Moving house - schools all over subscribed. What happens?

(19 Posts)
Rugby22 Sun 12-Jul-15 15:07:26

For various reasons, we have had to move to a new town, different LA from our old area. I applied for a place for DD at the three nearest schools in our new town, and all three said they were full. They aren't all amazing schools, just the three nearest.

What happens? I don't want DD out of school for ages. One of the schools is an academy, and the lady there said we should appeal for a place. Our grounds would just be that she is new to the area and needs a school! Would that win an appeal? Does the LA have a responsibility to find her a place? can they over-rule the schools being full?

All advice really welcome. DD is going to go into Year 10 by the way, and the academy have said they can do her option choices, so it is our preferred school of the three.

caroldecker Sun 12-Jul-15 15:29:09

The LA has to find a place, but not necessarily at any of these three schools

LIZS Sun 12-Jul-15 15:57:29

You can appeal but realistically getting awarded a place now for September that way is unlikely. Has LA offered anywhere yet?

AtiaoftheJulii Sun 12-Jul-15 16:26:32

Have they said how long the waiting lists might be? I did an in year application for dd2 (for y9) in the June - there were no places but our preferred school told us she was top of their waiting list, and we got offered a place two weeks before term started in September. So you might get lucky - but could start the appeal process anyway.

Patricia909 Sun 12-Jul-15 16:31:34

Our experience, in similar circumstances, was that the LA offered places in the worst schools in the borough (inner London) - as unsurprisingly these were the schools with empty desks. Advice at the time was to allow DCs to start at the schools offered, put them on the waiting list for something nearer/more suitable and move them when a place came up. Given where they were in the cycle this was not really an option so we re-mortgaged the house and went down the private school route. Not a great choice but one we do not regret.

Rugby22 Sun 12-Jul-15 17:09:03

Thank you. So, the LA has to find a place? They've not offered DD anything yet hmm. Can it be a place literally anywhere in the county, as our new town seems to be full?

The academy hasn't said where on the waiting list DD is. Do they have to if I ask? DD is likely to be in one of the lowest categories - distance - unless I can bump her into the 'social reasons' category. She will be new to the area, know no-one, needs a local school to build friendships, has past history of bullying and friendship issues at previous school which wasn't very well handled. Would that be enough to get into the 'social' category for the waiting list?

What about the options issue for an appeal? If DD is allocated a school that doesn't do her option choices, could I appeal for the academy as they can offer her her choices?

Getting a little worried now.

LIZS Sun 12-Jul-15 17:15:29

You have made an in year application to LA not just called the schools? You could appeal on basis of option choices/interests if relevant but term starts less than 2 months hence. It is probably more important that she starts year 10 somewhere than you hold out longer in the hope of the academy.

Millymollymama Sun 12-Jul-15 17:52:54

It may still be that appeals are being held for the schools - they are where I live. The LA does have to find your DD a place somewhere.

coffeeisnectar Sun 12-Jul-15 17:59:59

We moved to our area three years ago and every school in our catchment was full for both my dc. I appealed for both, lost the primary one and dd is at a school 3 miles away (but moving to a local middle school in September - yay!) And teen had the option of two very good schools to appeal to, we went for the one out of catchment as its a sports academy and basically took along a folder of dds certificates and achievements, laid out her plans for gcse options (including sport) and made them think she would be an asset to the school and that her abilities match what the school offers in terms of specialisation. She got a place and is now doing sport at A level.

Pick the school that suits your dc best and base your appeal on that.

Dd 2 was without a school place from June to October that year, utter nightmare!

caroldecker Sun 12-Jul-15 18:08:18

The LA needs to find a place within the LA area. If more than 3 miles away, they pay for transport, but normally just a bus pass.

Exactopposite Sun 12-Jul-15 18:22:25

In our case there was no where within reasonable distance, they left many four year olds with no school place until their actual fifth birthday week! in the end they built portacabins on empty land . Dd age six was left seven months with no school at all until I officially complained.

janinlondon Mon 13-Jul-15 14:14:22

I don't think it has to be an offer within the LA area......

LL12 Tue 14-Jul-15 11:55:11

I was told that to appeal on social/medical needs you need to have evidence from professionals such as Dr, Social worker etc
Otherwise anyone can write anything.

mummytime Tue 14-Jul-15 18:25:36

The LA has to give you a school place "within a reasonable travelling distance" whatever that means, if it is over 3 miles for secondary they also have to provide transport. They can force schools to take extra pupils.
So I would contact the LA and ask when they are going to offer you something.
If you have been formally rejected by the local schools, which usually comes with the offer of a place somewhere. Then you can appeal.

Find out as many reasons why the school you wants especially suits your child. Clubs they offer, subjects they offer (not the standard but unusual ones).

The school they find doesn't have to be in the same LA area, and if somewhere like London often isn't (and in London free bus travel/Oyster card counts as providing transport).

Thatslife72 Fri 17-Jul-15 20:13:23

I'm in exactly the same situation, my drs has a school my dd who needs a yr 8 place is without a school, they're all full. We appealed for our local one who also had a step sibling there and we lost, so we're back to square 1. Re applying hoping someone will leave, the council have said they will find one but it could be miles away and we won't know till September now! Not impressed, good luck with yours op x

LadySharrowOfGolter Fri 17-Jul-15 20:26:52

We are in the same situation. Just moved into an area as dh's company moved us, we had little choice in the matter.

dd1 has been offered a place but younger dd and ds have no offers. Council can't tell me anything. Think I'll be home schooling come September at this rate.

Hope someone comes along who can help you.

poisonedbypen Sat 01-Aug-15 08:49:22

At appeal don't you basically have to prove that your daughter's need of a place at that particular school is greater than the school's need not to go over their usual number? So if the school is a particular fit due to sports, subjects etc. it's not so much selling your DC to a school , but explains why that particular school is the best one for a DC.

lljkk Sat 01-Aug-15 08:53:47

We decided against moving to a specific town because we were told by the LA that none of our 3 DC would get a local school place, with appeals we had a decent chance of the yr5 child getting into one of them. Others would go onto lists & we'd have to buy uniforms for other schools while waiting for spaces. Argh.

tiggytape Sat 01-Aug-15 09:00:07

Thank you. So, the LA has to find a place? They've not offered DD anything yet hmm. Can it be a place literally anywhere in the county, as our new town seems to be full?

Yes and yes. It doesn't even have to be in the same county - it is the school that is closest to your home that has a space in the right year group. So that might be quite close or not very close at all. It it goes over 3 miles though, the council must fund transport. Reasonable travelling distance for this age is certainly 45 minutes each way and you'd be unlikely to argue against anything less than an hour or so.

What about the options issue for an appeal? If DD is allocated a school that doesn't do her option choices, could I appeal for the academy as they can offer her her choices?

Yes. It is in your DD's best interests to continue with the subjects she has already chosen and studied so that is a good point for appeal. It is also good for her to go to school in the new area she has moved to to help the transition emotionally and to help to form friends.

Appeals however are not about showing she (or any child) is an asset to the school. The school in fact don't get to decide who wins appeals. An independent panel does. And they do not take how "good" a child is into account either with sports or academics. What they do look at though is if a child has talents and hobbies and interests that one school can nurture very well, they may agree it is in the child's best interests to attend that school.

To be placed in a higher admissions category relating to exceptional social / medical needs, you are likely to need professional supporting evidence. Quite a high level of need has to be demonstrated because of course otherwise most people would come up with things to try to get placed in this priority category.

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