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Admission confusion - Y9 school place needed September 19 from current address(14 Posts)
My daughter's current school program finishes at the end of year 8 and we are likely to need a new school place for year 9 but I just can't seem to get the school admissions department at the council to help or explain anything.
We can't take up a place earlier at current place is funded by the government and we'd then owe full fees to school, they don't accept that.
We live in a strange geographical 'prong' of one council (that has grammar schools mainly) that extends into another council. All the closest schools are in the adjacent council so we're applying across the borders and they act like we are being awkward.
We'll have to apply, get rejected and appeal after Easter I think but they won't give me likely timescales for this, insisting I must apply during the summer holidays. Surely this will leave her with no school for weeks at the start of term? Also, are the schools even responding to applications then?
I am so confused! Has anyone been through this before? Especially anyone who appealled?
No schools have free places btw so we will be appealing for a place at several schools I assume. There's one marked for closure which probably does for obvious reasons but we wouldn't consider it for lots of reasons.
Y9 is not a usual admission point in the state sector hence probably the confusion from the council. Also if you don’t need a place now they can’t hold a place for your DD which is why they are telling you to apply once the need arises. There is only one state grammar I know of (may be others in other parts of the country) that still has some usual entrance at Y9 and you have to apply direct to the school. For Y7 however it is all done through eadmissions regardless of where you live.
You are also trying to contact the council admissions at one of the busiest times. They are just notifying those with an ECHP of their Y7 places and telling schools etc and final data crunching for the big reveal on 1 March for all other Y7 places.
Unless there are state schools in your area that usually have entrance at this point your application would be I believe classed as an ‘in year’ application. I know there are some middle school areas too but not familiar with those.
Have you tried looking on the schools you are interested in admissions page in their website and looked at the section for ‘in year?’ Or if you are in a middle school area for the year you want to apply? This will usually give you a guide as how to approach an application.
Many schools are their own admissions authority and so outside of the usual admissions rounds the LEA has minimal input other than to try and coordinate which schools have places and ensure your child does get a place even if not your preferred school.
My neighbours went through this process but couldn’t apply until they needed the place and their children were allocated a place by the LEA within ten days but not at one of their preference schools. They attended the distant school for two terms but finally got places at the nearby school as they were high up on the oversubscrition criteria for their preferred school. An appeal wouldn’t have worked for them as they had a place and no extenuating circumstances to justify getting a place earlier.
Have a look at how quickly a place needs to be taken up.
The council / school should be able to tell you, it may be e.g. 4 weeks.
Then e.g. 4 weeks before the end of your DD's summer term (which may well finish earlier than the state system) contact schools, see which if any have spaces, and lob in an application.
Your DD would in theory be able to start after her summer term finishes but before state terms finish.
If no one has places anywhere nearby, then apply, get turned down, and then you can appeal on the grounds your DD needs a place.
As a what is called "in-year" admission you need to be talking to the schools that you would like a place at especially if they are not in the same LA in which you live. Only go to the LA you live in for schools in this LA.
What you need to know most of all is the timing they will accept for places in year 9 in September. Most admission authorities will only accept applications for places, which need to be taken up within typically half a term. Certainly my experience on admission appeal panels would say that the right time to apply for places for September is mid June, which will then mean either a place being allocated or a rejection as the school year is full. The latter is the most likely and then you can appeal with an expectation of an appeal sometime in mid-July. If you leave it later than mid June (or to the summer holidays as somebody suggested) then the likelyhood is that you will be rejected for a place but there is no chance that an appeal hearing will be held during the summer break. You need to apply probably to each school for a place but you need to establish that with the schools - look on their website for admission in-year.
I think you do need to accept that you may well be faced with a situation that you have no place at the beginning of September and you might have to accept a place at a school which is not one of your preferences.
If you apply now and there is a place, your daughter would have to take it immediately (probably within a week) otherwise it would be offered to someone else. So the council are right in telling you that if you don't want to do that, you'll have to wait until the summer holidays (or perhaps the last week or two of the summer term). They can't just keep a place empty waiting for your daughter if one becomes available - if you can't take it immediately, it will be offered to someone else.
We had to move Ds from an independent school at the end of Year 8. It was difficult. Several schools ignored our calls. Our failing catchment school was very undersubscribed (as in 35 children applied for 150 year 7 places) so the LA just wanted to send him there even though their numerous inspection reports highlighted significant failings towards children with his SEN.
We struck lucky in that a good school in a neighbouring area has the middle school system so we applied during May half term as a late applicant and he startedcin the September with all the other Year 9’s.
The mum of a child who ended up at Dd’s school told me she had a nightmare trying to get help or info from the LA when her child was assessed out of an MDS school(as is very common in the dance world). This child ended up being offered a similar place elsewhere but the options locally were grim.
Thanks, that's really helpful, wish the main school we were interested hadn't encouraged us to apply early! Will apply in early June and hope for the best. We will do online school or similar while we wait for a place but do have a few grounds for appeal looking at threads on here and will be top of the waiting list at one large l school due to what she does at the moment so fingers crossed. It's an MDS place she has at the moment, been lovely while it lasted but a pain now!
Is it worth going on waiting lists for any school that you like, and pulling your dd out of her existing school if the right space becomes available?
Obviously you’d still be liable for fees - but you’d be paying these anyway - and it would mean a better chance of getting a school that you like.
We're lucky to pay very little in fees if she goes but would be liable for the full amount if she doesn't unfortunately.
Y9 is not a usual admission point in the state sector
Just to clarify, this isn’t the case across the whole country.
That does complicate things. Is there any chance of talking to current school to find a way round it? I guess you’ve already gone through this.
If I was in a middle school area that would be great but sadly not. We have lots and lots of schools to try and get in too but it's a lot of work and everyone in adjacent council acting like we don't really deserve a school place anywhere! Local council are trying to help but don't really have a suitable school due to the grammar system.
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