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Aunt Agatha

What to do if you miss the school application deadline?

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Our plan is to move back to the UK (job dependent) around April 2015. I have just discovered that the application deadline for a school place is January 2015. We don't know exactly where we'll be living so we can't really pick a school, plus I'm a bit reluctant to do so without visiting a couple of schools in person - we can't go back for a visit before the move.

 

It will be our little girl's first year of school so we want to choose a nice one and one she (followed by her brother) will hopefully stay in right the way through to middle/high school. I don't want to be one of THOSE parents but certain first/primary schools are feeders for certain high schools so it kind of does matter which one we choose.

 

Have any of you experienced similar? Was it difficult to get into the school of your choice? I'm wondering if we should move heaven and earth to make the move back before Jan?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Our plan is to move back to the UK (job dependent) around April 2015. I have just discovered that the application deadline for a school place is January 2015. We don't know exactly where we'll be living so we can't really pick a school, plus I'm a bit reluctant to do so without visiting a couple of schools in person - we can't go back for a visit before the move.

 

It will be our little girl's first year of school so we want to choose a nice one and one she (followed by her brother) will hopefully stay in right the way through to middle/high school. I don't want to be one of THOSE parents but certain first/primary schools are feeders for certain high schools so it kind of does matter which one we choose.

 

Have any of you experienced similar? Was it difficult to get into the school of your choice? I'm wondering if we should move heaven and earth to make the move back before Jan?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

we are also in this position. i have sought advice from fellow parents in our area of choice and it sounds like a nightmare! as you know, school places are like hen's teeth now with many areas over subscribed.

i asked the same question; we will miss the school app cut off, so what happens?

answer; you will get offered a place at a school with a place ie ANY school within a radius, but most likely the non desired ones! hence they will still have places.

 

you go on wait lists for the good ones and if they have spots come up, well, lucky us.

 

totally shits me to be honest- totally unlike here where we had the choice of 4 local schools no dramas, but given the population size now in the UK you can see why it's occurred.

not meaning to scare you of course, just what has been reported back!!!

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Regarding feeder schools - there may be no guarantee's of a place at a high school - I know that when my daughter started high school it was oversubscribed and some of her primary school cohort, even though in the catchment did not get offered their first choice place.


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Thanks thinker78, you haven't scared me any more than I was already! Getting into a half-decent school seems to be a nightmare in the UK, here we are lucky to be on the catchment for a great school and it's as simple as that. Bugger. I think we'd better do some research and see if a move at the end of this year is possible. Urgh, really didn't want to move in the dead of an English winter!

 

Hi Ali, I have heard that about high schools and have looked at the oversubscribed criteria for a couple of high schools - scary stuff! That's why we want to get into a feeder school in the right catchment to try and tick as many boxes as possible, even though it may not be enough.

 

Can we apply to a school if we aren't living in the catchment area at the time of application? E.g. if we stay with my parents in Newcastle when we first arrive but plan to move to Northumberland before our little one starts school.

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in a word, no. you need to show a permanent address. the whole uk schools thing is ridiculous; they no longer even guarantee a school place even if you are in the catchment! for primary kids it's like bloody uni applications- you have to choose 3 preferences and you might not get your first choice. plenty and plenty of stories of siblings getting different schools!

we have no idea when we are moving but i doubt we can time around the school year. i'm actually just praying the universe is kind and a spot in a good school comes up.

sometimes, after the start of the school year, some places do come up due to relocations and not taking up the places apparently.

it's ridiculous how moving and moving house in the UK is dictated to by schools- we have family who are buying a new house but the whole process is dictated to whether the local schools can accomodate ie not by what house they actually want.

 

i know that i'm defo not prepared to send my daughter to a low performing school if that's what we get offered. god only knows how we will overcome this.

in some ways i wish we had decided to relocate when she was younger ie pre school age so that we could be settled before this, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and we just have to hope all comes good.

 

it was a brilliant process in oz- we had 3 great public schools to choose from and several affordable private. one of the saddest things about our departure is leaving her small and easy going school here. but needs must!

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God it's depressing!! I would be really upset if the kids couldn't go to the same school. It shouldn't be this hard.

 

Our daughter is only three so we foolishly thought we were moving at an "easy" time in life. Turns out we should have moved last year. We also aren't willing to send our kids to a low performing school so like you we either have to hope the universe is kind or pull out all the stops to move this year. Both options are pretty stressful.

 

It's going to be so hard finding a rental in the catchment area exactly when we need it and which allows cats etc. It really is a logistical nightmare!

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I am not sure that moving last year would have guaranteed anything unfortunately. All the schools that perform well around here are over-subscribed. Parental choice of schools is something of a bad joke really as it is the schools choosing the children they will have essentially and being in a catchment gives you more chances but no certainty judging by the experiences of friends. One friend ended up paying for a home tutor for a couple of terms because siblings were assigned different schools so far away from each other getting them to school was totally impractical. This was because they moved home for work reasons. Luckily a place came up later and they are now both at the school she wanted but they all had a stressful year. If you are coming in from outside you may end up having no choice in the matter unfortunately.


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Moving last year would have given us more time to find a good school and move into the associated catchment area whereas now we'll have literally a month to find a rental house and then apply for a school place. It seems there are no guarantees though whatever you do.

 

Perhaps focussing on an area which has at least two schools we'd be happy with is the way to go so we aren't putting all out eggs in one basket. Unfortunately, being out of the loop with other parents in the area means that our decisions will be based on guesswork to some extent - there is only so much internet research can tell you.

Edited by Aunt Agatha

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Perhaps focussing on an area which has at least two schools we'd be happy with is the way to go so we aren't putting all out eggs in one basket.

That is definitely a good idea. You are right about the limitations of research too. Sometimes a school has changed Head or other major factors and is on the up (or down) so like stocks and shares past performance is no guarantee of where the school will be in the next year or two and a child can of course spend many years at one school. Being 'on the ground' can help with anecdotal information and the gulf between good and bad schools is too wide.

 

You will also find (and suspect you already know) that catchment areas are significant factors in rents and house prices.


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That's exactly it Gbye Grey Sky, we need to be "on the ground". Yes I've noticed the increased rents around a good school when searching on Rightmove and I read that a property in a good catchment can add 20% to it's sale price.

 

This moving countries thing is not for the faint hearted. My head is spinning.

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As title says sorry to be down but this was one of the aspects of us moving to OZ. Not the largest by any stretch. But we were living in Cornwall with 2/3 of our kids at primary school. We had already moved into catchment area to ensure my 2nd child went to the school because the school was the best in the town and was over subscribed with in catchment applications and I knew of siblings being separated. We rented and moved just down the road and we were pretty much guaranteed a place then by being in catchment and having a sibling at the school. The school was an Ofsted outstanding school and the best in the county so we had high standards to live up to.

 

However, we were struggling financially- jobs were good but wage not brilliant and no career progression. So I applied for a couple of jobs in various locations around the country. But whilst waiting for the application process I looked at school options and there were no decent schools that would accept them- all ofsted 4s and the reports were awful. We also would ave struggled to get them in the same school. We were living an hour away from work adn we thought it may improve our circumstances if we moved closer and lost a car but again only schools that were out of the town could accept them and none could take both. So we were stuck where we were even if we did accept a poor school there was no way of getting them to 2 different ones.

 

I know that the applications for Primary are Dec/Jan with the results being announced Mar/Apr. If you move into the area or know you are moving into the area they will not accept an application until you have a rental lease or a contract of sale on a property. If you call them to say you are moving they will say that you apply in your current area and then the councils will arrange the transfer of paperwork- that way it is not treated as a late application unless the announcement date has passed. But obviously as you are not in the UK you can't apply in your current area.

 

They may have an option but in all honesty I don't suspect they will. After all they will look at is as we have left the system. The school system is so over crowded there that there isn't really an alternative.

Hope you prove me wrong.

 

 

That's exactly it Gbye Grey Sky, we need to be "on the ground". Yes I've noticed the increased rents around a good school when searching on Rightmove and I read that a property in a good catchment can add 20% to it's sale price.

 

This moving countries thing is not for the faint hearted. My head is spinning.


 


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My 2 cents worth.

We moved counties on the 1st sept last year. A couple hundred miles. Of course the kids couldn't go to their original school.

We were staying in a holiday let only a mile of so from our fav school that we applied for (but had no permanent address).

We got lucky though and our eldest got a space (it's an academy with high praise all round). We were told our youngest probably had a space but someone got there a week before is with their application form! Grrrrrr. Anyway we decided to go the appeal route (as we now had a sibling pull too, that was part of our plan starting him without her [emoji6]) and low and behold ALL the yr 1 classes in a 3 mile radius were full. So we decided to let the school know we were appealing their decision (explained about everywhere being full) and I got a call the same day saying they were offering her a space. I think they probably didn't want a failed appeal on their hands.

Plus we live 4 miles from the school currently, (long story) but hopefully by Xmas well be in the same little village which had fairly cheep houses so it's not a blanket rule houses are more expensive by decent schools.

 

Def call both the individual school and local councils to ask about spaces (the council have overall control) but the school usually know before the council if someone is leaving so a space might be coming up that the council don't know about. And even of the school is currently full, go look round.

If you're talking about yr R then that's the year most kids move around (due to not getting a space at a preferred school, waiting on a list and a space then coming up) so even on a long list you 'might' get a space fairly quickly.

Good luck, but he prepared to go grey and/or tear all your hair out along the way!


Trying to get to Aus since 2008. Finally the end is in sight and we are starting to really plan.

Hubby, Paramedic.

Me, Adult Nursing student starting Sept 2018. 

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I know that the applications for Primary are Dec/Jan with the results being announced Mar/Apr. If you move into the area or know you are moving into the area they will not accept an application until you have a rental lease or a contract of sale on a property. If you call them to say you are moving they will say that you apply in your current area and then the councils will arrange the transfer of paperwork- that way it is not treated as a late application unless the announcement date has passed. But obviously as you are not in the UK you can't apply in your current area.

 

 

 

Agree and disagree with parts. Yes we had to do the whole 'council to council' thing when we moved as our permanent address was in Surrey but we were actually at that point residing in Cornwall in a holiday let.

We had no permanent address in Cornwall but we still applied and got (luckily) our 1st choice of school. The kids were 8 and 5 at the time so legally had to be attending a school so we also played the council at their own game a bit.


Trying to get to Aus since 2008. Finally the end is in sight and we are starting to really plan.

Hubby, Paramedic.

Me, Adult Nursing student starting Sept 2018. 

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Thanks K8bug79, no need to apologise, I suspected as much. It really is such a mess. I hope I prove you wrong too but I must admit right now I don't fancy my chances.

 

Thanks Tappers2oz I think we will have to be prepared to appeal etc. like you did. It all sounds so flipping stressful!

 

Does the fact that your youngest initially missed out because someone got their application in a week before yours mean that WHEN you apply during the Sept to Jan application "window" is also a factor? If so we are SCREWED anyway as we can't get back any earlier than Nov and surely everyone will have applied on the day applications open in Sept??

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Thanks K8bug79, no need to apologise, I suspected as much. It really is such a mess. I hope I prove you wrong too but I must admit right now I don't fancy my chances.

 

Thanks Tappers2oz I think we will have to be prepared to appeal etc. like you did. It all sounds so flipping stressful!

 

Does the fact that your youngest initially missed out because someone got their application in a week before yours mean that WHEN you apply during the Sept to Jan application "window" is also a factor? If so we are SCREWED anyway as we can't get back any earlier than Nov and surely everyone will have applied on the day applications open in Sept??

 

Try and have faith; I am!

 

i heard of a friend of a friend who also returned from overseas to a heavily subscribed area (south east) and was offered a reception place in a terrible school as all were full, only for a spot in a great school to come up a week later. like the other person said, a lot of movement in reception year.

 

It is actually a major stressor for parents not only returning from overseas but also living there currently. i think we forget that stressful aspects of the UK are very different. that being said, i can't see it as the reason to stay here- i'm sure the reasons we both decided regarding returning are still key.

 

i'm trying to stay positive and have picked an area where nearly all the schools are good- there's about 5 primarys so i'm just hoping that the gods present a space at at least one!

 

i think things work out in the end. there are down sides of course to the aussie system which those of you moving over here will notice along the way.......nowhere is perfect eh?

 

i always think if you want it to work out it will. i'd be keen to see how you go as we are likely to head over mid next year.

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Thanks K8bug79, no need to apologise, I suspected as much. It really is such a mess. I hope I prove you wrong too but I must admit right now I don't fancy my chances.

 

Thanks Tappers2oz I think we will have to be prepared to appeal etc. like you did. It all sounds so flipping stressful!

 

Does the fact that your youngest initially missed out because someone got their application in a week before yours mean that WHEN you apply during the Sept to Jan application "window" is also a factor? If so we are SCREWED anyway as we can't get back any earlier than Nov and surely everyone will have applied on the day applications open in Sept??

 

We applied in Late June/early July so were treated as a late application.

 

You'd be surprised how many leave the applications till the last minute anyway and it's not first come first served, once the deadline finishes all the applications are then looked at and children placed using the criteria (looked after children, siblings, location, there's 2 others but I forget what they are). :-)


Trying to get to Aus since 2008. Finally the end is in sight and we are starting to really plan.

Hubby, Paramedic.

Me, Adult Nursing student starting Sept 2018. 

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That's a relief re the date of application within the window) not mattering.

 

I think the other criteria might be special educational need and forces children. I have also seen teachers' children and "continuity of educational provision" for kids in the feeder school system but that was at one of the academies so probably varies dependent on the type of school.

 

I am going to try and have faith thinker! We have made the decision to move back this year instead of April next year to give ourselves the best shot though. Wish us luck...

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I honestly don't think it'll be a problem in Northumberland. Not many schools are oversubscribed, and definitely not primary schools. There are very good high schools, with the odd exception...

We have friends who have moved their son mid term from one primary to another. He finished one school on the Friday and started the new one the following Monday.

You will miss the deadline for admissions, but I really don't think you'll have any trouble getting into a good school. In the Tyne valley we still have a three tier system, so there is still a lot of mixing between each stage.

It's obviously more tricky in more heavily populated places, but there still seems to be real choice here.

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I haven't read all the replies so I'm not sure if I am simply regurgitating something that's already been posting. Basically, you can live NEXT DOOR to the high school of your choice which happens to be ACROSS THE ROAD from the "feeder" primary school and you might not get in to either. Or you might get in to the primary school but not the high school. I think distance from the school is now the LAST criteria that is applied when allocating spaces. There are parents that I know of in exactly that situation. Sadly, even in denomination schools, it's not guaranteed that because you are e.g. Catholic, you will get in to your local Catholic school.

 

When I sent DD's to school, the nearest school is behind my house and an "outstanding" school but I choose a school that is a mile away because the reason that the nearest primary is "outstanding" is because now, for each child in the school that get free school meals, or parents are certain benefits, the school gets a "pupil premium" of £500+ per child. That particular outstanding school gets very poor SAT results as the majority of children don't speak English and the money is spent on extra TA's to help, so in all other aspects, the school looks good until you look at the results. High % of child to teacher ratio etc, but not a "good" school IMO.

 

There are a lot of variables to consider when choosing schools and it's not easy but be aware that distance from school is, sadly, no guarantee and neither is going to a "feeder" school. Since the Greenwich ruling, the whole school allocation system has been completely messed up.


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I honestly don't think it'll be a problem in Northumberland. Not many schools are oversubscribed, and definitely not primary schools. There are very good high schools, with the odd exception...

We have friends who have moved their son mid term from one primary to another. He finished one school on the Friday and started the new one the following Monday.

You will miss the deadline for admissions, but I really don't think you'll have any trouble getting into a good school. In the Tyne valley we still have a three tier system, so there is still a lot of mixing between each stage.

It's obviously more tricky in more heavily populated places, but there still seems to be real choice here.

 

That's reassuring to hear Caramac! Northumberland is still our first choice. You must tell me the exceptions to the good High Schools though, my interest is piqued! The problem we have is that until DH secures a job - which he can't start applying for until Sept really - we won't know where we are going to be living so could well be going through the process in Bristol or Edinburgh.

 

MovingtoTasmania we are finding out that pretty much nothing guarantees entry into a good school unless you pay for it which we are not going to do. But we think that at leats trying to tick the boxes of feeder school and catchment area is better than not. We'll be doing lots of research on results and the feel of the school - we want our little one to go somewhere with a nice, supportive feel, good links with the community, low instances of bullying etc. It's hard to know all the true facts about a school but we'll have to look at the facts and figures, read the reports and try and get a sense of the place. f possible we'll speak to other parents too. Our little boy will be following his sister in two years' time so it would be good to get it right first time for both their sakes.

 

Is there any sort of outcry in the media about the state of the allocation system in the UK?

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Is there any sort of outcry in the media about the state of the allocation system in the UK?

 

I think you've answered your own question in a previous statement:

 

>>pretty much nothing guarantees entry into a good school unless you pay for it which we are not going to do

 

You want to return to the country, having abandoned whatever it had to offer, and walk straight into a better school, simply by being clever enough to live in the traditional catchment area rather than making a financial contribution. On balance, if you were able to do this, then I think that would cause a bigger outcry.

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LOL I think "abandoned" is an unnecessarily rather dramatic phrase for what was actually simply the taking up of an opportunity to study abroad and have an adventure. We believe education is a right, not a privilege which is why we aren't going to pay for it. We will contribute to the school with our time and our skills which is far more useful IMHO.

 

I don't understand your pejorative use of the words "better" and "clever enough" as though wanting to move near a school with a nice, supportive feel and good outcomes is somehow distasteful? Had we stayed in our home towns, settled and bought a house then we wouldn't have a choice about where our kids attended school. Moving to Australia and then back again means we are starting from scratch in terms of choosing a place to live, why on earth wouldn't we exercise that choice to best suit our family?

 

ETA: I take your point that allowing people who could otherwise afford private schools to move into the catchment of highly rated schools and take all the places would be unfair. But this does not accurately describe our circumstances. First, we are not well-off enough to send our kids to private school, even if we didn't feel the way we do about it. Second, we are not existing residents renting a townhouse next to the school to dupe another, more deserving family out of a place. We are returning citizens who, by the very nature of our return, are in the once-in-a-lifetime position of having the chance to choose an area and a school best suited to our family's needs before our little ones starts her first day of school. I can't imagine there are many parents out there who wouldn't try to get into the best school FOR THEIR FAMILES under the same circumstances.

Edited by Aunt Agatha

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I was just injecting a bit of "tabloid speak" to highlight how your story could be portrayed.

 

You might believe that education is a right, and so does the government. But to guarantee a place in the school of your choosing isn't. Not everyone's wishes can be accommodated.

 

>>We will contribute to the school with our time and our skills which is far more useful IMHO

 

Quite so, and I'm sure the school you eventually use will be glad of your input. Why not pick a school from the lower end of the table where your skills will do most good? After all, the other kids have rights too, don't they? I think the authorities have gotten wise the lengths parents will go to in order to ensure a place in what they regard as a better school. They also know the effects of voluntary segregation. I think it's understandable that they don't allow people to pick where they send their children based on previous academic results.

 

Like I say, it's queue-jumping, and no one likes that. And your justification that "everyone else would do it, so why shouldn't I?" rails against the noble ethos of education for all.

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I see. Though I'm at a loss as to why anyone would want to "portray" our story as anything. It is what it is.

 

I accept that we will not be guaranteed a place in a good school, hence my willingness to put three options on the application form. Of course all children have a right to a decent education. However, as I mentioned previously, we will not be judging a school merely on results but on the feel, their instances of bullying etc. I won't be sending my child to a school from the "lower end of the table" as you put it, should that school have poor results around safety and anti-bullying measures.

 

I did not say that everyone else is doing it so why shouldn't I, in fact I agreed with you that queue jumping/tricking the system is unfair. Our situation is pretty rare - the opportunity to give our kids a good start on the "ground floor" of the education system because we have to start from point zero in terms of location and I believe that others in our EXACT situation would also seek to try and make the best decision for their families. It isn't a justification, it's a fact as I see it.

 

I understand that you'd like to take me to task for what you choose to see as hypocrisy, but I'm afraid that's not going to happen. I am happy to explain my choices, and have done, but I don't feel the need to justify them.

Edited by Aunt Agatha

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You are doing/wanting nothing wrong stating what you have Aunt Agatha. As parents its only natural to want the best for our kids be it from schools to health to foods, you are not alone in what you want.

 

I think what you have said in previous posts has been misinterpreted, You dont expect to return to the country and automatically get given x or y because you have secured a house in the area, you simply just want it to happen and that is normal.

 

After reading this thread I have googled schools in the area we are from and ALL the primary schools are stated as either 'sometimes over subscribing' but more commonly (90%) 'rarely over subscribing' for intakes in 2013 and 2014.

 

This said though the education system in our area is in the process of moving from a 3 tier system (primary, middle and upper) to junior and high so I dont think anyone can predict what the 'merged' schools/classes will be like until its happened.

 

Keep your chin up, pushy/demanding mums have a tendancy to get what they want!!! ;-)

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