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secondary school admissions and house renovations...

(6 Posts)
siftingflour Tue 28-Mar-17 20:05:33

Advice needed!

My son is in Year 5 and will apply for secondary school next Autumn.

However, stupidly I arranged for major building works to start in September for eight months.

We were going to move out for the renovations and stay with my in-laws. My son will stay at his current school so it's only our base that will change.

We own the house we are renovating and we've lived here for ten years. We will move back and have no plans to sell.

We will continue paying the council tax and bills, post will be delivered to the house during the renovations - but the house itself will be emptied of all stuff and full of builders.

But now I'm worried I can't apply from this address, as we won't be living there on the application date in October. I will be back in the house by March 2018. I'm just trying to avoid being in it when they are doing full scale work (the builders say that it will be hugely disruptive - kitchen coming out - and that the work will get done much faster if we are not there).

And If I can't apply from this address what address can I apply from? I can't apply from my parents address as it's a temporary accommodation, I don't exist on any legal contract or council tax bills, it's in a different borough - and anyway the neighbouring council will argue that I still own a property and I can't use this temporary address or that I won't be living in the temporary property by the time school comes around so I can't apply.

I am reluctant to delay works as it will cost me thousands (the builders are already booked).

Advice needed.

PanelChair Wed 29-Mar-17 01:10:21

You need to check exactly what your local education authority says in its admissions booklet - which S hould be online - about what constitutes your main residence. Many LEAs would take the view that, if your house is an uninhabitable shell occupied only by builders, it is not your main address and can't be used for a school application. Some LEAs do spot checks and might well class your application as fraudulent if they visited the property and saw it was empty.

Det54 Wed 29-Mar-17 08:29:33

that is your permanent residence so you should apply from that address, you would be living there but for the building works. I would be concerned if it was the other way round and you were trying to apply from your in laws address.

tiggytape Wed 29-Mar-17 10:27:45

It can also be very much the opposite case.
Since temporary addresses are not permitted to be used, many councils say that, even if a family have genuinely moved address due to renovation work at home, the original address will be taken as the correct one unless that original address has been disposed of (sold usually).

An example is Wandsworth Council which says:

"Where the owned property is being renovated, this will still be considered the family's permanent address. Evidence will otherwise be required that the property has been disposed of."

It is therefore important to check but my feeling is that most councils will take the view that the renovated home is the correct address as this prevents fraud by people who say "We are painting the hall in our out of catchment house and cannot tolerate the fumes so have been forced to move to a 1 bed flat in the catchment area just in time for the application date"
The exceptions might be though a house destroyed by fire or flood where the family have no realistic chance of moving back for a considerable time. Again you would need to check and get any answer in writing so they cannot change their minds about how they decide it when allocation day comes around.

tiggytape Wed 29-Mar-17 10:30:41

(actually I have said the same as Panel I think with the last part about fire / flood / complete loss and rebuild of house. IN all other cases it would be surprising if the renovated house wasn't the ones that counts even if you opt not to live in it for a time)

PanelChair Wed 29-Mar-17 17:20:33

Yes, tiggytape, exactly that. As far as I know, these policies are quite widespread and (I would guess) designed expressly to prevent that "oh dear me, my massive family house next to Unpopular Comp needs redecorating, so it just so happens I'm renting a studio flat next door to Most Oversubscribed School in the Borough in the run-up to application day" scenario. It's unfortunate if that's a nuisance for families whose homes really do need major work but I can quite understand why LEAs do it.

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