how long do you need to live at an address to be able to use it to apply for school admission?

(65 Posts)
purplebox Fri 21-Dec-12 23:43:24

Just that really. Thinking of primary schools and moving to be in the catchment area of a good one, but I'm wondering how long you need to live in that address for it to be ok to use it? I will probably not be able to live long term in the catchment area I am thinking of.

creamteas Fri 21-Dec-12 23:55:20

More and more councils are cottoning on to people cheating by temporary moving into catchment areas. Which is quite right too. Unless the move 1s permanent don't.

purplebox Sat 22-Dec-12 00:08:32

I'm going to do what is right for my child, and will follow the rules to the letter. I'm just wondering what the rule is as the council website isn't explicit.

prh47bridge Sat 22-Dec-12 00:31:35

There is no specific rule about the length of time you must live at an address. However, as creamteas says, many councils have been stung by people moving into the catchment area of a popular school temporarily to get a place and then moving out again afterwards. If they think you have made a fraudulent or intentionally misleading application the council is entitled to withdraw the place even after your child has started at the school.

You may get away with it if you move in well before the closing date for applications and stay at least until offers have been made but there are no guarantees. If you succeed you will be taking a place away from another child who lives in the area permanently.

And please don't fool yourself that you are following the rules to the letter if you engage in this kind of behaviour. You are not. The rules are that you must use your permanent address, not a temporary address where you have moved to try and get a place.

purplebox Sat 22-Dec-12 01:26:44

I'm asking a question about the rules, not a moral judgement.

I will follow the rules. Lots of people move to get places, to think otherwise is naive, I am just wondering how long I am required to live in the catchment.

JoanByers Sat 22-Dec-12 03:03:17

Different schools have different rules.

Perhaps you could name the school in question?

Any of the following is likely to cause suspicion:

* a house move in the 12 months prior to applying
* where you own a home close by

They will also typically expect you to be able prove your address with a council tax bill, in your name.

So for instance if you are a home owner 3 miles from the school, and rent a house half-a-mile away without selling the house, then that's suspicious.

It has to be your permanent address.

If you currently rent your home, then there's no problem, you just move (and IMO doing this six months prior to application date is not unreasonable, thought it is likely to prompt an investigation), but if you are a home owner then you really have no option but to sell your current home, or have the risk of your child being kicked out for fraud.

Home renters - move for a year to somewhere v. close, move again a year later to somewhere further away - absolutely fine.

Home owners - sell your house or forget it.

PandaNot Sat 22-Dec-12 03:28:46

There are no set rules. If they think you have moved into area to get a place and then moved out again they will remove the place regardless of how long you have been there.

notcitrus Sat 22-Dec-12 03:43:37

In my area you need to be paying council tax at the time of application and when the school year starts.

peteneras Sat 22-Dec-12 06:15:09

So you are not concerned about morals or nicking a place from a local child whose family may have been living in the area for many generations and is more deserving than your child.

Good, I hope your child will be well educated to the same high moral standards.

yellowsubmarine53 Sat 22-Dec-12 06:44:09

I'm not particularly condoning OP's intentions, but I strongly disagree with peteneras description of nicking a place from a *local child.... more deserving than your child".

Why is one child more 'deserving', just because his or her parents have lived in an area for 'many generations?'

The biggest piece of advice I'd give to the OP is don't assume the grass is greener, just because Ofsted or other parents say it is.... Have you visited your currently local schools, your preferred school etc?

Sorry to state the obvious if you have, but I know a few people who have moved (permanently in their case) to get their child into a 'better' school, only to have that school decline and their local school thrive during their child's time there. Also think about possible travel etc getting a bus during rush hour, not having local friends to share pick ups with takes its toll over 7 years.

OP - we moved house 4 weeks ago due to relocating for dh's work. I have just done ds' application for sept 2013. The application firm only asked for your permanent address.

As you haven't actually said you plan to do anything questionable I hope you find somewhere you like within catchment. Moving house is a major pita - dint underestimate that! smile

peteneras Sat 22-Dec-12 08:19:06

"I strongly disagree with peteneras description of nicking a place from a *local child.... more deserving than your child"."

"Why is one child more 'deserving', just because his or her parents have lived in an area for 'many generations?'"

Have you ever wondered, for example, why the government spend multiple millions every 10 years to carry out a National Census? Well, I can tell you amongst other things, it is forward planning to cater for the future needs of a (local) community like how many houses, schools, hospitals etc. to build in the future.

It follows therefore, schools and especially primary schools, are built in any given locality to cater for the needs of the local community. Local residents by virtue of their continued residency over a prolonged period of time would have done their parts to support and contribute to local projects and other amenities including the school(s) around them. They would have paid their dues like Council Tax and other indirect taxes which would have benefited the local schools around them.

It is therefore, highly unfair and morally wrong for someone who is more affluent from outside to move in next door to the school so that their child could get admission to the school and then move out immediately thereafter while another local child whose family who happens to live just 10 yards further down the road has no school to go to. I’d have thought someone who can afford to move in and out of dwellings should be able to afford some mysterious creature called ‘private schools’.

lisad123 Sat 22-Dec-12 08:23:12

Just be aware we have this problem at local school and children who live across the toad haven't got in!!
Being close to school is 3rd reason for place, behide children with statements, children in foster care, siblings and then local to school.

When we applied for a school for DS1We lived in the same county but different LA area, we were allocated a school but it wasn't what we wanted. We had to give the address of the house we were moving to (we were buying) and they were happy because we showed we had intentions of staying here.

Runoutofideas Sat 22-Dec-12 08:40:10

They will not remove your place if you have followed the rules, regardless of the morality of your choices.

I would suggest that if you are living at the address when you apply and you are still living there when the child starts school then you would be fine.

People moving in temporarily is a big issue for our local school. The council are considering changing the sibling rule so that if you move further away after the first child has a place, subsequent siblings will not get sibling priority places. May be worth considering...?

yellowsubmarine53 Sat 22-Dec-12 09:01:21

petenas, it doesn't sound like OP is more affluent or wealthy if she doesn't think that she'll be able to live in this catchment very long.

She just sounds like someone trying to do the best for her children, within an inherently flawed system.

You do know that people move for lots of reasons, don't you? The impending changes in Housing Benefit are going to force 1000s of families to relocate from where they've build their lives and community, people move for jobs, childcare reasons, because they get evicted, because they need more space etc etc.

It's incredibly reactionary to assert that one particular family has more 'right' to a particular school place because they happen to have lived in a particular area for longer.

The Census information only provides the barest of school planning functions in areas of high mobility like many urban areas. Talking of which, successive governments have known for years the birth rate rose significantly in the late 2000s, creating a demand for 100,000s of extra reception places, although this current job are too busy with their pet projects of free schools and academies to be planning in any sort of strategic way for this.

The rules specific a 'permanent address'. Do you think it's more moral to stay at a particular address where you may have lived for some time until you've got your first child into your preferred school, then move knowing that you can take advantage of the sibling rule?

Genuine questions by the way.

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Sat 22-Dec-12 09:06:42

I assume that it will be a temporary rental property if the OP can't afford to live there long term. This is cheating.

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Sat 22-Dec-12 09:08:58

I don't think a genuine local child is more deserving than a temporary incomer but I think they have a better claim on the place. Not that this makes an actual difference to the cheats.

fortyplus Sat 22-Dec-12 09:14:29

They use medical records so make sure that you register the change of address with your GP. Also I'm assuming you're already in rented accommodation? If not then the fact that your house has not been sold will arouse suspicion. What do you mean by not living in the new area 'long term'? Most rental properties have a 12 month initial term - you won't have much choice if you're looking for a shorter let than that.

purplebox Sat 22-Dec-12 09:19:07

I will be renting on an assured shorthold tenancy. I won't own a home elsewhere. For work reasons I will need to move anyway, I will just probably not be able to stay there in the long term. If I were to move, rent, and for the landlord to not grant an extension on my tenancy would that be better?

I really don't get this whole 'deserving' business. Nobody has any right to say one child is more deserving than another.

My dc's morals are doing just fine thank you. Maybe you should concern yourself about your own child's morals petereneras?

steppemum Sat 22-Dec-12 09:19:59

to answer the question.

here there is no time limit. If you are buying you can apply the day you exchange. If renting, as soon as you have a signed contract.

What they check is if you are genuinely living there. So if you rent somewhere and use is for a couple of nights a week, and they find that out, it won't count.

It isn't relevant if you have moved to the area just for the school, as long as you have moved and are living there, you are counted as resident.

you must still be living there when the child starts school. Once school is started, they cannot remove place.

the moral issue is up to you

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Sat 22-Dec-12 09:26:10

The point about siblings not getting in if you have moved away is true here, any catchment dwelling child has higher priority than siblings living outside catchment.

orangepudding Sat 22-Dec-12 09:29:46

I moved just a couple of days before the late application deadline. It was however a permanent move into a house we were buying.

I know a couple who bought a house in the catchment area for a very good school. They did this to get their soon into the school. They rented it out as a short term let the next year due to the catchment area, that child was also admitted to the school. The next year the rented it out to another family, the school refused admission as they realised what was happening.
The address is now blacklisted so be very careful!

LaVolcan Sat 22-Dec-12 09:36:24

I thought they could remove the place if they found the application was fraudulent?

steppemum Sat 22-Dec-12 09:59:21

actually lavolcan, I think you are right, if they decide it is fraudulent.

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