Questions about primary application

(31 Posts)
Timeforaverynicecupoftea Sun 02-Jun-19 17:37:28

Hi. We’re moving back to London from living abroad in summer 2020. We’ll be applying in January 2020 for our eldest to start primary school (she turns 5 in December 2020). We’re allowed to apply from abroad using our London address. I have three questions:

Can I apply for schools in two boroughs using the same form (splitting the six preferences three and three)?

If we’re not allocated a school we like can we then make an in-year application? Does turning down an allocated school disqualify us in any way from doing this?

Finally, can we make an in-year application before the summer holidays in 2020 (so she can start alongside everyone else in September), or do we need to wait until the start of the September term to do so?

A hundred thank yous!

OP’s posts: |
EduCated Sun 02-Jun-19 17:48:52

Can I apply for schools in two boroughs using the same form (splitting the six preferences three and three)?

Yes. You apply to your home borough, but can name any school. Your borough will handle this with the relevant other boroughs.

For the other part, other people will know more. I’m not sure when it becomes an in-year application, but in theory you can apply for any school at any time and if it has spaces they are obliged to offer you one.

You can go on the waiting list for schools you are unsuccessful for.

Turning down a school won’t disqualify you, but the LA only has to make one offer. This means they won’t go out of their way to make you a second offer, but doesn’t stop you from applying. There is no disadvantage to you to accepting a space even if you are almost certain you won’t take it up.

suitcaseofdreams Sun 02-Jun-19 18:15:25

I’m sure the experts will be along soon but as I understand it, you can’t make an in year application to Reception in the Summer before she would be due to start Reception in the Sept, you would instead be on waiting lists - ie you apply in Jan, schools are allocated, if you don’t like the one you are offered, you go on waiting lists and wait to see if a place comes up. Once term has started in Sept you could then apply for in year place but bear in mind there may well not be places at the school you want if they are fully allocated and have a waiting list...

PatriciaHolm Sun 02-Jun-19 18:42:25

You can apply across boroughs using the same application yes. I am assuming you are crown servants or military so you will apply on time using your London address.

If you are then allocated a school you don't want and turn it down, the local authority has no obligation to find another place. You would need to go onto waiting lists and hope a place came up in time.

If your child is still school less in sept, then realistically the LA would find her something, but at that point it would be a place at an undersubscribed school, not necessarily one of your choosing.

Timeforaverynicecupoftea Sun 02-Jun-19 18:46:47

Thank you so much.

If we didn’t apply at all in January could we then do an in year application in April/May/June for a September start? Or does the same rule apply whether you apply in January or not?

OP’s posts: |
PatriciaHolm Sun 02-Jun-19 18:48:58

You can apply whenever you like, but if you apply late you run the risk of the schools you want all being full - there is nothing to be gained by applying late. Spaces aren't kept for late applicants.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Sun 02-Jun-19 18:52:29

If it’s full, it’s full. Applying later won’t get you in if there isn’t a space, you’ll still be out in the waiting list. Not sure if you think it’s a different set of places offered, but it’s not.


Timeforaverynicecupoftea Sun 02-Jun-19 19:08:41

Thanks. So if :

I apply to six schools in January
Find out that I don’t get any of them in April (when they send out letters/emails)
I find another school that is undersubscribed for the September start (in the borough I’m looking at this is not uncommon)

Do I contact them myself in April / May and register my daughter for a September start?

And will the lea tell me which schools have places after the April allocations come out?

Thanks again

OP’s posts: |
GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Sun 02-Jun-19 19:12:12

If there is schools with places you will be offered one of those anyway. If you want to switch to a different one with places then tell the LEA.

PatriciaHolm Sun 02-Jun-19 19:13:09

You would need to apply via the LA almost certainly until sept, as they will coordinate applications until then at least. They should be able to give you some idea where there are spaces though it may take a little time.

PatriciaHolm Sun 02-Jun-19 19:13:59

Oh and yes if you don't get one of your six you will get allocated something somewhere else.

Timeforaverynicecupoftea Sun 02-Jun-19 19:15:10

Great, thank you. It’s a bit strange doing this all for the first time, and from abroad. So all your help is very much appreciated

OP’s posts: |
Timeforaverynicecupoftea Sun 02-Jun-19 19:23:11

Sorry - one more!

We plan to live in one borough (B) but will be temporarily moving back to a neighbouring borough (A), while get our bearings and buy a property. We will be using that address in our application as we don’t yet have an address in borough B that we can use.

If all six schools we list are in borough B, and we don’t get any (although not far away, with distance as a criteria this is far from impossible), can we request the school we are given is in borough B?

I’m assuming not but thought I’d check!

Or will borough A allocate us a school they have, and then we have to contact borough B to find out which schools still have places?

I hope that isn’t utter gibberish!

OP’s posts: |
MarchingFrogs Sun 02-Jun-19 20:44:23

Your home LA ('A', if that is the address you will be applying from) will, if it cannot allocate a place at any of your preferred schools (whether they be in LA 'B' or anywhere else in the country), offer you the nearest school to the address you used which has a space. You can't request 'nearest in a particular direction'. However, once / if you have not been offered a place at any of your original preferences, you should have some scope for adding / swapping in new preferences. Check the relevant LA's website.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Sun 02-Jun-19 20:45:40

There’s nothing stopping you applying for borough B but if a school is oversubscribed then distance is usually used as a tiebreaker. Living out of the borough will therefore reduce your chances of getting in.

LaughAtGildedButterflies Sun 02-Jun-19 22:26:45

Sorry, but not all of the info on here is correct, at least not country-wide. I don't know how it works across the whole UK, but where we are, the LA doesn't control applications all the way until September. Following the LA process (first round offers in April, followed by second round offers from late applications and LA waiting list in June), the application process is then 'handed back' to primary schools in mid June. So from that point, if you don't have a school or are unhappy with your allocation, you would apply direct to schools as an in-Year applicant for a September place. The school would then throw your application into the mix along with any remaining applicants from the LA waiting list who hadn't been offered a second round place.

gabster33 Sun 02-Jun-19 22:47:14

Hmm - I may be wrong but not sure you will be able to apply without a UK address. You can call admissions of where you want to be - but without a home to measure distance from they can only give you a place in an under subscribed school. You may well have to make a late application when you have secured an address. It's unlikely you will get somewhere far away. If you want to move schools later to closer to your new home it shouldn't be too difficult.

Timeforaverynicecupoftea Sun 02-Jun-19 23:01:07

Thanks again. We do have a U.K. address and we’re allowed to use it even though we’re abroad.

I’ll definitely check Gilded, as you say each area does seem to be different.

OP’s posts: |
steppemum Sun 02-Jun-19 23:01:22

OK, so you can apply to any school at any time. If the school has places, it will give you the place. if the school does not have a place, you can ask to go on a waiting list, but they will not allow an extra child into a full class.

The borough processes the applications based on the schools criteria. You should list the schools in order of preference. If you are not eligible for that school (eg you are too far away) then the next school on the list will be treated as your first choice.

If you form your London address, the borough can chose to say you are not at that address until you arrive back in the UK, or they can chose to use that address based on the fact that you will be based there in Sept.

They will use the address you give in borough A. If the schools in borough B are all too far away, borough A will offer you a school in borough A.

Your problem with reception classes is that they get filled up with kids who apply in January, and anyone applying later will be offered the 'left over ' places. In London there tend not to be many of those.

Timeforaverynicecupoftea Sun 02-Jun-19 23:03:35

I should say - we do have a U.K. address (that we’ll use for application purposes), but it isn’t where we want to actually live. We want to live in a nearby borough so that’s where we want to find a school.

But this has given me lots of information so another big thank you

OP’s posts: |
user1474894224 Sun 02-Jun-19 23:06:47

You definitely need to find the allocation profile for the previous years to give you a clue as to how far down the admission criteria the schools allocated if your preferred school only offered within catchment there is very little chance of getting in....not impossible....but if you really want to be in area B then you should find a school there which went to out of catchment within the distance you live from school. If that makes sense.

Timeforaverynicecupoftea Sun 02-Jun-19 23:16:39

That makes perfect sense, thank you. We’re very pragmatic about our situation, happy to consider all schools and understand that we can’t be too choosy!

Our worse case scenario is that we miss all the schools in the borough we want, get allocated a school in borough ‘A’ and I spend years driving my children across town!

OP’s posts: |
steppemum Sun 02-Jun-19 23:23:41

you can only apply from an address, so you can only use the London address that you have.

But you can move schools, your kids don't have to stay in the school they start in!

Timeforaverynicecupoftea Sun 02-Jun-19 23:29:21

I agree. I guess as our children will move many times in their lives it would be good to keep them to a minimum.

I wonder if we should just pick six schools that are less popular / not popular at all (of course they could be still be fantastic in reality).

OP’s posts: |
PatriciaHolm Sun 02-Jun-19 23:35:42

OP is in London, and in London under the Pan London admissions agreement the LA maintains waiting lists until 31 August, at least.

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