How Can Moving House Affect Primary School Places For Your Children?
Updated: May 2022
Sorting out primary school places for your young children can be stressful for any family, with increased demand for places meaning some could unfortunately miss out on a place altogether according to this report from The Guardian.(2015), that was 7 years ago but the essence of the article hasn’t diminished, few places are being available and local catchment areas continually changing.
When you move, it is not just about what your new home has to offer; there are so many factors that need consideration. proximity and local schools is at the top of every families list. Getting their academic needs met will ensure them peace-of mind knowing everything else falls into place seamlessly afterwards too – don’t forget how important research was before buying furniture (or anything!)
This Article covers the following:
Table of Contents
- Securing a School Place
- How to prove your address to local School Admissions
- What happens if you move house during the application process?
- When to apply for your child’s school places
- How School Catchment areas work
- What makes a school application fraudulent?
- Can my children stay at the same school once they have moved?
- Contact us.
Securing a School Place
Joining a local school is often dependent on meeting certain criteria and having the right paperwork. Most schools have different requirements for prospective students. The process varies depending upon where you live – some councils offer applications directly while others require applicants go through an initial screening by filling out forms with information about themselves such as address(es), date of birth etc.
The best way to find a good school is by looking at websites like Ofsted. You can start creating your shortlist of schools in advance, and keep enrolled with the one you want while waiting on move day! If there’s too many applicants for that particular spot then it might not accept new students but don’t worry because appeals are possible- just contact them if everything goes according plan during application process
The process is made stressful for families who are in the process of moving home, as the council will require proof of residency before looking at your application
How to prove your address to local School Admissions
Proof of residency is usually a signed tenancy agreement or other contracts and you’ll also need a confirmed moving in date. It’s also worth bearing in mind that you only require proof of address when it comes to state schools. It won’t be required if you’re applying to a private (fee-paying) school.
Local authorities generally requires two pieces or evidence that you currently reside at an established home, such as: A current utility bill from a reliable source like electricity company and/or gas supplier. Make sure you have a tenancy agreement, utility bill from the past three months and council tax letter for this year. It’s also worth noting that some authorities may require proof of ID such as copies of their TV Licence or Tax Credits Letter.
We spoke to David, one of our Manchester based mortgage brokers who said:
“Competition for schools is fiercer than it ever has been, and we’re seeing parents make huge sacrifices with some even renting out second properties just to get a foot in a desirable catchment area. Being within a certain catchment area is up there with having a spacious garden or an extra bedroom for some buyers.”David Sharples
Find your local Council
What happens if you move house during the application process?
The worry over finding a school place is sometimes enough to put families off moving altogether, so is it really that big a deal? As with anything it largely depends on your circumstances, and of course a bit of luck. To be on the safe side we would always recommend applying for schools in the area you currently live in as a backup. Of course, this means that you might have to move your child half-way through the term, which is far from ideal, but it might not be as disruptive as you think, and is certainly better than being left without a place. If this is the case, you’ll have to look into an ‘in-year admission’. These are sometimes made directly to the school or sometimes to the council, and you’ll have to apply for a place at least six weeks before you want your child to start.
When it comes to infant classes (that’s reception, year 1 and year 2), there is a limit of 30 pupils per class. This means that once a class has its full quote of 30 pupils, it can be very difficult to find a place midway through term. The best thing you can do is get in touch with the school’s admissions people directly who will give you more advice on their admissions criteria. While it could understandably be very disruptive for your child to move schools midway through term, it’s still better to get it out of the way as early as possible to minimise the disruption. While you may understandably worry about how your child will cope with moving schools, you might be surprised at how quickly they will adapt, especially if it’s still fairly early in their first year. The two schools will also often liaise to help make the transition a bit easier.
When to apply for your child’s school places
Along with the excitement of a brand new school year, parents often find themselves worrying about securing an appropriate place for their child. Transferring midyear can be especially stressful because it requires so much preparation and planning before you even apply! You want to make sure that your application is perfect from start-to finish. Filling out all required fields in detail as well as providing any extra information such academic records or extracurricular activities they participate in outside of class time; submitting applications early enough which ensures consideration during oversubscription periods.
How School Catchment areas work
Catchment areas can be a tricky thing to navigate. You might have been told that your child’s best chance for acceptance is if they live within walking distance.
To get into a certain school, your child needs to live in the catchment area. The closer they are located with permanent residence and how many applications there were per year will determine if you can attend that particular institution or not.
Factors that schools consider when allocating a place to new students include:
- whether or not there are already children in their class, and then depending on the faith they practice (if any).
- If this student comes from an underprivileged background or has specific medical needs.
What makes a school application fraudulent?
The number of fraudulent applications to school is on the rise, which means that not all students are getting a place at their desired schools. This is generally done by:
- False addresses
- Claiming you live in someone else’s house temporarily
- Or renting property near your child’s future school whilst still owning another residence elsewhere
The school will make sure your child’s address is correct before deciding whether or not they can enroll. Some schools and councils do random checks, but it depends on which one you’re dealing with.
Can my children stay at the same school once they have moved?
You don’t have to move schools if you’re staying in the same area. However, a new place will be needed for any children who are moving further away from their current catchment area and into an unfamiliar one with different needs.
Ultimately, moving house while applying for schools isn’t ideal, but it doesn’t need to be the end of the world. Remember that your child’s education and happiness is the main thing here, and if it does seem like the process is going to cause too much hassle, it may be best to consider postponing the move, or looking elsewhere.
Citizens Advice also have a guide to applying for school places which you can check out here.