School application(16 Posts)
Hi, my 3 year old step daughter lives with me and her dad through the week and goes to her mums at the weekend. Just wondering how will the school application process work in September, as obviously we will be wanting her to go to a school near us but her mum lives in a different catchment area and I'm assuming she will receive the letter for applications...how would we go about having the letter sent to us as we're her primary care givers. Thanks in advance
Can you just ask her Mum? You'll all be discussing it won't you?
Does she go to pre-school? If so, which contact/residence is given as her main? If yours, the LA will write to you.
My LEA expects you to get your own form or fill in online. If you're at school or nursery you get a letter to remind you to pick up a form but they don't send them.
Yes we'll all be discussing it together *Nicki *but was just thinking as her mother lives in a different catchment area she would be eligible for different schools surely so wanted to get it right from the off, hence why I'm asking so early on.
She goes to a private day care swing and her home address there is mine and DH's I was unsure if that's how it works.
And Miranda her mother gets the child benefit for her
You may have an issue with the child benefit. Is there a court order? Which address is used for doctors etc? You really need to look at procedures and individual school admission policies. Authorities do prosecute when they perceive people are trying to circumvent the system. If in any doubt, ask and get any response in writing. It is a minefield without this added complication.
As someone else said, there seems to be an expectation that you know about admissions - it is unlikely you will be sent anything.
You should make a choice of school based on what will be best for her, but there is a need to be realistic about catchments. Head teachers are generally aware of whether your address will likely get you in. Be very clear that child benefit is sometimes used as an indicator of 'main career' so there is potential for massive problems.
cannotlogin thank you, the child benefit thing has been disgusted and allegedly as she is financially supportive of DSD she is entitled to claim cb she's quite difficult so DH doesn't question these things as to keep things civil for DSD, but if it makes a differnce to her schooling we will have to address it. There is nothing official in place to say where she lives, is this foolish of us?
Child Benefit is probably the main indicator of being the 'parent with care'. Assuming mum earns less etc then letting her have the child benefit is probably sensible as you seem to be describing shared care (sounds like a 4/3 split?).
There are wider considerations than just demanding she now hands over the child benefit so you get to choose the school. Do your homework with the schools you are considering - there may be no need to rock the boat. And the ex may well agree to the same choice of school.
Have been looking at the admissions details for my local authority. They say the relevant address is the one where the child spends most of the school week. No mention of child benefit. So if you were here then your address would be used
Thank you ladies. I've looked into the cb thing and the information we have is correct.
Thank you miranda that's helpful to know as I'm guess local authorities can't differ too greatly. I've tried to look on the website but it isnt working!! So will call them closer to the time.
Thanks for your help ladies
You need to apply from your address, because otherwise she'll be an out of area applicant to all the schools near you and may not get into any of them. It's also the only address that you can legally apply from because it's where she spends most of her weekday nights.
If her mother will agree to this and is happy to put it in from your address, then there shouldn't be any problem. The LAs do NOT routinely ask to see proof of child benefit claiming (I know this as I've been in that situation).
They use the address from which child benefit is claimed in situations where the parents are disputing where the child actually lives, and both stick in applications from their own addresses and they need to resolve it somehow. Or if fraud is alledged. If her mother is likely to stick in a rival application, then you need to apply to get the child benefit put into your DH's name in advance to avoid problems. He is providing more than 50% of the care, so should in theory win if he applies to do this. But LAs shouldn't be using child benefit as proof of where a child lives because some children aren't claimed for any more (high earning parents).
Getting as many things as possible in your address (GP, nursary, etc) will help.
to clarify, I have also been in that situation and I had to show a bank statement, a utility bill and prove that I was in receipt of child benefit. (on bank statement). The school was very oversubscribed, however.
They can't force you to be in receipt of child benefit though cannot - if you don't claim it because you're a high earner (or your DP is) then you don't claim it. That doesn't give them the right to withhold a school place. You'd just have to offer some other proof of the child living with you (eg a note from the nursary or GP saying child is registered at that address). I was in this situation when DD was applying to secondary schools - my DH is a high earner so I don't claim CB (my ex does instead even though the DC live mainly with me) This is perfectly legal and they cannot refuse to accept an application from the address that the child lives at.
If noone is contesting that they live with you it should be straightforward. Much harder if the mother says the child is mainly living with her and wants her to attend a school local to her - then she would have the upper hand if she claimed CB.
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