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Admissions help... Military family moving back to UK(11 Posts)
Are there any experts who can put my mind at rest please?
Currently based abroad with the Army, kids are in an MOD school. Whole regiment is rebasing to the UK this summer. However DH will be posted elsewhere (in UK). We will find out where at the end of May.
We have been told there is a deadline for applying for school places for September of the last week in May, and that any applications received after that won't be processed until September. We cannot obviously apply for a school place until we know where in the country we are going.. but that means it will be June at the absolute earliest.
There has been lots of horror stories particularly about my eldest DDs school year with getting school places (current year 3). Younger DD is currently Yr 1.
Am I right in think the LA will process applications in June/ July (prior to summer holidays) and we won't be left in limbo for months unless there is no school places/need to appeal etc?
As military don’t you get the same criteria as looked after children?
Worth checking with the LEA you are moving to as it should bump yiu to the top of any waiting lists if so
You need to check the School Admissions Code (available on line). There are special provisions for returning military families, but I can't remember exactly what they are.
Thank you... I've now done some digging into the three counties we are most likely moving to. One I can apply to from end of April (with a posting order), one from beginning of June and one from mid April. So the information I have received from the Army is wrong (surprise, surprise). Although all say that applications won't be processed in the School Summer holidays so I'll have to keep my fingers crossed the paperwork gets here promptly at beginning of June.
Have a look at the "army covenant" - it doesn't get you in regardless but may help with appeals etc. Good luck with the move!
Military families can apply before they move into the LA in many/most authorities using your new address. You can then secure a place ahead of moving into the area. You need to show posting papers and the new address so as soon as you have these make your application.
You can get in to over subscribed schools - we did it for DD (mid year transfer). Her year group for our desired school was full but when the Head and Governors found out she was a military child, she was admitted no problem at all.
As soon as you know where about you are going to be in the country, then the MOD should be able to furnish you with posting papers which are for the area not an exact address. As soon as you have this, you can approach the Local Authority and request places at your preference schools.
In terms of your children they will both be considered in-year applications (which really means they are not joining in reception). As soon as you request places then the LA will establish whether they can offer a place at the preferred schools or not. If not then you can appeal for a place. As long as you have been rejected by mid-june and appealed you will get an appeal before the summer holidays. Much later than the middle of June and the regulations around timelines would allow the appeal hearing to be in September.
There is usually someone from the MOD acting as liaison at appeals and they are pretty good at making their point to the appeal panel. It is however the appeal panel who will make the final decision. I think what is important in any appeal is that the appeal is for the nearest school to the base or is at the primary school where the majority of the army children go to. That reduces the risk of the appeal panel not finding in your favour. The biggest issue is going to be your younger child as that may well be in a school which has to apply the infant class size regs (that is no more than 30 pupils with one school teacher). However as an army child they would be considered an excepted pupil and allowed in over the 30 limit, providing it is an in-year application.
Thanks for all the advice. There doesn't appear to be much we can do until we have a posting order... We won't be back in the UK until late July so hopefully it won't require appeals!
I also thought military children got priority in school admissions - make sure you talk to the local council admissions teams
Under paragraph 2.15 f), your child in Yr1 can be admitted even if there are 30 in an infant class. They would be classed as an 'excepted' child.
Under paragraph 2.18, special provision is outlined for children of UK service personnel. Admissions authorities must allocate a place in advance of the family arriving in the area, provided the application is accompanied by an official letter that declares a relocation date and a unit postal address.
Admissions authorities must not refuse a service child because the family does not currently live in the area.
Admissions authorities must ensure that arrangements in their area support the government's commitment to removing disadvantage for service children. Arrangements must be appropriate for the area and described in the local authority's composite prospectus.
The above is taken direct from the Admissions Code, which can be found at the following link: