When you’re considering moving house, as a parent, there is a lot to consider but nothing quite as important as a school place, or school places, for your child/ren. There are a lot of procedures to endure when it comes to securing a new school place but with research and good planning, it doesn’t have to be such a daunting task.
You could conduct an online search of ‘schools near me’, but there is much more to look into than the colourful, bright and beautiful home page of a school website.
Delve a little deeper and look into the school’s current policies, which have to be accessible on the website, and include:
- Anti-bullying policy
- SEN policy (Special Educational Needs)
- Accessibility policy
In addition to this information, your local council will also have the Oftsed reports of all the schools in the area, which you can read to find out more about attainment, grades, and areas that could require improvement.
School Ofsted reports provide information and gradings on the following:
- Achievement of pupils
- Quality of teaching
- Behaviour and safety of pupils
- Leadership and management
An Ofsted report also rates a school within 4 categories overall, which are: Outstanding; Good; Requires Improvement, and Inadequate.
How to apply
Shortlist your favourite, local, schools, and ring each school office to see if they have an in-year placement available for your child and if they can arrange to conduct a show around for you and your child. This is often the best way to gauge a school mid-day for your own peace of mind.
You must contact your local council to apply through them for your preferred school, usually, you can apply for 3 or more with a priority number for each school. It can take days, or weeks to hear back and you can appeal any decision.
The new school may request information such as proof of address, students’ birth certificate, and any copies of behaviour and medical records (if applicable). When you are filling out your application for the school you will need to record the student’s permanent address and provide supporting evidence of this, which could be a copy of a tax credits letter or child benefit letter.
If you are moving house during your application for a school place, you would need to provide evidence of the new address, this could be; a copy of the lease agreement from your letting agent or a letter from your solicitor to confirm the moving date.
When to apply
You must contact your local council to apply through them for your preferred school. Usually, you can apply for 3 or more with a priority number for each school. It can take days, or weeks to hear back and you can appeal any decision. You are required to apply at least six weeks prior to your child needing the school place. Ideally, you should apply as soon as possible, to ensure your child has a school place once the move is finalised.
If all goes to plan and you’re happy with the school place offered, your child could be in their new school within a matter of days of the council’s decision.
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