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Missing the first school intake

(8 Posts)
MrsSnoops Tue 29-Sep-09 07:56:17

I currently live in London and whilst it works for us at the moment I know there will be a time when we will want to move out. We would be gone now if we knew where we wanted to go.
My DS is due to start reception in September 2010 so we are going to be applying for schools soon, it looks inevitable he will start school in London.
I always thought we would be settled somewhere by the time he started school, but this is not going to happen.
So, I guess my question is what are others experiences of moving once kids have started schools? Is it then hard to get a place for them at a school? What happens if there are no places? Is it hard for kids to resettle when we move?

MadBadandCoveredinSequins Tue 29-Sep-09 10:21:05

As far as I know, most (probably all) LEAs require to submit some evidence of your address when you apply for a school place, so I don't think there's much you can do until you've actually moved. If you've missed the formal round of admissions, you'll need to apply to each school in which you're interested and will be slotted into the waiting list according to where you fit within the admissions criteria (which for most schools will be according to distance from school). The LEA should be able to tell you which schools nearby have spaces.

We haven't moved house since dd started school so I'm afraid I can't help on the settling-in question.

liliputlady Tue 29-Sep-09 16:06:11

Most children should adapt quite quickly to a change of school, but guess a lot depends on the individual. When choosing an area to live, my advice would be to look at the bigger picture (ie secondary as well as primary schools) - we just didn't think ahead very well when we bought our current house and we are paying the price.

wools Tue 29-Sep-09 16:14:18

I had 2 move my ds1 out of his London school in Year 1. He didn't settle very well at all. In fact he's only done 1/2 term and I'm moving him again next week to my first choice school (place on waiting list has just come up). I really do think it depends on the child though. DS2 changed pre-school very easily and has settled well into his new reception class (in the school DS1 didn't get on with).

MrsSnoops Tue 29-Sep-09 16:38:29

wools could I ask how hard it was to find places for you DC in the schools when you moved? I assume from your post that you couldn't get DS1 in to your first choice school? Did you approach the schools before you moved, or just move and hope for the best?

liliputlady we will indeed look at secondary schools too.

Gosh this is hard!

wools Tue 29-Sep-09 19:30:24

MrsSnoops - I waited until I moved and then approached 3 schools I liked. They were all full and put both boys names on their waiting lists. Luckily for me, a friend knew about availability in another school nearby (not one of the ones I really wanted) and they were accepted. I have heard that once you have exchanged contracts you can apply for schools so maybe you can get the ball rolling a bit earlier.

Rebeccaj Wed 30-Sep-09 15:02:27

As wools says, once you have exchanged, your county will probably take that as proof of address so push for that as soon as you can when you find somewhere. We've had the same issue; we moved here (Epsom) 5 weeks ago, and my DD joined our 3rd choice school as the other 2 were full. As it happens a place came up for her a week ago in our first choice and after a lot of agonising (school 3 is actually lovely) we are moving her, as this school is much nearer the house we are buying.

We were told waiting lists generally move quite a lot in the first year - 2 kids from our first choice school left in the first month, for example, and this is a really good, over-subscribed school. So just get on the waiting lists - you can do it from wherever you live, and then tell them when you get a address in the area.

wishingchair Wed 30-Sep-09 15:46:02

It's also really tricky to select a house based on catchment area. For example 2 years ago we were in catchment for good secondary school, now we're not. They shift all the time based on location of applicants, siblings etc etc.

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