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House purchase, wrong location for admissions?(13 Posts)
So a question about 2020 admissions. We're looking at buying a house in Surrey and have realised there might be a deal breaker in terms of admissions due to the house's location.
We have 2 kids due to start reception in 2020 and 2022. The house is located near 2 schools, one at 800 meters distant and a slightly better one at 1.18 kilometers distant. Both are about 20 minute walk due to road and river/bridge layouts. Of course there are other schools further away but all would require driving.
Looking at the past 4 years of admissions place offerings after taking out looked after children, exceptional circumstances and siblings both schools come down to "closest school" and "other children" admissions criteria, both of which are subject to distance.
For the closer school, in all of the last 4 years they filled their admissions places with "closest school" applicants with a distance of 500 meters or less. Given the house is 800 meters this would suggest we would not have got a place in any of those years?
For the other school, which would be our first choice anyway, in each of the previous 4 years they filled a number of spots with “closest school“, however we would not qualify for that as its not our closest school since the one above is closer, even though we would not have gotten in anyway. The rest of their allocation went to "any other children" at distances of 800 to 900 meters mostly with one year being 1.16 kilometers. Again given the house is 1.18 kilometers this suggests we would not have got in there either, even in that one year at a margin of 20 meters!?
The other nearby schools all seem to have similar trends, ie all spots taken by children living 1km or less, which obviously we would not qualify for as the house is even further from those.
So given that data, and pretending we'd bought the house in any of those years and tried to get our oldest into either of those close schools, am I reading correctly that we would NOT have got into either and most likely have been given a "centrally assigned" place at a school some distance away with spots still left open? Or are there other factors to consider?
It's a shame because we were on the verge of offering on the house but even though every year of admissions is different and it all depends on the schools sibling counts and where other nearby applicants live, at a historical success rate of 0 from 4 it seems like quite a risk we'd end up pondering our regrets on the long drive to some distant school every day...
I think you are reading this correctly. We found something similar with our naice house (purchased when childless with the intention of refurbishing and moving), it was in a naice area, naice road.
When it came to school places our local outstanding primary, was offering at a maximum of 0.36km, we were 0.5km away. The next nearest was the same, around 0.4km and we were 1km.
Then the local "requires improvement" school (1.2km) would have been the only offer.
Check carefully before buying!
I'd keep looking if I were you. Sucks, but it's not something you want to regret, and you have time on your side at the moment.
The kicker is we already are well within offering distance of a really good school where we are in London. While the move out to Surrey will always have its pros/cons and its compromises the school isn't one anyone would want to make a huge sacrifice on
I guess my only hopeful thought was that given the closest school wouldn't have space as they fill their spots with "closest school" applicants closer than us, then the second closest school becomes the closest school, particularly as the second one didn't fill up on "closest school" applicants and would have space to offer us under "closest school" given no other closer school had spots to offer under "closest school".
But then that would require the schools doing their applicant criteria rankings jointly, rather than separately in isolation as it sounds like they do....
It might be different everywhere, but locally, we have already been told that the 2020 admission year is a boom year and schools we would have been offered a place at will be oversubscribed.
I am afraid that based on the information that you have that you would not get a place at either of the two preferred schools. Have to say that each year is different but you are sufficiently far away in the proposed new house that you would be seeing a significant change in circumstances to get a place.
If it is a deal breaker which it seems to be then what you need to be doing is looking at the two schools on a map and then plotting the furthest distance allocated last year. That will give you an idea of where it is more likely that you will get the offer of a place and possibly a "sweet spot" where there is overlap which give the absolute best chance of being offered a place.
I live in a similar spot and and am nervously waiting outcome of admissions this week as there is a very real chance we will be allocated to one of two undersubcribed schools on sink estates our three nearest schools there are several years we wouldn't have got in to any
Can I add another couple of things to check for? First, if you ever end up having to accept a school that is not your closest, check out the sibling criteria. It could be that 'siblings out of catchment' are further down the list than 'closest to school'. So you could find yourself in the horrible position of travelling to two different schools both out of catchment. Secondly, if you look at any separate infant and junior schools, make sure the infant feeder school is your 'closest' school or read the admissions criteria for both very closely. In my area you can live next door to the junior school and not get a place at the feeder school because the 'closest' school for admission purposes is an oversubscribed jmi school with a furthest distance of 500m. Hope that makes sense! Good luck with house hunting.
IME you’re being sensible investigating this. Even if a house would have got admission in a certain year, this changes year on year. Eg sometimes a popular school has a “bulge” year which means more people get in, but more sibling places in subsequent years.
When I was a governor, I quickly discovered our school had local NHS birth data access for planning... so such data exists. IT's not foolproof, as you know people move (as you are considering), but it is a strong indicator of demand in your area.
You are being sensible to look into this now IMO. I would carry on looking, particularly as you have time on your side - you have until next January before you apply for the 2020.
You can also ask the council admissions team where you would have been given in previous years. I asked ours that before offering in a house and they were very helpful
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