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urgently needed place in oversubscribed school

(50 Posts)
phosphoresence Sun 09-Sep-18 15:03:45

I just wonder if anyone knows the answer to our dilemma?

My niece urgently needs to move due to domestic violence. My parents have agreed to buy a small home for her to live in, she'll rent from them (yes we know she wont' be able to claim any housing benefit, as renting from a relative).

We identified a house in a nice village where she has local connections. The only problem is the local primary is oversubscribed. Her four year old has just started in reception in the area she is now. Can the primary in the new area be forced to give the little girl a place? Poor child has faced enough disruption. Social services, police, etc. have been involved. Niece doesn't drive either, so the school needs to be in walking distance.

Does anyone know what happens in this scenario?

OP’s posts: |
SoyDora Sun 09-Sep-18 15:06:19

As far as I’m aware, if they are full in reception then they are full. There are class size rules, so they can’t juay squeeze her in. The best thing to do is talk to the school.

Iamagreyhoundhearmeroar Sun 09-Sep-18 15:07:47

No, they can’t be “forced” to give her a place.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Sun 09-Sep-18 15:10:50

No they can’t be forced but the LA do need to find her a space somewhere. If it’s further than 2 miles from the home address then they will provide transport for the child.

flowery Sun 09-Sep-18 15:10:50

Might be worth “identifying a house in a nice village” where there is a space at the local primary school instead?

phosphoresence Sun 09-Sep-18 15:11:31

Hmm, maybe I should ring the LEA in the morning. I just thought her special circumstances might mean she was treated differently.

I have a vague idea there are different class size rules for reception year, and they are stricter?

OP’s posts: |
MissLingoss Sun 09-Sep-18 15:12:19

If niece doesn't drive, is a house in a village suitable, in the longer term? Not just for school, but for shops, doctor, work, social life, and so on?

BikeRunSki Sun 09-Sep-18 15:12:51

No they can’t. She can go on the waiting list though, but in KS1 there are max class size rules. What are the school priority admissions criteria?

SoyDora Sun 09-Sep-18 15:13:23

Unfortunately they can’t treat her differently, they can only have a certain number of children in their class. Otherwise the criteria when applying for places would be far too complex... how would they decide which special circumstances should be taken into consideration?
Yes, class size rules are stricter in KS1

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Sun 09-Sep-18 15:14:05

Thing is, without being rude, her circumstances aren’t special. The mother should ring the LA not you.

Starlight345 Sun 09-Sep-18 15:14:06

It is maximum of 30 for infants.

phosphoresence Sun 09-Sep-18 15:14:16

Thanks for the helpful replies. This is a very serious situation and I really don't appreciate the snotty quotes around bits of my post actually. Obviously you have issues around school admissions, but honestly, get over yourselves.

OP’s posts: |
BikeRunSki Sun 09-Sep-18 15:14:54

Reception (in fact all of KS1) has stricter class size numbers than older classes. In KS1 it’s 30, I think it’s 35 above that.

Could your family not consider properties elsewhere?

phosphoresence Sun 09-Sep-18 15:15:41

That is a good point about whether a village is really suitable, though.

OP’s posts: |
Starlight345 Sun 09-Sep-18 15:16:01

I would also look in a bigger town.

RebelRogue Sun 09-Sep-18 15:16:17

And somehow there have been class sizes of 31 and even 32.
Before the LEA i'd talk to SS and see what advice and support they have to offer.

offtocornwall Sun 09-Sep-18 15:18:05

The only time children in difficult circumstances get prioritised on admission criteria (normally) is if they are 'looked after' ie in local authority care or local authority foster care .

Otherwise the logical way to go is to identify a home in a place where there is a primary school place. However until you ask you don't know. So phone them Monday morning.

SoyDora Sun 09-Sep-18 15:18:42

Agree that talking to SS may be a good idea.

phosphoresence Sun 09-Sep-18 15:18:55

Thanks, Rebel, that is a good plan to talk to SS about it.

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Stuckforthefourthtime Sun 09-Sep-18 15:24:20

I am not sure that people have actually been snotty, just pointed out that as you (very sensibly) want to make sure the little girl has the best possible fresh start, it makes sense to put her needs above local connections for her mother when identifying a house.

Ss and the LEA are a good start - if it is taking time to get onto them I'd also call the school admissions, who at least will know their numbers. Also don't lose hope yet, my DCs are at a very oversubscribed school but due to a last minute move, they currently have a reception class with 29 instead of 30 children, there are moves to fill the vacancy of course, but if she is closest and meets other criteria, there may still be a space

SoyDora Sun 09-Sep-18 15:26:15

Yes, our over subscribed school actually started the school year with 2 places in reception due to twins moving to New Zealand. They have filled them now but it may be that they have a space.

SoyDora Sun 09-Sep-18 15:26:23

Yes, our over subscribed school actually started the school year with 2 places in reception due to twins moving to New Zealand. They have filled them now but it may be that they have a space.

offtocornwall Sun 09-Sep-18 15:27:15

Another priority is for her to drive. If she her grandparents (your parents) have the money to buy her a home then driving is right up there on the priority list.

This woman is going to be a lone parent and quite possibly living in a village. Driving will massively widen her job prospects as well as the ability to get to a job and facilitate childcare . Not to mention make chores like the weekly shop with a toddler a gazillion percent easier. !

It will also widen the areas she can look to live and educate her child in.

phosphoresence Sun 09-Sep-18 15:33:44

Useful thoughts. Thanks. As my dcs are in their twenties now I am kind of out of touch with this stuff.

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Starlight345 Sun 09-Sep-18 15:39:30

I also would add a bigger town will have more facilities , more activities , childcare. As a Lp it can be quite Lonley at evening. Lots more holiday clubs , she will be expected to look for work so more options than in a village,as a Lp I really would choose to live in a village no matter how small

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