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Can I apply for secondary school for daughter from short term housing?

(31 Posts)
highflyer99 Thu 03-May-18 16:42:15

Hi,
Can you help with advice please. Planning to move to London this summer 2018 (from the US), after the schools are already closed. I know we need an address before we can apply to a school, yet we don't want to commit to an address until we can find a decent school with an open spot for a year 9.We're thinking of looking for a 1-2month rental so we're not stuck in case we are only offered a poor school. Is this the best approach? We'll only be in London 1 year then returning home, and it's supposed to be an adventure, but right now is feeling incredibly daunting.

OP’s posts: |
ChanandlerBongsNeighbour Thu 03-May-18 16:53:26

We did similar when we relocated (within the UK) last summer. We had a short term rental when we first moved before purchasing a property. As far as I recall we just used this address for our school application without any questioning etc.

ScrubTheDecks Thu 03-May-18 19:26:38

Your best bet would be to move to a borough where all the schools are ok / have a good atmosphere.

People always talk about Kingston, for example.

prh47bridge Thu 03-May-18 19:36:05

You need to talk to the local authority about what you are doing. They may not be willing to accept an application from a short term rented address. If you don't talk to them they might give you a place then withdraw it when you move on the basis that your original application was fraudulent. If the local authority says they are happy with you using a short term rented address you need to get it in writing so that you have evidence as to what was said.

highflyer99 Thu 03-May-18 20:04:32

Thanks so much for the advice everyone. I've heard good things about Kingston also. Also been hearing that even if you live in an area with all good schools, if they're oversubscribed (I'm figuring Kingston falls in this catagory) you can be bumped out to a random school elsewhere. True?
Can you mums let me know if there are secondary schools that you think are good, and friendly to newcomers, in London or near, that aren't oversubscribed in 2018? Is there a website with this info? We're lucky in that husband will be working mostly from home so don't need to be super close to anywhere particular.

OP’s posts: |
Hersetta427 Thu 03-May-18 20:20:24

If you are only hear for a year is the poster entitled to a state school?

highflyer99 Thu 03-May-18 20:38:18

Good question. We've been assured that our status as academic visitors for a year means that DD does have access to state schools.

OP’s posts: |
prh47bridge Thu 03-May-18 22:21:56

The local authority will have to find a place for your daughter somewhere. That is likely to be at the nearest school with places. They will only give you a place at a school that is already full if there are no other schools with places within a reasonable distance (around 75 minutes journey each way). You can appeal if you don't get a school you want but there is no guarantee of success. Unfortunately, good schools are likely to be full but you may strike it lucky.

BubblesBuddy Thu 03-May-18 22:27:55

Bucks County Council has lists of schools with places. It’s not London of course, but Chalfonts Community College has spaces in the current y8 and y9 on the list they updated this week. Little Chalfont is about 30 minutes from Central London via a very reliable railway. The school is not in Little Chalfont but you could live there and access the school. Or try and rent nearer the school. It’s not one of the top flight academic schools but it’s worth a look in my opinion and it’s in a great area.

Other local authorities should have similar lists.

ScrubTheDecks Fri 04-May-18 05:33:46

Highflyer, alll very popular schools in London will be full, and if places come up, then they will go straight away to the first person on the waiting list. So if it is published that a school has places now, it won’t have in a month’s time.

However, people do move over the summer hols, so it is a reasonable time to get on all the waiting lists. Arrive, find place to live which suits your own travelling needs too, get on waiting lists for all local schools.

As prh47 says, they have to find a place somewhere.

The worst that can happen is that your child spends 3 terms in a school that isn’t rated ‘Outstanding’. No school is actually dangerous, they all have qualified teachers and teach the same curriculum. You are here for the adventure, so concentrate on that!

meditrina Fri 04-May-18 06:32:50

As you're only here for a year, I don't think that, realistically, you're going to have the time to worry about getting a perfect fit school, not least because it can take some weeks for the allocation to come through, and if there isn't a spot in any of the schools you state a preference for, you will be allocated the nearest school with a vacancy. Which might seem random, but given the geography of London isn't going to be that far away.

I think the LEA would have to accept your first address, simply because you have no other in the country, ever, and they cannot accept a future address which you do not yet have, but do have to process the application for a school place. You could however make it plain that this is your initial address on arrival, and that you might have to move during your one-year placement.

Do you have a ceiling for a rental allowance, and whereabouts do you need to commute to for work?

I'm guessing that your DD isn't following the British curriculum, so this year would be more on an enrichment experience for her, so key point might be pastoral care and ethos rather than academic reputation.

One point in your favour is that London has a lot of people moving in and out, so spots often come up in schools. But you might not have time to sit on waiting lists.

StuntNun Fri 04-May-18 07:00:23

We moved to near London in 2016 and chose the area we now live in purely because the local junior and secondary school had available places in the relevant years. It was a bit of a gamble that no-one else would apply to the junior school before we moved here and were able to apply. The secondary school however has been undersubscribed for several years and only the incoming year 7 is full. It is an excellent school, having been completely turned around over the past five years by a new headteacher. Where we live is easily commutable into London and I would be happy to PM you with more information if you think it would be a useful option for you to explore.

ScrubTheDecks Fri 04-May-18 09:05:53

Dulwich? Charter, Kingsdale, Harris Girls, easy journey to Sydenham Girls.

ScrubTheDecks Sat 05-May-18 20:23:25

East Dulwich I mean.

You don't necessarily need to be in the tube, many of the rail services are fast and good and well connected.

But I think you will get more form your year living within an area well connected to central London, not too far out. In Ondon young peple get free bus travel and half price tube travel - if you go outside London into Bucks or berks or Surrey you don't get this. London teenagers go all over the place on their 'Zip Cards' and have a great time!

highflyer99 Sat 05-May-18 22:09:04

Yes I’d love for my daughter to have that experience of traveling London on her own, in contrast to me chauffeuring her around in the car at home. Our public transit is pitiful.

OP’s posts: |
NewModelArmyMayhem18 Sun 06-May-18 09:39:09

OP you might find it easiest to decide on your preferred area and then look...otherwise you will potentially have too many options to consider.

So I would suggest determining which area works best for commuting/having access to all of London's amenities but equally being able to access parks and out of London attractions quickly too. Will you be getting a car or getting around on public transport?

We live in SW London and love it. In Wandsworth/Merton there's good access into London via Northern Line, District Line, overland trains (to Waterloo and London Bridge and via Thameslink to St Pancras), trams to Croydon, buses to Richmond, Kingston, Epsom, Sutton, Brixton, Croydon and into London (Vauxhall, Waterloo and Victoria).

Lots of good schools locally and in surrounding boroughs (Coombe Girls, Glenthorne, Graveney, Greenshaw, Ricards Lodge, Burntwood, Lady Margaret's). Some schools are very strong on music/arts (Glenthorne and RL specifically). All do languages and for most Spanish is an option.

Have you visited London before? Do you have any gut feelings of what you'd like in terms of neighbourhood? Some areas are more family oriented than others. Some boroughs (and schools) are more spread out and transport links may not be as good.

In London it's quite normal for DC aged 11+ to travel anything up to an hour to go to secondary school (even within their own boroughs). Not many have the luxury of going to a school that's on their doorstep but it's possible. You may just strike gold.

I think within reason I'd almost be tempted to determine the 'quarter' (NE, NW, SW, SE) of London you'd like to settle in, and then do research based on what you can afford to rent and/or best school options. That will focus your thoughts.

Any possibility that you can move before the summer hols so you can look at some of the schools/areas before applying?

MrsSnitch Sun 06-May-18 13:00:12

Unless you are considering renting an Airbnb you won’t get a rental for only 2 month’s OP. Rental terms are almost always for 12 months with a 6 month break clause. This is called an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and gives both tenant and landlord some legal protection. Landlords have various costs to cover every time they rent the property so are not going to want to chop and change every couple of months. If you are on,y here for a year why would you want to move twice? You need to focus on an area convenient for your needs and just go from there in my view. For such a short period of time the school is not going to be damaging to your child

ScrubTheDecks Sun 06-May-18 17:48:33

“In London it's quite normal for DC aged 11+ to travel anything up to an hour to go to secondary school (even within their own boroughs). Not many have the luxury of going to a school that's on their doorstep but it's possible”

Really? Apart from those going to super selectives or the faith schools that have no distance criteria (Oratory etc), or private, I would say not many have any choice but to get a place in the school on their doorstep!

NewModelArmyMayhem18 Sun 06-May-18 18:06:18

ScrubTheDecks our DD travels 45 minutes to her in borough, non-selective secondary school (not our closest one but we are still out of catchment for the latter despite it being one third of the distance away compared with the school she attends).

ksb76 Mon 07-May-18 15:26:41

Short term furnished housing is definitely available on a month to month basis for international moves where you are waiting on your furniture etc to arrive. Please don't worry about the comment above that you will not get one. I am assuming that you have relocation help from the academic facility that is bringing you across. You may want to reach out to the American Women Groups in London too as they have tons of experience with folks arriving and leaving and all the associated issues (housing, schooling etc).

highflyer99 Mon 07-May-18 23:50:51

Thanks ksb76. I hadn't thought of the existence of Am Women's groups. I'll try that. Glad to know that short short term housing exists. No I sure don't want to move twice in one year, but rather than get assigned a school an hour away, I'd like to get the school and then be able to move closer to it. We're looking for furnished places so moving will only be our suitcases etc.
Hoping my DD can go to a close school so she doesn't spend all her time commuting.
BTW - can anyone chime in on what's the average amount of time that y9's spend doing daily homework?

OP’s posts: |
highflyer99 Mon 07-May-18 23:54:02

Hoping to coming out in June or July for a week to look around. So far on my list is to look at Richmond, Kensington, Merton, Hampstead. What other areas do people suggest that are within London, with good schools, that we might be able to afford, for max 2500 pounds a month?

OP’s posts: |
NewModelArmyMayhem18 Tue 08-May-18 07:00:12

Homework is something that can vary markedly from school to school, although as pupils head towards GCSEs (Year 9 is a key year in many ways) this is likely to go up.

Note - you might want to consider avoiding schools that start GCSEs in Year 9 (more normal to do so from Year 10), as your DD won't be there to complete the courses. It would just add extra pressure which is unnecessary if she's only going to be at the school for a year.

MrsSnitch Tue 08-May-18 12:10:44

For that budget you are looking at studio flats up to 2 bed apartments in the areas you mention. These are typically unfurnished. A quick google for serviced (furnished) apartments looks like the rate is £300 per night plus. Is there a reason you need to be in the most expensive areas of central London?

cakeisalwaystheanswer Tue 08-May-18 14:58:44

OP here is a list of rentals currently available in Wimbledon, Richmond prices will be similar and as you can see there's a decent selction available for your budget. You pay a huge premium in Wimbledon to be in the village and in Richmond you will pay a huge premium to be near Turners view of the Thames. This is why you will see 4 bed houses and 1 bed flats for the same rent. I know nothing about Kensington or Hampstead as I have never lived in either. Findaproperty and Rightmove are the 2 most popular property sites used in this area.

If you are coming over in the summer avoid Wimbledon tennis weeks if you want to view stuff in the Merton area. There is a huge demand for short term rentals at that time and the whole area is bunged.

www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/find.html?locationIdentifier=REGION%5E87540&sortType=2&index=240&includeLetAgreed=false

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