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to expect a school place for my son now instead of January?

28 replies

Abbybabbly · 06/09/2015 22:27

Late admission submitted 3 weeks ago.
Have heard nothing from them apart from my numerous calls to them / schools enquiring about places and waiting lists.
I've found schools with places 7 miles away and said I would take it however the council can't even be bothered to check if that place is still available and inform the school so now they're all starting tomorrow and my sons going nowhere.
Apparently they have until January at the legal age of the term after he is 5 to make an offer according to other parents I've spoken to but surely this isn't right? Is there an official date they should have made an offer by? :(

OP posts:
Littlefish · 06/09/2015 22:30

Just give it a couple of days. Many children will be starting part time next week anyway.

There is often movement in the first week or so of term, where children don't turn up to take their school place, so I would just hang on and call Admissions tomorrow afternoon.

WombatStewForTea · 06/09/2015 22:31

Why were you late applying?

Floggingmolly · 06/09/2015 22:31

Why was your admission submitted late?

Floggingmolly · 06/09/2015 22:34

application, not admission

ATruthUniversallyAcknowledged · 06/09/2015 22:36

Tbh, I'm not sure there's a huge amount the LA could do until tomorrow. Tomorrow they'll be able to talk to head teachers, see whether any places haven't been taken up etc etc. They'll probably offer him a place by the end of the week.

OwlinaTree · 06/09/2015 22:37

It's probably difficult for admissions to get accurate information from schools as everybody is on holiday. I hope it gets sorted for you this week. There is usually lots of movement during the first year.

alleypalley · 06/09/2015 22:39

We were a late admission last year due to us moving after the deadline, so our application was done in our previous borough.

We did get an offer in our new borough, but not the school I wanted. Two days into the term she got an offer at our first choice school. As Littlefish said there is always a lot of movement in the first few weeks. You'll most likel get an offer pretty soon.

tiggytape · 06/09/2015 22:40

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Abbybabbly · 06/09/2015 23:00

Thanks for replies.
Unfortunately we had to move as landlord sold our property due to divorce :( so have part bought a place but 30 miles away from old borough or we would have kept the space he was given.
I wondered if there was a specific date they had to provide a school.
I just feel like I'm really trying :( I done my application, I requested a vacancy list within 10km and contacted all schools with vacancies, the one who confirmed they had one space ( 7 miles about, special measures school ) i still said I would accept so he could start school with everyone else ( Tuesday ) pay the petrol myself as I'm requesting the school myself so not entitled to transport and I just have got nothing back.
Feel really down :(

OP posts:
tiggytape · 06/09/2015 23:11

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ATruthUniversallyAcknowledged · 07/09/2015 06:44

I really feel for you. It must be horrible not knowing where he is going or when. Can I offer a little reassurance from a different angle though? My son starts school today. Today, he will pay attention to the three pupils he knows from nursery but barely register the others. Tomorrow he might ask someone new if they like cars, or try to wrestle some Lego off them. If someone new turns up in a week or a month he probably won't even notice they are new. He'll ask if they want a race. If they do, brilliant, friends for life. If they don't, meh, he'll go off and find another child go run with (& won't know if he's met them before or not).

They're fickle little things at this age. Your son won't miss out on life long friendships by missing a few days or weeks. Try not to worry.

Sighing · 07/09/2015 06:47

If you've confirmed with the school then they can get the paperwork going (and because of payments, now they're back they might crack on with that).

Spartans · 07/09/2015 06:56

Not sure if this will help as we did in an in year move.

But we spoke directly to the schools, went and looked round and they gave us the paperwork. This was the week before Christmas school holidays and she started the first day in January.

Tbf to the LA if the schools are still on holiday (our kids went back last week) there won't be a lot that they can do.

If they are back this week I would leave it a couple of days and contact the schools.

I am not sure if the rules about what the 'must do' apply with such a late application. I may be wrong, but I can't imagine they have the same rules for very late applications that they have for people who applied last November.

listsandbudgets · 07/09/2015 08:58

OP I would ask Mumsnet for this to be moved to Education. There are somme posters on there with a really good knowledge of admissions who may be able to give you further advice.

I hope you find him a place

grapejuicerocks · 07/09/2015 10:06

Ring round all the schools again and say you are still looking for a place. Do they have one or can they ring you asap if one comes available in the next few days.
And hound the LEA until they find you a place to get you off their backs.

InimitableJeeves · 07/09/2015 10:16

No need to move it to Education, what Tiggytapes says is exactly right.

If they can't find you a place today, quote those bits of the Admissions Code to them and say you expect them to follow it. You could also raise the issue of discrimination since presumably they have given places to children who are younger than yours: your child doesn't fall within the minorities mentioned in the Equality Act but discrimination is contrary to the Human Rights Act, and there is a case for saying that children whose parents break up are more likely to be in this situation. Also of course it is important for children whose lives are disrupted in this way to have stability.

If you are still prepared to take the school 7 miles away, and if they aren't offering you a place any nearer, you will be entitled to repayment for transport: the LA is only entitled to refuse if there is a nearer suitable school. Plus, the prospect of having to pay for transport may make them keener on finding a nearer school for you.

Abbybabbly · 07/09/2015 14:30

Sorry I'm confused by the above reply regarding the discrimination as we aren't a separated couple etc so not sure where this fits.
I thought that if I requested a place whether it be 7 or 70 miles if I requested it myself I am then not entitled to reimbursement? It would be petrol mileage as no public transport goes near the school.
Maybe this is why they are hesitant on giving it to me?
I received a reply just now after I emailed regarding tiggytapes advice this is what they said :

OP posts:
Abbybabbly · 07/09/2015 14:32

Thank you for your e-mail. We will contact Woodmansterne today and let you know as soon as possible whether they have a place for him.

Regarding adding him to other schools' waiting lists we can confirm that this will be processed in date order of its receipt. Due to the high volume of work received over the summer period this may take up to 15 working days for us to action. All requests and correspondence received will be dealt with in strict date order to ensure that no one is disadvantaged and that all requests are dealt with fairly.
If your child reaches the top of the waiting list and a position becomes available we will write and advise you of the offer. We would kindly request that you do not chase before the 20 working days as this may result in further delays.
Please note that waiting list positions can change as children move in and out of the area in line with the admissions criteria set for the school.
Thank you for your patience at this very busy time.

Kind regards,

Admissions & Transport Team

OP posts:
hiccupgirl · 07/09/2015 14:41

Personally I would wait and give the schools chance to come back and by the end of this week it will be clearer if there are spaces closer to your new address. I wouldn't rush into starting your DS at a school 7k away when a space could well come up much closer and at a better school.

If it helps my DS started reception last Sept. 2 children joined his class after Christmas, taking 2 spaces that had been open since the kids when back in Sept - the parents chose to wait to start then. Within a couple of weeks it was like the 2 of them had always been there and now they've just gone back to yr 1, they are part of the class like all the others.

tiggytape · 07/09/2015 14:41

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Pico2 · 07/09/2015 14:46

I wonder whether it might be worth contacting local schools again before starting him at a school 7 miles away. One of DD's friends didn't appear at school last week. It turned out that she'd moved and been offered a place near her new home just before the beginning of term (different LA). DD's school seem to have worked out today that the pupil won't be starting. Places will come out of the woodwork like that in lots of schools, so it might be worth giving it a few days to find out whether a closer school has space.

tiggytape · 07/09/2015 14:55

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Abbybabbly · 07/09/2015 15:55

I'll have shot myself in the foot almost now if they give me the one 7 miles away as I've asked for it.
But it was the only school with spaces showing on surreys school vacancy list, with it being the holidays I couldn't contact schools directly so thought I was doing the best thing.
I have spoken to the school, they are now leaving for the day and have heard nothing from the council so that didn't happen.

OP posts:
tiggytape · 07/09/2015 17:58

This reply has been deleted

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Abbybabbly · 07/09/2015 19:59

Okay, so the head called me at 430pm before she went home, still no update and she did mention a child had moved in 2 roads away who's mum had called today and requested he go on the waiting list so wanted to get this sorted ASAP.
I then tried calling the admissions team for an hour with no reply so called the council schools helpline direct.
He asked me to hold as my sons name rang a bell and went off to check something, came back and said on the system we have been made the offer of woodmansterne! He said not to bother waiting for the letter, to email admissions now accepting it if I want it and liase with the school direct from now regarding start dates etc.
I asked if he was aware of any closer schools with vacancies and he said none that were on prefernce list ( this was number 6 ) however to apply for transport they will check if there was any other schools with vacancies within the 2 mile radius at the time of application, if not then we may be entitled to some help with transport so to fill out the form online and they will let me know.
I hope this isn't a error and he is right that we have the place, I'm very nervous about my little boy starting in an unfamiliar school and area but I feel I've done the best I can given the circumstances :(

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