Thinking of moving home to the catchment area of your preferred school?

Written by Tracey Allen on . Posted in school admissions

Then please think and think again! Just because the estate agent’s particulars tell you this delightful new house falls within the catchment area of the school you really long for, does not mean your child will automatically get a place. Many popular or well thought of  schools are oversubscribed and therefore cannot even admit all the children who live within their catchment area. Before making and taking this huge decision please,

1. look at the school’s Admission Authority’s website (either the Local Authority or the school itself) for the oversubscription criteria.

2. consider information on how places have been allocated for the last few years. In particular, you should be looking for the maximum distance from the school within which places were allocated. This may be as little as 0.2 miles from the school, in which case moving to a new home 2 miles away may achieve nothing without more.

3. note that some schools may include a requirement to have lived within the catchment area for say at least two years prior to applying for a place. Others may not allocate a place if you have rented or bought a new home closer to the school, if you still own a previous family home within a certain distance.

4. think about whether you can fulfil the requirements of the over subscription criteria other than living within catchment area.

So in short, do not be seduced by the agent’s glossy brochures alone when it comes to school places. Do some ground work first, before signing on the dotted line!

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