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Relocating and Schools

(22 Posts)
SheFellDownTheRabbitHole Sat 23-Jun-18 16:37:43

We are planning to relocate about 200 miles down south with two small children. This will involve:

- DH and I getting new jobs down south
- Selling our house/buying a house close to new jobs
- Applying for a Reception and a Year 2 place at a primary school (my youngest has a place at primary school secured where we currently live)

My question is has anyone already done this and if so in what sequence did you do it? For us the first thing is DH needs to get a job as he earns the most, but after this I'm not sure who to plan the rest of us relocating?

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BubblesBuddy Sat 23-Jun-18 16:56:59

You cannot realistically apply for a school until you have a permanent address. Families I know who have moved a distance have got the job first and the main earner rented a property whilst the family house was sold and returned at weekends. To hurry things up you could rent a family house where you want to settle and rent out your own house. At least that gives you a base from which to apply for schools but without a new job (or two) that’s risky. Most people I know who moved had the job that forced the move.

henrietta1199 Sat 23-Jun-18 18:18:21

Are you considering private or state sector schools? You cannot get a place in a state school without an address nearby.
We relocated from abroad. We rented for about a year.
Where abouts in the South?

SheFellDownTheRabbitHole Sat 23-Jun-18 18:57:35

We want a state primary school. We're looking at living in Oxford. I was hoping to sell our house here and buy one there.

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Thundercracker Sat 23-Jun-18 19:05:09

I would definitely rent first rather than plunge into buying a house immediately unless you already know Oxford really well.

watchingwithinterest Sat 23-Jun-18 19:13:10

Research the area with the best schools (primary and secondary) ofsted and your own research

Make a short list of what is important to you. Town or country/ life style/ sports/ social life

Decide on an area within a radius and start job searching

Confirm job and rent a lovely house for one year

Rent out your own house

If you are happy and see your future panning out well, sell your old property

Extend by six months in your rented house to be sure you are content and have friends/ have formed a long lasting life.

Buy a house (and know what you are buying into with a period of time and seasons to be sure)

SheFellDownTheRabbitHole Sat 23-Jun-18 19:50:36

Thanks, I used to live in Oxford but that was 10 years ago - so I know the area but I think a lot's probably changed in that time. I'm just not sure how a big move will fall into place and I don't want our family split up for too long while we all get to one place.

I'm prepared for DH to go first and to wait until we have a house there before me and the kids move but I'm not sure how long it will take to get a school allocation once we've bought the new house.

If we rented would it have to be a long lease in order to apply for a school?

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dungandbother Sun 24-Jun-18 08:27:38

No. Six month tenancy agreement is fine.

BubblesBuddy Sun 24-Jun-18 12:11:53

There is a huge difference in house prices in Oxford. It’s all very well researching schools, but they have to have vacancies. You could spend £3m on a house in Oxford and the wonderful primary down the road would be full. I might start looking and see what schools do have vacancies and see if I liked them. Then rent in that area.

There are always places like Thame that might fit the bill. Or Abingdon. Travel to Oxford is a bummer though!

SheFellDownTheRabbitHole Sun 24-Jun-18 20:45:22

Does anyone know how soon after applying for an in-year Reception place you are told which schools have vacancies?

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loubielou31 Sun 24-Jun-18 20:49:08

Although I am fairly sure you have to make an application through the LEA system the school secretary would be able to tell you if they had any spaces if you phoned them directly.

SheFellDownTheRabbitHole Sun 24-Jun-18 20:54:35

Sorry, I mean how long after you apply to the LA are you told which places you have been offered by email and then you can decide which you want to take up.

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SheFellDownTheRabbitHole Sun 24-Jun-18 20:55:04

This would be for an in-year application (after the September start). Thanks.

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mrsoutnumbered Mon 25-Jun-18 14:26:45

My local authority will send you a letter 2-3 weeks after the in year application. Once you have the letter you can then contact the school offered to arrange a start date.

I recently moved and did in year applications. They needed 2 x proof of address (one of which a tenancy agreement) before they would process the applications.

Bekabeech Mon 25-Jun-18 14:52:54

Can you afford Oxford - it is one of the most expensive places in the Country.

You need to: one of you at least gets a job; then find a place to rent, the apply to schools - LA has to give you a place "somewhere", then appeal for the right school and keep DC on waiting lists.

You could: DH gets a job and gets an Oxford address, apply to schools with that address, move when you have places, and sell you house. If you can afford owning two houses for a bit, being separated.

I would also strongly consider term times in relation to your move - people leave Oxford a lot in the summer, and arrive in the Autumn - it might affect things.

BubblesBuddy Mon 25-Jun-18 17:43:25

Oxfordshire don’t seem to have a list with school vacancies for each year group. So you have to look at the information on the numbers allocated and the Admission number for each school. I did find one on Blackbird Leys with vacancies. There may be more. There is also a new primary in Bicester. Usually new schools are not full.

SheFellDownTheRabbitHole Mon 25-Jun-18 20:51:18

Do you know for in-year applications how many choices of primary school you can put down? When the LA sends you any offers do they include all your choices or just the one you ranked highest on your list?

Anyone who knows about Oxfordshire would be great.

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dungandbother Mon 25-Jun-18 21:32:02

I don't know Oxfordshire.
Some counties force you to apply through the LEA. Others let you apply to schools individually. All on a IYCAF form.

I do know that when the LEA put out a call to the school to request roll numbers, (how they find out who has places) some schools choose to ignore them. Certainly some academies think they are a law unto themselves. It's wrong but as a parent on the outside, you have absolutely no way to deal.

If you are allowed in Oxford, send an IYCAF via email to every single school. They should reply within 10 school days to say whether they have places. You have ten days to accept. At this time of year you'd be able to negotiate the summer holidays with a sensible school.

Bearing in mind they legally have to show their email address on their website. It's a ball ache of work but do-able.

This isn't as easy for Year R this Sept tho.

dungandbother Mon 25-Jun-18 21:37:10

What I have learnt from the inside (school office) is that the failing schools always have places, always respond to the LEA because they want their spaces filled.

Schools do want bums on seats.

If year 3 has 2 under, some heads choose to accept an applicant in year 4 to take them one over. They figure the hit in one class is worth the money against the loss of 2 in another.

You just can't tell.

If you're emailing around schools, you'd need to know how many on the waiting list. How many already in the year group - is it already over PAN?

SheFellDownTheRabbitHole Mon 25-Jun-18 21:44:09

Thanks. I've been told by the schools in Oxford that I Oxfordshire County Council handles their admissions so I need to apply direct to the LA.

Am I right in thinking that I will only get a response before the end of term if I email the school asking for how many places they have and who's on the waiting list? Because after this they will be closed for the summer holidays?

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dungandbother Mon 25-Jun-18 21:59:46

I can't vouch because it's not my LA.
Try emailing a couple of prominent schools directly tomorrow. See what response you get. Outstanding schools and those maybe not so popular.
Do a fair variety of schools and see if the response is blanket identical. If it is, then I guess the LEA really are the authoritarian source.

If not - then some leg work could well pay off.

dungandbother Mon 25-Jun-18 22:03:28

And they won't tell you any more than
There are four on the waiting list.
Number one is a sibling.
Number two is at distance x.

Ask what their over subscription criteria is.

Some schools worry about in year admissions. Vulnerable children move school to school and so a brief explanation you are moving 200 miles is a point to make.

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