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Moving in August - before DS starts primary school(6 Posts)
So, my husband and I are separating, and both moving to two separate houses in Newcastle this coming August, from Edinburgh. The move can't really be completed sooner.
I've been trying to get in touch with local schools to see what my next steps are, but it seems like I can't make any steps towards applying for him until the sale is completed and we actually move in, and since it will be the summer holidays by then, it will take a few weeks after term starts for them to even get through his application - and that's if there is no waiting list.
I'm also confused by how likely we are to even get him into the local primary at such short notice. When I phoned them, they didn't have any data on this year's waiting list and said whether there is a waiting list or not varies year to year.
I figure there must be a lot of people who end up moving in summer just before school starts - what are you supposed to do to get your child a place? Do they often have to start at a different school and then transfer later in the year? If he doesn't start school until late Sept/Oct, will I be breaking any laws, since he turns 5 in early Sept?
Hmm I don't think lots of people move in August who are starting school in reception, no. After you move you'll be able to find out which schools have places. These may not necessarily be your closest schools and they also may not be the best schools. You'll be able to go on waiting lists for any schools that don't have places that you'd like him to attend.
They need to start school the term after they turn 5, so you might have a bit of breathing space until January if things get desperate but obviously it would be better if he started at the same time.
Speak to the admissions team at the local Council in the new area who should be able to tell you if any schools have places. They won't allocate anything until you have an address, you could ask if they would accept evidence of exchange?
Are you buying a house in Newcastle? You ought to be able to apply for a school place once you've exchanged contracts (you'll need to prove you've exchanged, your solicitor will write you a suitable letter)
Do you have any idea of the area you will be looking at? If you do then I would have a look on line, and phone likely looking schools to ask what their admission numbers for Sept look like. Are all the places taken? Do they have others on the waiting list? At least you will get an idea of whether you are likely to get a place. Since it will be a reception place then if the class is full you will have to be practically living in the playground if the waiting list is more than 5 children.
Not all parents let schools know they won't be taking up a place, but when the child fails to appear in September the LA has to make reasonable effort to contact them to see if in fact they want the place. This can take a while, so annoyingly, even if they know there will be a vacancy they can't allocate it until they have confirmation.
In our area, primary schools don't control their own admissions until after the local authority application process has completed (mid-June). After that, they can offer places for Reception direct to parents. But there's nothing doing until you have a confirmed address (exchange of contracts or tenancy agreement). The good news is that the whole process can happen very quickly. In theory you could apply for a place and accept it one day and your child start the next day. And if your child is joining a school for Year R in September, I'd expect them to want to sort it quickly, so your child settles in ASAP. If you already know which schools you're interested in, you can ask them whether they'll be in a position to deal with admissions during the summer holidays. Generally speaking, the bigger the school, the more likely they are to have someone in at least some of the time. But if they don't have a space, they don't have a space - strict legal limit of 30 in a class in Year R - and they may have a waiting list. Your LA should be able to advise you of which schools might have places.
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