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EvieV

Applying to UK schools before we move

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After 19 years in Australia, I'm planning on moving my little family over to the UK in January 2019, at the end of the current Australian school year. We have an area in mind that we'd like to move to, and a secondary school for my eldest, but I'm wondering how we apply for a primary school place for my son (who will only be there for 6 months while he repeats half of Year 6) when we don't exactly know where we'll be living and whether it'll be in the catchment area. 

We have no family in that area that we can stay with, having chosen it purely for lifestyle/location/schooling reasons.

I'm assuming we'll have to rent a furnished holiday cottage for a good 2 months until our furniture arrives, so would the local authority accept that as our address, despite it being temporary/a holiday let? 

Has anyone else gone through this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’d check the local councils website for the school enrolment policy (ie if it’s zoned, proof of residence within it etc). It could also be there is a wait list for a space in the year group (this happens often and when a child leaves, another can move across). 

And also check the schools own website and their enrolment info. An email or phone call to follow up if you need to ask questions. 

Eta - If zoned or at capacity you may have to wait till living there. If not, it may be possible to enrol them ahead of a move. Personally iI think f you don’t know the area or schools I’d wait till you are there and can take the school tour and check your options out, then decide. 

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I don't know where you are moving to? but my son lives in Bristol and the zones for secondary schools seem very tight, and the same for Primary. They are considering moving as the OfSTED? Report, think that's what it's called, for their local secondary isn't very good even though they live in a good area, so check this for the local schools in the area you are thinking about.

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As has been said, it probably depends on area.  We moved to Scotland, and managed to secure a rental from Australia (with the help of OH's new employer and his mum), but the school wouldn't do anything until we turned up with a copy of our rental agreement.  We made an appointment, went to speak to the head teacher and have a tour around the school, got given a couple of school jumpers from lost property to use until their uniform came, and they started the following Monday.  However, in Scotland, unless you are in Edinburgh or Glasgow, if you are in the catchment for a school you automatically get a place, regardless of how many other kids are at the school.  We had had lots of help and advice from OH's new employer about the schools, so we were certain it was a good fit for our kids.

As Snifter suggested, you will probably need to check the school/local authority websites to see what the policy is.  You could also email and see what the advise.  I wouldn't apply until you are in the area though, unless you know the area well or have someone in the area to check things out.  The school may not do anything until you arrive anyway.

You might not need a furnished place.  We moved into our rental after a week in a holiday place.  We had left our sofas and mattresses in Australia, and ordered new ones from IKEA that were delivered to the rental.  We just used the mattresses on the floor until the bed frames arrived, used the new sofas and got a cheap garden table/chairs for the kitchen.  We just muddled through, living out of suitcases for the few weeks until our stuff arrived.  The kids thought sleeping on the floor was fun (although it did wear a bit thin for OH and I!).

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Thank you all for your responses. We plan to move to Devon so I've emailed the admissions department there (as I also want my daughter - a July baby - to go down a year - as she'll need to catch up on the GCSE syllabus.).

Arriving mid-year complicates things a bit as according to the local authority website, we can't apply any earlier than 2 months before we want them to enrol (as if we don't have enough to organise around then lol!). But according to online reports, the secondary school was not oversubscribed this year and neither are the 2 primaries we are interested in; the beauty of moving to the sticks!

I'll probably have to fly over 2 months before our move to have a proper look around the schools and organise the applications. Thanks, LKC, for your advice re rentals. I had thought about 'camping out' for a few weeks on a couple of airbeds and knowing someone else has done it with a couple of kids and survived gives me hope! Any money we can save on renting is a bonus as I really hope we will be able to buy a property after 6 months. Just got to hope there's a rental which suits our needs (we're bringing our dog over too) & is available then!

 

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We managed to find a rental here with four cats, it wasn't a problem, we just got the carpets cleaned when we left.  The UK is pretty pet friendly, on the whole.  You could offer a bigger deposit if you thought it might help.  We bought a house here almost six months to the day that we arrived back, and have settled well.  We're in a rural area, and the kids have settled well at school.  Because the cut off dates in Scotland are different, both went back six months, which worked well.  It gave them lots of time to settle in and make friends.

Good luck with it!

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