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can you apply for a school place before you move into the area?

(18 Posts)
Mamateur Fri 15-Jul-11 09:00:53

We're moving out of London and will hopefully be in a new town over the course of the summer. We haven't found a house yet, or sold ours although it's on the market and has had lots of interest.

We have DN living with us - can we apply for his secondary school place before we even have an address? He is not technically a 'looked after' child, but will be viewed as a priority due to his circumstances.

I just don't want to leave it till the last minute and get an out of area school or no school for weeks.

I will of course be calling the ed authority but I just wanted to get an idea first.

Hulababy Fri 15-Jul-11 09:03:30

You can apply and add a letter or supporting statement to say why. However, you do have to put you current address on the application so you will be treated as out of catchment.

Once you have exchanged contracts on a house then you can use that address though.

Oakmaiden Fri 15-Jul-11 09:05:04

If you are applying for school entrance whilst all the other children of the same age are applying, then really you have to live in the area - otherwise your current address will be used to calculate catchment and your child will be right down the bottom of the list. If you are applying for out of year entry then there isn't really a problem - you can apply for any school you like, regardless of where you live, and if there is space the school will allocate a place. If there isn't then they won't. However, you do need to take up the space within a certain amount of time, the school aren't able to keep a place open indefinitely.

Mamateur Fri 15-Jul-11 09:12:18

Thanks for your posts.

I suppose we're pinning our hopes on him being viewed him as a looked after child, i.e. a foster child so would put him in any school. The school we picked said they would have no choice but to take him if the council told them to. We are only looking for houses in the catchment area for the school we want though.

HauntedLittleLunatic Fri 15-Jul-11 09:22:14


Interesting...I am planning to move lea's next summer....don't know where yet (need to get a job first!). My dtds are due to go to secondary that year. Does this mean I should apply for their current catchment school locally in autumn (assuming that is when applications are done?) - in case we don't move. Then apply to new lea when we know where we are going.

Will it be hideously hard to get them into yr7 in new lea? Don't think schools will be over-subscribed - outside London.

I guess I haven't thought this one thru properly....

Rosebud05 Fri 15-Jul-11 09:26:52

I would apply where I was living at the times of applications haunted, just to be on the safe side. There would be no problem with turning down unneeded places that were allocated if you have moved but BIG problems with trying to find places esp 2 together after the allocation round.

HauntedLittleLunatic Fri 15-Jul-11 09:28:13


HauntedLittleLunatic Fri 15-Jul-11 09:30:16

Would it be easier to stay local for a year and then move for yr8?

That would involve dtds doing a year at one school then moving. Me doing a year in new job and then moving. On paper thought this would be more unsettling but might be easier to execute?

Rosebud05 Fri 15-Jul-11 09:49:35

What would be the secondary options where you are now? I guess it's impossible to make this decision if you don't know where you're moving to and what school options you'll have.

I might be wrong, but I think secondary school applications need to be submitted fairly sharpish in the autumn term - October, I think, so it's unlikely you'll have moved by then it sounds.

Rosebud05 Fri 15-Jul-11 09:50:54

mamateur, you need an address to apply for school places.

I would definitely ask the LEA about your dn's priority -are you registered as family foster parents?

HauntedLittleLunatic Fri 15-Jul-11 09:52:01

Catchment secondary options not great - tbh (middle school system).

I can't move till next summer - am teacher training locally but free to move anywhere once qualified although have dome target areas.

prh47bridge Fri 15-Jul-11 09:58:59

If the child is giong in to Y7 you should apply through your current LA if you haven't moved by the time applications have to be submitted. You can name schools in the new town and they will pass on your application. However, they will use your current address which means you are unlikely to get a place at a popular school unless he is in a high admissions category, e.g. looked after or, if they have this category, special medical needs. If you don't get any of the schools you apply for in the new town you will end up being offered a place where you live at the moment, which won't be very helpful. However, once you have somewhere to live in the new town and can provide the required proof of address your new LA will accept an application based on that address. They will then allocate you a place at a school in the new town and you may also move up the waiting list for schools to which you have already applied.

Of course, your best option would be to move before the deadline for applications if you can.

Without knowing more about the circumstances which you say mean he will be viewed as a priority and the town to which you intend to move it is impossible to say whether or not he will be given priority.

mummytime Fri 15-Jul-11 10:32:48

I wouldn't assume schools outside London will have spaces.

However schools may have spaces, and there is always some movement. You can also appeal. In Mamateur's case I am sure you have lots to say about why it is so important for your DN to go to a specific school.

Mamateur Fri 15-Jul-11 14:12:36

rosebud we haven't registered as his legal guardians. I think this should be my next step. He's finishing year 8 now at the local school here, so has a place for next year if we don't move.

Prh thanks for that, I hadn't considered doing it that way. I'll speak to the lea here.

mummytime Sat 16-Jul-11 07:00:06

Have you been in touch with are you registered with your local authority?

Mamateur Sat 16-Jul-11 08:01:16

We're not registered at all and there has been no social services involvement ever. Thanks for the link, I'll check them out.

Mamateur Sat 16-Jul-11 08:02:28

Oh, I think that private fostering org is for children cared by non-close relatives, but we are his aunt and uncle. I suppose ours is more a kinship adoption.

vividgingerchilli Sat 16-Jul-11 08:05:19

Yes...we did and got places.

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