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Accused of false application to school

(47 Posts)
Mirandashome Sun 05-Jul-09 21:31:47

Help ,
I broke up with my partner temporarily and at the point when I filled in my daughters school apllication I was at a different address in the catchment area for this school I was also suffering with depression . Someone has now reported me for this and I have had a letter to say her school place could be withdrawn . I don't know what to do I didn't lie but I haven't written proof I was at the other address .There are no other school places available for September so if they take her place off her she won't have a school to go to ... Any one got any advice I have to send a letter tomorrow

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Sun 05-Jul-09 21:40:38

Hmm. I don't really know what to suggest.

As you might have heard from recent press coverage of the case in Pinner, local education authorities do not look kindly on parents who make false statements. How long did you live at the other address? Did you provide any supporting evidence that you lived there - utility bills, being on the electoral roll etc?

I don't want to sound po-faced, but if you mis-represented where you actually lived, rather than having a genuine change in circumstances, then you shouldn't keep the place. Whether there's a place in any other school is a different matter.

Tubbysmum Sun 05-Jul-09 21:41:24

Get in contact with your Local Authority School Preference Advisor (sometimes known as School Choice Advisors) They'll have the information you need and you can always submit supporting evidence from your child's preschool or perhaps even people you were staying with.

The problem is people do this sort of thing all the time to get into schools so proving your case could be hard but do try the Preference Advice service - they should be pretty helpful!

Good luck

Hassled Sun 05-Jul-09 21:42:56

If you can provide evidence that you were living at the catchment address then I'm sure you'll be fine. A letter from neighbours/landlord etc?

Lilyloo Sun 05-Jul-09 21:44:02

Are you back with your partner now ?
Do you live at said address ?
Any bills sent to you there ??

Mirandashome Sun 05-Jul-09 21:44:46

It was genuine just not official . As much as I can't prove I was living there should they not have to prove that I did not ? Sorry not sure if that is understandable ..

Greatfun Sun 05-Jul-09 21:46:56

I assume you are back in your original address now. Is there anything you can do to prove you lived at the address at the time? I suppose it depends on the arrangements. If you were staying with a friend could they confirm this in writing? The only problem is that without an official bill or tenancy agreement, from the councils perspective it will look suspect. I guess all you can do is write a letter explaining what happened and get as much proof together as you can. Did you have post sent to the new address, that sort of thing. I am not sure but I think they have to offer you a school place so there must be one some where. If you think about it if you took a place at the school in question then the next child down the list must have gone else where so if they take your DDs place there will be a place. Not much comfort for you I know. Its a stupid system. I guess you will be treated as someone who has recently moved into the area.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Sun 05-Jul-09 21:48:48

Sorry, didn't spot the bit where you said you have no written evidence that you were at the other address. Didn't you change GPs or tell your bank or phone company, etc?

If you were only at the other address for a few weeks, the LEA is likely to think that you moved only to engineer a school place for your dd. You'll need to prove otherwise. But, even then, I'm not sure you'd be entitled to keep the school place, as I'm assuming (maybe wrongly) that anyone who moved out of the catchment area before their child had started at the school would forfeit the place.

Greatfun Sun 05-Jul-09 21:49:39

Just to add no I don't believe the onus would be on them to prove you didn't live there. They ask to see a council tax bill here as proof so the onus is on you to prove you did live there. Can you not just get the person whose house it is to write a letter?

Mirandashome Sun 05-Jul-09 21:53:50

Yes I will do that and the neighbours would have seen me . I was not in a good place at that time I had a breakdown I was working in quite a high powered job and ended up on antidepressants leaving my partner and quitting my job of 7 years so not my finest hour !!!

nickschick Sun 05-Jul-09 21:56:01

Im not disputing anything youve said (indeed it is not for me to dispute) nor am I suggesting you shouldnt try and get your dc into a 'good' school I myself went to extremes to get my ds a place in a 'good' school' but how did you get the forms to fill in if everything was so 'up in the air',why did you ask to be placed in an area that you knew you were only there temporary regardless of the fact you had split with your partner,you im assuming werent renting and perhaps just 'stayed' with friends? otherwise you would have evidence.

Depressed or not you would need to know where you were likely to be living when you applied and Im afraid if you have been accused then the school must be majorly oversubscribed and a very good school therefore your story is quite transparent.

I have no objection to anyone 'tricking' their way into 'good' schools but I maintain to be a good liar you have to be very clever.

moffat Sun 05-Jul-09 21:56:06

I'm surprised you didn't have to show proof of address when you applied, I had to show Council Tax bill and something else.

Greatfun Sun 05-Jul-09 21:56:33

Sorry you have had such a hard time. If you have had anti-d's then you will have a record of this with your GP. If it were me I would therefore include this in your letter as it supports why you moved and perhaps helps explain why you weren't in the frame of mind to get bills sorted. I hope you ge this sorted out soon as I guess its the last thing you need right now.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Sun 05-Jul-09 21:57:25

The suggestion about the school preference/choice adviser seems good, if your LEA has one (ours doesn't). Greatfun is right, I think - all LEAs are suspicious of short-lived changes of address which happen at school application time.

Mirandashome Sun 05-Jul-09 21:59:15

My daughter has gone to nursery childcare there since she was 5 months old and as she was already in the nursery they gave me the forms to fill in .

Mirandashome Sun 05-Jul-09 22:00:59

Thanks madbadanddangeroustoknow I wll get in touch with my gp tomorrow and I also have proof about the job .

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Sun 05-Jul-09 22:12:00

You're welcome. But I really think you need to check where you (or anyone else) stands, if they leave the school catchment area before their child starts at the school. I'm sure you applied in good faith, but it would seem a bit perverse if all people needed to do to gain a place at an over-subscribed school was to live in the catchment area for a few weeks. That's where the choice adviser might be able to help.

LadyMuck Sun 05-Jul-09 22:13:18

How long were you gone for? Do you really have no proof of the move? Even if you were depressed, then given a child was involved I would have thought that someone would have been informed about the change in circs. Or are we talking a very temporary move ie a few weeks?
What were the arrangements at the new address - who were you living with?

It is of course possible that you don't have council tax bills for a temporary move, but the council tax payer for the temporary address should be able to confirm that you loved there. If they can't then I suspect that the LEA will have to remove your dd's space at this school, but hopefully you will get into another school close by.

lou031205 Sun 05-Jul-09 22:29:31

In our LEA, any change of address has to be notified, and a place is withdrawn if that move results in the child becoming out of catchment.

amidaiwish Sun 05-Jul-09 22:33:59

What evidence of home address did you include with the application (or didn't you have to show any?). We had to show valid council tax bill and child benefit letter with our application. (church school though so maybe they're different).

hocuspontas Sun 05-Jul-09 22:42:20

Would you have got a place anyway if you had put your long-term address? If so, you probably have a good chance of keeping the place and they may accept the temporary address wasn't meant as a 'ploy'. If you don't need to provide any backup for the address on the form - utility bills etc, couldn't this happen to lots of people? Don't you have to put a previous address or anything?

hocuspontas Sun 05-Jul-09 22:44:09

You say your dd was in the nursery - wouldn't they have a record of your temporary address? Presumably you told them where you were living. That might be sufficient

Heated Sun 05-Jul-09 22:51:13

Who did you inform about the change of address? Presumably nursery? Your gp if giving anti-depressants? Who did you stay with?

If you are no longer in that catchment the LEA may well decide your dd is no longer eligible for that particular school. Does the school you are nearest to have places? Speak to your LEA?

gladders Mon 06-Jul-09 12:03:06

hmm

SoupDragon Mon 06-Jul-09 12:07:29

How long were you there for?

"I have no objection to anyone 'tricking' their way into 'good' schools"

I'm sure you'd change your mind if it was your child who missed out on a place because someone lied.

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