School place applications: what you need to know when relocating families
The British education system is respected around the world and when relocating families from overseas, you’ll find that parents are more than happy to settle their children into the British system. Although generally straightforward, there are some nuances in the admissions process that are worth noting. Here we share our experiences of relocating families with school‐age children.
State schools ‐ all about the timings
Applying for a state school involves a parent having a permanent, valid address as part of the application. Therefore, a family must have signed a tenancy agreement or have moved in when they fill out an application. The deadline for secondary school applications is the 31st October 2015 while the primary school place application process for the 2016 intake (for children born between 1st September 2011 and 31st August 2012) is open between now and 15th January 2016.
In‐term admissions ‐ dependent on classroom capacity
If you are relocating a family during the school year and are outside of the formal application window, you’ll need to make an in‐term admissions application. It’s best to contact schools directly to establish their class numbers and whether they have any immediate spaces. They may refer you to the county/local council or put the family on a waiting list if the classes are full.
Ofsted and league tables ‐ identifying the best performing schools
Ofsted ‐ the Government‐run school inspections that lead to each school being given a grade that reflects the quality of the school and its governance ‐ allows parents to see at‐a‐glance whether a school is rated outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. League tables published in newspapers usually reflect exam results ‐ SATS, GCSEs and A Levels. Families now have easy access to all these resources and may well give you a list of favoured schools.
Admission criteria and catchment areas
A school will sometimes take into account the proximity from the child’s home to the school gate when offering places. Many of England’s top‐rated schools are oversubscribed so when relocating families, it’s wise to check the catchment area for the best‐performing schools and find suitable addresses within the catchment. We always check the school’s exact boundary when it comes to the catchment before any properties are put forward.
Private and independent schools
Some families relocating will be given a budget to educate their children at a fee‐paying school, and applications for these facilities should be made directly to the school in question. There may well be an entrance examination for the child to sit, and catchment areas may not necessarily apply. Commuting times ‐ either by bus, rail or car ‐ should always be factored in when making a property search as school‐run traffic can be notoriously bad.
Grammar secondary schooling
Some London boroughs and counties in England have grammar schools ‐ non fee‐paying selective schools that require a student to pass a special examination to qualify for admission (sometimes known as the 11+). This test is sat by students in Year 6 of primary school early in September each year ‐ a date worth bearing in mind when moving families.
If you’d like to know more about relocating families with children ‐ in light of schooling and finding the right family home in the best catchments ‐ please contact the Klippa Relocation team today.