old is proof of the address that the child is registered at for Child Benefit - if you claim CB, you will have something to demonstrate that anyway, but if you don't claim, you can apply for a statement regarding the child benefit you would be entitled to for that child, at your address, if you were claiming it.

The child benefit letter is the one most often used, I think (certainly a lot of schools use as part of the definition of a child's address being the address where child benefit is paid, or would be paid, if it was being claimed).

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