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should I grass up the new neighbours?

(175 Posts)
sybilwibble Thu 27-Dec-12 10:40:28

Met the new neighbours at another neighbours drinks party. Lovely mum and daughter, plus granny. Ask Mum, as you do, Where have you moved here from? Her response was that she only lives about a mile away, where they have a lovely family home, now sat empty, but they've rented the house in our road as it's right in catchment for the great local secondary. They've been here a month, and will find out on March 1st whether their dd will get a place (she will) then they will move back in a year.

Granny then tells me seperately, that they will be moving back in March, as soon as they get the letter from the great senior school, as they have not been successful in finding anyone to rent their family home from them. Either way, I'm a bit hmm. My dcs are younger so we're not applying this yr, so doesn't directly affect us...but would feel very sneaky calling the local authority... wwyd?

sybilwibble Fri 28-Dec-12 18:31:33

Just to be clear Chloe 74 there was no second hand conversation or cobbled together hearsay. I spoke directly to the mum and directly to the granny. The only differentiation was the Mum said they planned to stay a year. The granny said they initially planned to stay a year, but hadn't found anyone to rent the house and unless that situation changed tout suite, they'd be back home in March, due to cost of renting. So hardly a mixed up version of hearsay.

tiggytape Fri 28-Dec-12 18:33:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SecretSquirrels Fri 28-Dec-12 19:27:47

tiggytape I didn't mean moving into catchment, I meant buying a second property to "live" in temporarily while keeping the original main family home. I suppose people who are well off enough to do that must view it as a cheaper option than private school fees. hmm

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Fri 28-Dec-12 19:51:12

Why is it morally right for rich middle class parents to buy expensive houses in the area of a 'good' school and try and exclude less well off parents. Yet it is morally wrong for a less affluent family to rent in the area to get their child in.

One is fraud and the other isn't. It's really not that difficult to understand.

Perhaps if you have been in the position where your child has lost out to a cheating family or seen it happen to friends, you would feel differently.

Violet77 Fri 28-Dec-12 19:52:09

Report her, she's wrong.... morally and legally. The more people who cheat the system caught the better.

It's appallng that children loose places because people feel "entitled to the best ". Either live in the community or fuck off home.

onedev Fri 28-Dec-12 22:58:38

They actually haven't done anything wrong - if & when they do, then report, but for now mind your own business.

tiggytape Fri 28-Dec-12 23:25:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

prh47bridge Fri 28-Dec-12 23:33:44

Personally I wouldn't wait to report.

The worst possible scenario for this family's daughter is that they get a place at their preferred school but the LA then find out about it after she has started school and remove the place. That will result in her being kicked out of the school after a few weeks and ending up at an unpopular school that may be miles from home as most of the schools near the family home will be full. The family will then be in a much worse position than they would have been if they hadn't tried to use a temporary address.

If the LA finds out about the apparent attempt to cheat the system now they will treat the family as living at their permanent address. That will at least give them a chance of getting their daughter into one of the more popular schools near their family home and will avoid any possibility of her being kicked out of school part way through the first term.

chloe74 Fri 28-Dec-12 23:47:17

It is very very sad that several posters think that they know better than the parents what is best for a child. Why don't you go the whole hog and report them to social services and get the child removed from their care.

Its no-one else's business, its not a criminal offense... what kind of a world are we creating that neighbors report neighbors to the authorities for nothing other than wanting the best for their children.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 28-Dec-12 23:55:58

The kind who is pissed off that because of other people doing this my child isn't at the school which would have been best for her. She's at a crap comp rather than one of the best grammars in the country thanks to twats like this.

onedev Sat 29-Dec-12 00:12:43

I don't disagree Tiggy, but will say again, they haven't done anything wrong & don't think people should be reported / punished for things they may do, but as yet havent done. I'm not in favour of thought police.

SoupDragon Sat 29-Dec-12 08:43:41

It is very very sad that several posters think that they know better than the parents what is best for a child.

Really? I thought posters were saying that it is not fair to lie and cheat to get your child into a school at the expense of another child.

Its no-one else's business

Yes it is. This is not a victimless action is it? If a child whose parents have cheated gets a place, a child with a legitimate claim misses out.

what kind of a world are we creating that neighbors report neighbors to the authorities for nothing other than wanting the best for their children.

An honest one. They don't just want the bes for their child, they want to cheat another child out of a place.

I can only assume that you have either done this or are planning to since you are so vehemently opposed to any suggestion that it is wrong.

prh47bridge Sat 29-Dec-12 10:23:55

Agree with SoupDragon.

These parents are attempting to cheat. What they have said they are doing is clearly and unequivocally against the ruiles. If they succeed they will have cheated another child out of a place that is rightfully theirs. And, as I have outlined above, the consequences for their child could be much worse than if they had not attempted to cheat.

onedev - They may not have done anything wrong as yet (although they may have - some LAs specifically state that if parents own a property but live in rented accommodation they must use the address of the property they own) but they have clearly stated what they are doing. They are attempting to cheat.

The only punishment they will receive if they are reported now is that they are less likely to get a place at their preferred school as the LA will use the family home as their address for processing their application. If the LA doesn't find out about their cheating until after places are offered the punishment will be worse, assuming they are offered a place at their preferred school. They will then lose that place and find that their daughter ends up at an unpopular school, probably much worse than if they had been honest. Even worse, if the LA doesn't find out until after the start of the autumn term their daughter may face the ignominy of being thrown out of school for her parents' actions.

JenaiMathis Sat 29-Dec-12 11:14:57

It's funny how on benefit cheat threads practically every poster cries "report the bastards", yet the first responses on this thread were to keep out of it!

The family in this case are being so blatant they will get caught out. They don't sound terribly well informed, either.

We have children in our village who have missed out on a place at our primary because of people doing this; on that basis I would be giving the LA a call.

Muminwestlondon Sat 29-Dec-12 12:07:26

I think whether OP decides to report them depends on a number of factors...

For example does the LA (like a certain London borough for example) turn a blind eye and by doing so tacitly encourage this behaviour? Is renting specifically mentioned and prohibited in the LA's brochure/school admission information? If so they may well check the council tax information and get them that way.

Is the mother so indiscreet that she has blabbed to all and sundry, so any number of people could have grassed her up or is OP the only one who knows the real reason for the move (has the daughter left her previous primary school)? If not OP might be in a very difficult position.

I must admit that I definitely know of people who did this a few years ago for primary schools and didn't report them. At the time I suppose I thought it was up to the school or LA to catch them out. I would also find it difficult to report a neighbour. Nowadays on balance I probably would report them especially having seen the misery caused when children just miss out on a place.

tiggytape Sat 29-Dec-12 13:17:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tethersjinglebellend Sat 29-Dec-12 14:16:24

I think a tie-break system of random allocation within broad defined catchment areas as opposed to distance would go some way to address this problem.

tiggytape Sat 29-Dec-12 14:36:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SoupDragon Sat 29-Dec-12 14:58:10

Any system with a catchment area will lead to people temporarily moving into catchment in order to cheat.

weblette Sat 29-Dec-12 15:17:14

Our very-oversubscribed local boys' grammar introduced a rule - upheld at legal appeal - about renting when the family has another property within 25 miles. The original address will be considered unless the rental was in use from 18 months prior to the application being submitted. Amazing the impact it's had!

tiggytape Sat 29-Dec-12 15:47:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

orangeberries Sat 29-Dec-12 16:55:18

I find the idea of the LEA knowing about what people might own and for what purpose really bizarre.

People own buy to let properties, often they end up empty for a little while; people move and leave their house empty, do it up, then let it, or try and sell it but don't manage, get a relative in there for a while. I also know of several people who own a small flat in London and then the family live in a big house miles away. Some people also have to move urgently due to work changes, especially in this climate. The above are all genuine real life examples.

I can't believe the LEA would really go and investigate all these arrangements and really be able to discern whether a family is genuine or not, it seems complete madness to me. The idea that people live for years in the same house and never have to move a mile from a school seems utterly bizarre.

orangeberries Sat 29-Dec-12 17:01:05

PS having endured the utter misery of GENUINELY moving houses 5 miles up the road and not being allowed a place in our local school because our application was 1 month late, I find the system very inadequate for anyone who wants to move when the children are between the ages of 3 and 18!!!

prh47bridge Sat 29-Dec-12 18:36:27

The LA has a variety of ways of finding out what properties people own including council tax records. And they must investigate cases where an application may be fradulent. It is not unknown for councils to ask the neighbours at the address given and watch the alleged home to see if the family is actually living there as well as finding out which primary school the children are attending and looking at various other information available to them. Where there is a history of people renting to get a school place LAs are generally very cautious of anyone using a rented address, especially if they have moved there recently.

prh47bridge Sat 29-Dec-12 18:37:56

And I'm sorry you had a bad experience when you moved house. Yes, it is difficult to get a place locally if all schools are oversubscribed. Short of holding some places back for people moving into the area (which is currently illegal) I don't know how else this could be handled.

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