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Relocation and Finding a School

(10 Posts)
scrappydappydoo Mon 09-Nov-09 09:47:09

Not sure where to post this so I'll start here..
We're considering relocating to Wokingham area possibly Feb/March time. DD1 is due to start reception in Sept 2010 and I'm unsure about how to go about sorting out a school for her...
Do I find a house first and then try and find a school nearby with spaces?
Or find a school we like and then try and find a house in catchment area but even then might not get a space because its oversubscribed..
I realise if she was entering any other year it would be case of ringing a school and seeing if they have space in her year but as we are moving around the time they allocate reception places (after application deadline)its all a bit confusing.
How do i find what schools are generally oversubscribed??
I'm terrified of getting this wrong and messing up dds education - I have applied to good school.

titchy Mon 09-Nov-09 10:44:21

Haven't you missed the application deadline now anyway? (end of October for us).

scrappydappydoo Mon 09-Nov-09 11:27:07

Yep - thats what I mean - how do I go about finding a place in reception when I've missed the application deadline and I don't know how oversubscribed the schools are so I don't know how long the waitlists are so is it worth looking at that area for houses when I may have to travel far to another school cos local is full iyswim

EldonAve Mon 09-Nov-09 11:28:56

call the local council admissions dept

titchy Mon 09-Nov-09 11:41:50

You may be able to get an idea from the council website. Ours publishes the number of applicants under the various categories (looked after, siblings etc) for each school, and the furthest distance away a child was admitted to from.

The council should also be able to tell yiou how many got in from waiting lists for each school which will give you a rough idea of your chances. If there is a school you like which does not seem to be oversubscribed, or where the waiting list moves fairly quickly, then I guess you move into that area and keep your fingers crossed.

I suspect though you'll be bottom of the waiting lists because you would be a late applicant, so moving into a catchment area isn't going to help, unmless as I said above the school is not likely to be over-subscribed.

I think the results of applications come out on 1 March, so perhaps if you can delay your decision about where to move to till then the council can give you a definitive answer on whether you'd get into a particular school or not.

rebl Mon 09-Nov-09 12:57:07

You might not have missed the deadline. Here its mid-Dec. Best thing is to ring the admissions team and see what they say.

flintski Mon 09-Nov-09 15:51:26

Hi - We relocated this year and my DD started reception in September. Like a previous poster, I would suggest calling local council admissions first off as i don't think the schools don't have any control over reception admissions until the whole process has finished and then hold waiting lists.

I would say however, that I think they will ask you for a local address as I'm not sure they can put you through the process whilst you are out of area. We lived with my in-laws for a few months before our house sale went through and our local school were happy to accept that address (as the application process was closed and they still had a place)

as far as finding out what schools are like, you can make appointments to see schools - if you go on aboutaplace.co.uk and search an area, it shows you local schools and links to their ofsted reprots. Most schools will be happy to show you around or might not have even had their open eve yet.

HTH

scrappydappydoo Mon 09-Nov-09 16:13:18

Thanks everyone!! Just feeling a bit worried about it - will have to do some mega research I think!

madwomanintheattic Mon 09-Nov-09 16:17:12

we mov every 12 mos - 2 years. i usually know where roughly we will be living so start ringing and visiting schools as early as possible.
with dd2 i was in the same position for yr r. essentially she didn't have a school place until 6 weeks before the end of the summer term (the earliest point at which they can allocate from the waiting list for 'late' applications where we were living.

you have to cross your fingers and hope for the best really, but choose which school you want as far in advance as possible and get your name down on the waiting list. they may not let you even do that, however, until you have a firm address - some la's wait until you have signed contracts/ rental agreements. it's easier to speak directly to the ht's and get on their good side tbh.

displayuntilbestbefore Mon 09-Nov-09 16:19:54

deadline for us was Jan for the new location but december for the place we were mkoving from so I had already applied to the school nearby in case we didn't manage to move after all. I was in exactly same position as you with ds1. We rang round schools and tried to visit as many as we could when we were in the area househunting but also got info from owners of houses we were looking at. In terms of getting a place, we found the house in the area where the better school was and then because we were still living in a totally different part of the UK when we made the application, we put in the notes on the form that we were in the process of buying X house and our solicitors were X so they could contact them to verify our application and we'd already spoken to the school office about a place and our situation.
Good luck but don't get too anxious as schools are often a lot more help than you expect!

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