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SCHOOL ADMISSIONS NIGHTMARE...We want to move but are 'trapped' by lack of school places

25 replies

noonar · 28/05/2007 17:40

I've posted before about moving to a semi rural location, and have had lots of great support on MN.

now we've found the ideal village, but there is a waiting list for dd1's year group. we'd be happy to 'commute' back to her current school, 25 mins away, in the short term.

however, dd2 is due to start school in sept 08. obviously, she'd have no trouble getting in to the village school, but we'd then face the prospect of have dds in differnt schools, miles apart!

i just dont know what to do.

if we do move, dd2 would not get in to her sister's school, as we'd be out of the area.

to make matters worse, the 'sibling link' at the village school wouldnt help us much, as its a church school, and the 'sibling link' comes 6th on the list of admissions criteria.

it seems crazy that our 2daughters would have entitlements to places at different schools.

it seems that our only option is to find an unpopular school, a drive away from the village, with places for both.

i know that its a sign of the times, and that many parents face problems with school admissions, but is it really so unreasonable to expect my dds to both be able to go to the same school, in the same area as we want to live??

OP posts:
LIZS · 28/05/2007 17:47

You may find that natural turnover make a space appear for dd1 within a relativley short space of time. how far down the list woudl she be , and having dd2 enrolled might poush her up a place or two. Otherwise are there more schools in nearby villages (I roughly know the area) which could potentially take both ?

UnquietDad · 28/05/2007 17:49

Apply anyway, and if you get turned down, appeal.

noonar · 28/05/2007 17:52

hi liz she'd be about 4th on the list. but that doesnt give any indication of how likely we'd be to get a place. all we need is a couple of people on the list to be 'in with the vicar', and we're stuffed!

if we moved this year, we'd be ok commuting ofr 3 terms, but if no place came up, we'd be up sh*t creek, as far as the school run is concerned.

there are other schools nearby, but only one with places( but they have mixed age group classes, which i'm not keen on, esp for rec/ yr 1.)

OP posts:
noonar · 28/05/2007 17:53

unquietdad, i didnt think you could appeal to a church school. can you?

OP posts:
UnquietDad · 28/05/2007 17:56

noonar - ah, good question and I don't know the answer to that. Anyone?

iota · 28/05/2007 17:56

If dd2 doesn't start until sept 08, I would move to the village and aim to get both kids in the village school - that gives you over a year for a place to come up for dd1.

In the meantime keep dd1 in her present school. If by sept 08 dd1 still doesn't have a place you can consider your options again. If they are at different schools 25 mins apart, you could maybe find a fellow mum willing to do the school run with dds2 or possibly even with dd1?

worst case, you rethink sending them both to less popular school at this point

noonar · 28/05/2007 17:59

thanks iota and unquiedad.

the one thing in our favour is that in sept 09 - long way off- dd1 will be in yr 3. they admit another 4 pupils then, as the class sizes increase. but that's a long wait!

OP posts:
iota · 28/05/2007 18:02

so dd1 would almost definitely get a place in sept 09 if you were living in the village? So worst case you would have dds in Separate schools for 1 year. I would definitely consider that a viable option

noonar · 28/05/2007 18:07

thats right, iota. we'd have to make sure we went to church and moved close to the school, though.

its just that i hate uncertainty. the thought of all this school business not being resolved till 09 is a real nightmare.

my heads spinning with it all!

OP posts:
noonar · 28/05/2007 18:08

unquietdad, think i might start a separate thread re church school appeal (smile)

OP posts:
UnquietDad · 28/05/2007 18:09

good idea!

iota · 28/05/2007 18:09

I appreciate that it's not ideal re the schools, noonar, but if the village is the right place for you to live in the long term, then it should be worth it.

Kaz33 · 28/05/2007 18:10

Also just because there are three people ahead of you on the waiting list doesn't mean they would accept the place. Do people have to re-apply to put name on waiting list or just it does stay on there. Might be worth asking?

crunchie · 28/05/2007 18:11

nppnar I bet you anything you wil get in WAY before then. Places always come up in every shcool in every year, people move. Move and visit the school, beg the head, go to church, beg the head again etc etc I would be v suprised if they both arent at the school by sept 08

noonar · 28/05/2007 18:13

kaz, i've asked them if they have recently updated their waiting list. the head said he will ask the sec to do this after half term.

am guessing the list may be long as it's for the current rec class. many of those on the list may now be happily settled in other schools.

OP posts:
noonar · 28/05/2007 18:15

thanks crunchie. its a 2 form entry school, so not massive.

one thing that puts me off, is that i know of one family who've been waiting for a good year and a half for a place.( but maybe they havent put in the effort with the vicar )

OP posts:
noonar · 28/05/2007 20:15

forgot to add that the admissions for 08 are dealt with in sept/ oct this year, so we have only about 4 months to make up our minds and move!

its crazy. d1 is the one we're worried about, yet its dd2's application that is forcing us to act quickly.

OP posts:
thirtysomething · 28/05/2007 20:24

friend of mine was in identical situation last year - could get dd2 in for the september reception class but couldn't get dd1 in. The school was a five-minute walk from the house they were moving to, and the school she was offered was a 20 minute drive. It went to appeal and they won - I think by arguing that they were a 1-car family and her DH needed the car for work and it just wasn't possible to have kids at two separate schools without a car. Good luck!

noonar · 28/05/2007 20:29

thirtysomething, i was interested in your post. was the school forced to take an extra pupil?

for me, its not so much the travelling, as the supervision. how can you be in the playground at 2 schools at once? you can leave a 10yo in the playground, but not a 4 or 6 yo.

this school is a church school, so i could only appeal to THEM, apparently. fat lot of good that'd do!

OP posts:
noonar · 28/05/2007 20:45

hey, just had a thought. there are spaces in the year above. is there any way my dd could be registered in year 2 but attend classes in yr 1, i wonder?

or maybe i could volunteer as an unpaid extra teacher in yr 1, thus keeping to the 30 limit

OP posts:
wheresthehamster · 28/05/2007 20:49

noonar - why wouldn't dd2 get into your current school if you moved? Is the sibling link not one of the main criteria?

I would start dd2 at the new school - by then a place could easily come up for dd1. If not maybe by explaining to the head that dd2 would ALWAYS be 10 mins late because of your awkward school run, he might decide it would be better to offer dd1 a place.

As others have said though, the worst that could happen is being in two places at once for just one year. Can be done by involving good friends or a childminder just to walk dd1 back to their home. By the time they get there you'd be there if you see what I mean. (I speak from experience)!

noonar · 28/05/2007 20:57

wth, hi. there is a 2 mile limit to the sibling link rule .

yes, i could enlist the help of other mums etc, but i'm not guaranteed a place at yr3, so this could be an arrangement that went on for years!

being lateis not an option, as dd1 would be a good half hour late by the time we'd finished the schhol run. hey, might be a good way to get the LEA involved, though!

OP posts:
wheresthehamster · 28/05/2007 21:01

Yes, sorry I was assuming you would get a place in yr3 but obviously that's not guaranteed.

chatee · 31/05/2007 08:39

when you move put in a request to change dd1 school(whilst she is in infants)if they can not accomodate her, will the lea not have to provide transport?
my friend is in a similar position for this sept (having just moved)and has an appeal soon

dinny · 31/05/2007 08:46

Noonar, we are planning a move in 2009 as well and have same hassle about schools. relly want them to go to church school but i'll be touch and go as to whether dd (who will be starying year 3) will get in. and we are trying to go to church more to help secure places but it is so hard as i work Sundays and ds too young fo Sunday school. gah! you have my sympathy (if LIZS knows the area, does that mean it is near wher she lives? which is near where I live too, iykwim!)

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