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School offer - what happens if we move house before September?

(18 Posts)
Aims123 Wed 05-Mar-14 20:36:04

Hello, My DS has just been offered a place at his first choice high school which we are very pleased about. However we have also just received an offer on our house after it being on the market for almost a year and we have seen a house we would like to buy which has no onward chain. Our buyer is a cash buyer so it could potentially go through quite quickly. The house we have seen is slightly further away from the school than our current house but still within catchment. Could the school withdraw the offer if we moved house? We are desperate to move but don't want to jeopardise his chances of him getting in the school. His older sister attends the school but there is not a sibling policy in the school admissions policy as far as I know. Any advice would be appreciated.

Smartiepants79 Wed 05-Mar-14 20:38:04

I think once the offer is made and accepted then that's it.
Accept it in writing quick, if you haven't done so already.

PanelChair Wed 05-Mar-14 20:41:04

The only circumstance in which the place could be withdrawn would be if the school had good reason to believe that your current address was a short-term/temporary one that was not genuinely your home and that you had used simply to get a place at the school. It doesn't sound like that is the case.

Minime85 Wed 05-Mar-14 21:17:38

I thought it was only if u still lived in catchment so best to check with school/local authority admissions

tiggytape Wed 05-Mar-14 22:27:41

You have the offer and they cannot now withdraw it unless they suspect yours was a fraudulent application. As PanelChair says that would be defined as currently living in a rented house, getting a school offer and then moving back to a "real" home soon after i.e. another home they you owned all along.

People who rent an additional house just long enough to use the address to get a school place are cheating the system and can have their places taken away
People like you who are simply moving house will not have their offers withdrawn.

PottyLottie123 Wed 05-Mar-14 22:52:34

Just checked my DD's offer letter carefully. All it says is that the offer is based on our being resident at the address given. It doesn't say that we still have to be living there in September, it only says that the offer can be withdrawn in fraudulent circumstances. At the time of applying for/ accepting the offer, you are resident at that address and are the property owner. No fraudulent circumstances whatsoever. Hope the house move is a success!

prh47bridge Wed 05-Mar-14 23:16:13

The rules are clear. A place cannot be withdrawn simply because you move. If you were cheating it could be taken away but if you have applied from the correct address there should be no problems.

Nothing. We moved two weeks before DS1 started Yr7. I felt a bit shifty when I did the change of address forms as we're now way way outside the catchment area, and the school is oversubscribed, but no one said anything.

FWIW we'd been on the council transfer list for 5 years, and it was just very awkward timing that we finally got an offer when we did. We'd been at our previous address for 12 years so it was pretty clear it wasn't a temporary one for fraudulent reasons.

Aims123 Thu 06-Mar-14 09:15:57

Thank you for your replies. We have been in our current house for 10 years so there is no way they could say the application was fraudulent. What worried me was that on the school offer from the school it says it is a provisional offer and that it may be withdrawn if you move house and someone else then becomes higher on their admissions criteria, however it didn't say that on the offer letter from the LA just to inform them immediately of any address change. Can the school do that?

PanelChair Thu 06-Mar-14 09:59:15

Unless they are thinking of fraudulent applications then, as prh47bridge says, the school's threat to take away places from people who move house is not in accordance with the rules.

admission Thu 06-Mar-14 10:27:37

Clearly the school is not fully in tune with the school admission code. If you were resident in the house address on the final date for on-time applications and on the offer date then you have fully complied with the school admission code. It is just unfortunate timing on the probable move of house.
I would not contact school or LA with possible change of address until it has actually happened, just so it is as near September as possible.
You should check what the formal LA document about admissions to high school says for the school in question. That is deemed to be the "authority" around the admission process and unless it specifically states in that document that places may be withdrawn for a house move before September the school appear simply to making a threat which has no basis in law.

Aims123 Thu 06-Mar-14 10:58:08

The school is an academy and it says it is responsible for its own admissions. I have looked at the LA document and the paragraph on the offer letter about moving house is also on there, this it what it says:

If a successful applicant moves home between the date of allocation and the beginning of term in September 2014, the offer of the place will be reviewed. As a result of this review, the offer may be withdrawn if an unsuccessful applicant is, as a result of the move, promoted to a higher priority on the School’s admissions criteria.

Because it is in the LA document would they actually be able to withdraw the place?

PanelChair Thu 06-Mar-14 11:15:03

Academies are their own admission authority but still gave to abide by the school admissions code. It seems to me that the only way that paragraph complies with the code is if the 'review' is targeting fraudulent applications. Otherwise, there is case law to say that offers of places can only be withdrawn within a very few days of the initial offer.

prh47bridge Thu 06-Mar-14 11:41:58

The Admissions Code is clear. An offer can only be withdrawn if it was made in error, the parent hasn't responded in a reasonable time or the offer was obtained fraudulently. Once the child has started at the school the place can only be withdrawn if it was obtained fraudulently.

If they attempt to withdraw the offer refer them to paragraph 2.12 of the Admissions Code.

MarshaBrady Thu 06-Mar-14 11:43:18

A friend moved in the interim and didn't get the place. They had to be in the catchment on the first day of school.

prh47bridge Thu 06-Mar-14 11:44:11

By the way, in the event of any contradiction between the LA's (and school's) published information and the Admissions Code, the Admissions Code wins every time.

Aims123 Thu 06-Mar-14 12:16:17

Thank you, that is good to hear. We would still be in catchment for the school just not as close to the school as our current house. Our current house is 0.8 miles from the school according to an as the crow flies calculator and the potential house is 1.0 mile. I know some children in between the two houses have been given a place but also a couple have not which is why I am worrying so much as in effect they would be higher on the schools criteria if we moved.

prh47bridge Thu 06-Mar-14 14:20:47

A friend moved in the interim and didn't get the place. They had to be in the catchment on the first day of school.

If that was recent (and they were in England) they should have appealed. The school cannot take a place away just because you've moved out of catchment before the first day of term.

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