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Returning from overseas going into Year 8

(13 Posts)
AgnesG Thu 10-Oct-19 16:42:09

We are currently living abroad and planning to return to England in August 2020. DS would then be going into Year 8. There are waiting lists for the local schools we would hope to apply to. We would plan to rent as close as possible to the school(s) we prefer, in order to optimise our chance of placing high on the waiting list, though accept that he may have to start in a non-preferred school. HOWEVER, we have been told that an 'in-year' application might take up to 20 school days to process which would suggest we need to be back 5 weeks before term end so sometime in June to get a September start (which is not readily practical for a number of reasons) or we would have to accept DS misses out on up to 5 weeks of schooling at the start of term. The local authority requires DS to be physically in the country, and to provide airline tickets, boarding passes etc. to prove this along with the usual tenancy agreement and utility bills.
Has anyone been in a similar position moving house? Surely this an issue (maybe without the airline ticket thing!) even when moving between schools within the UK?
Any advice/sharing of experience would be welcome.

OP’s posts: |
malmontar Thu 10-Oct-19 17:23:51

This is often an issue when expats return or come here. Its also the reason why so many opt for private. I'm afraid you will have to just count your luck, it may not be 5 weeks but your child is unfortunately part of one of the biggest buldge years. Our DD is in y7 and our lea had to make 13 extra classes in various schools. This was the same issue in reception.

AgnesG Thu 10-Oct-19 18:24:30

Thanks @malmontar Is it not the same moving within the UK though?

OP’s posts: |
MollyButton Thu 10-Oct-19 18:52:18

Yes this is normal. It is one thing that hinders mobility for jobs.
You have a right to express a preference for a school - but certainly in the South East most schools are full. Living next door might put you to the top of any waiting list, but you still might not be offered a place there. The LA will offer you a place at some school after about 5 weeks but that could be a school some distance away. Over a certain distance they have to offer transport, but in London that is covered by the free Oyster-card.
If they offer you a school you don't want you can appeal for schools you would prefer, but that will take longer.

Fortunately year 8 is not so crucial a year so once your son is in school he shouldn't struggle so much to catch up on work. Unlike if you moved during the GCSE years.

ChicCroissant Thu 10-Oct-19 19:03:27

Yes, it is the same even if you are moving in the UK - you'd need proof of address such as tenancy agreement (or a letter from the letting agent if you've signed a contract, we did this).

AgnesG Thu 10-Oct-19 20:03:29

Thanks, all. Even though it will be very difficult (and maybe impossible) practically, I'm assuming that we would have a better chance of a place if we move back say end of June instead of mid August as there will inevitably be some churn on places at the end of and beginning of the year. Anyone have any idea if this would make a significant difference?

OP’s posts: |
Wornoutalready Thu 10-Oct-19 20:07:54

I am beginning to think we were really lucky. Our area let me apply for a place using my current 70 miles away address with my Mums address as a contact as we had not signed the tenancy yet. Didn't even ask for any proof off us.

ColdRainAgain Thu 10-Oct-19 20:42:44

I think it depends on how full the schools are.
We were able to secure a pair of places just before we flew back to the uk - it took less than 1 day from me sending an email enquiring what I needed to do to having places offered. We were already paying council tax, and had flights booked (and a uk passport, which I sent a copy of in place of the requested visa)
We did this in June, and joined for the last few weeks of the school year.
People I know further south had more stringent requirements.

Good luck with the move.

lljkk Thu 10-Oct-19 21:00:42

Where are you moving to, OP?

ChicCroissant Thu 10-Oct-19 21:41:31

Is the in-year admission application made through the school OP, or the local Council? Because if it is the Council they will work through the summer although you may not hear from the school over that time.

When we moved the school that we wanted had places so it was fairly straightforward - however, they did comment at the time that if it had been the year after we'd have struggled to get a place as they already knew about the bulge year that your DS will be in.

We moved so our DD could start reception (she had a place awarded at our previous location hundreds of miles away, so we obviously were not trying to jump a catchment queue!) and needed to provide the tenancy agreement, a letter that the Letting Agent did for us and the details of the place she'd already been awarded (we'd applied for Council Tax as well). Although it was late July - and probably because the school had spaces - the Council awarded us a place and the School responded before the end of term.

Good luck OP, it is stressful but I think you are doing the right thing by looking into it now.

AgnesG Fri 11-Oct-19 01:40:20

We are hoping to move to Kingston so looking at schools in Richmond/Kingston (yeah I know we're not màking it easy for ourselves!) Most of the schools we are considering have application through the LEA.

OP’s posts: |
malmontar Fri 11-Oct-19 05:51:26

I see what you mean by not making it easy. But moving to London has the advantage of lots of mobility so higher chance of someone leaving. And more people leave in y7-9 than GCSE years. I think the bigger problem is the buldge year but there's really not much you can do. As frustrating as it is it's really just applying once you arrive and calling admissions a lot, you just never know. There's stories of people's kids starting one week after arrival and others who waited months. I would enjoy your last month's of where you are now and try to not think about it too much as it really is mostly out of your control.

burdent47 Fri 11-Oct-19 13:00:18

We did it OP. Same borough as you. We moved back from overseas one week before the end of the summer term. I had my applications ready but they do want to see your boarding pass/ticket as proof so couldn't send it until we moved in. They also check the council tax to make sure you are resident and paying so there really is no way round it in this area.

Despite the stress/stories you read on the internet, my DC got into the 'massively oversubscribed' school within a couple of days, so it was definitely worth moving when we did. Once the state schools close around 20th July everything goes on hold until the start of the academic year.

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