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Moving house after school application deadline(9 Posts)
Me and my partner were close to putting in an offer for a house next week. In Westhoughton, Bolton, a different borough to where we are now. The house is close to an outstanding school that was the big pull for us. All other schools on the estate are either religious, or require improvement according to Ofsted.
We did apply for schools before the deadline in our own borough.
I rang the council today to ask about school admissions. She told me today was the deadline for house movers (something I've never heard of before? No mention of it on their website. I'm wondering if I misheard her). Told me that, should we move into the area, we will be treated as a late application. The outstanding school is always oversubscribed and said we have pretty much no chance of getting in there. She said we'd likely be offered a place at school A or school B (one requiring improvement, the other being a catholic school).
I feel awful about it. I'm absolutely gutted and feel like I've let my boy down for not having just called them sooner! I actually have a friend who works for the council who had told me months ago that, as long as we apply in our local area before the deadline, we'll be okay when we move (back then, we knew we wanted to move, but didn't know where to).
I'm wondering... If, on Monday, we were to rent a house, and then get the paperwork to them straight away, would we have any chance of being considered then? That would mean abandoning the house we wanted to buy. But at least it would get us into the area. (We'd stay in the rented house for 6/12 months and then looking again for a house to buy).
Another issue we have is that neither of us drive. So it's going to be difficult for us to get to the other schools. I did ask on the phone if this is something they take into consideration - the answer was no.
Has anyone had any similar experiences? Or anyone who can help?
If this isn't going to work, then we're going to have to give up on the area, because we do not want to send him to a bad school.
Your application will now be a late application regardless of if you rent right now or buy the house. If you had applied to the preferred school on time and then moved (or exchanged contracts in some areas, maybe) before the offer date then the application would have been updated and considered based on your new address. This is probably what your friend who works for a council meant. And what the new council meant by house movers deadline as they will be about to start processing the applications based on the addresses they have. But it sounds like you applied for schools in your current area originally?
You will be able to go on the waiting list if you are not offered a place for your child at your preferred school. Moving closer will move your child higher up the waiting list but there is no guarantee.
Also how old is the outstanding judgement? Some outstanding judgements are from a long time ago!
We are moving 6 hours away in April. I have spoken with both councils. Same position, DD starts school in September.
As long as I get the changes to my council and they get them to the next before the 6th March, the latter have agreed they will not treat it as late. They were very helpful about it actually.
The council for our current area said it would be treated late (which not how the new one operate), so worth checking with the council where you are moving to. We are moving back north, to a much quieter area so might make a difference to their deadlines.
As others have said, there’s a window (after the initial deadline for applications) in which house movers can update their application with a new address and it will still be counted as an in-time application. After that, it’s treated as a new and therefore late application.
Be careful about applying from a rental address. Because there are so many “rentals of convenience” with people applying from very short term rentals near desirable schools, many LEAs have rules about the length of the tenancy, disposal of any other property that the family own, evidence of utility bills etc. Be sure that you can comply with your LEA’s requirements.
I doubt you’d get rental paperwork same day.
The closing date for on-time applications is 15th January for Bolton Council. They, as do most other LAs, allow some discretion on people moving house and the final date for this in Bolton is 22nd February.
However before you beat yourself up too much you can only apply from the LA that you are currently residing in for your preferred schools in Bolton. As the address used is the address that your child is currently living in, that will be where you are now. What that effectively means is that even if you had applied last week, you would have been the absolutely last person on the admission criteria order and in an over subscribed school that means you would have had zero chance of being allocated a space.
You can only use the new Bolton address at the point you move in. That means that even of you could arrange a rental this next week, it will not be accepted by the LA and you will still be a late application (and therefore no chance of a place at the preferred school).
You are in a difficult position by the timing of any move. My suggestion would be that you move ASAP. As soon as you have moved in you can apply for a place at the school and other schools that you prefer. It would be preferable if that was before 16th April when the initial allocations are made so that as soon as any waiting list is produced you will be on it, in the new address. You need to hope that the new address is sufficiently near the preferred school that you are top of the waiting and that somebody rejects the offered place (maybe somebody again moving house to outside Bolton).
You could,having been rejected of a place at the school, appeal for a place but if the infant class size regulations pertain, which they are likely to, then the chance of a successful appeal are near zero.
At any appeal, distance to the school and the fact you do not drive will not be considered a reason for admitting. Normally most LAs will provide transport if the school allocated is more than 2 miles.
Most LEA's do operate a deadline for housemovers as your LEA told you. You needed to have applied from your existing address by the January deadline but then there was usually a few week's grace to provide evidence of having moved house.
However, this deadline is usually late Feb/early March so you will have missed it, which means you'll have no choice but to apply as a late applicant. If you move really really close to the school, you could jump up to the top of the waiting list but there's no guarantee you would get in. Are you only moving house for the schools?
Only moving for the school?.... partly. At the moment, we live on an estate which is rough - there's a lot of trouble here. We just don't want him growing up in this environment. We always planned to move before he started school. But have left it too late as you can see.
For the past couple of months (and we didn't expect it to take months), we've been researching and visiting areas. Original plan was to find an area we liked, and then rent a house there.
But we only wanted to move to an area we knew we could afford to buy in too. So we've done house viewings to see how far our money will go in each area.
We ended up viewing a house we really liked. And wanted to go for it and buy it, and now find ourselves in this position.
Another area we considered is Prestwich in Bury... I'm now thinking it might have to be there. All of the schools there are Ofsted Good or better. But unfortunately, we won't be able to buy as nice a house there.