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getting into a good school

getting into a good school

Old Jul 7th 2007, 5:00 am
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Question getting into a good school

We live in the US and we have a daughter born in November 2003. She will be due to start school in September 2008 which is exactly when we hope to move back to the UK. The thing is that although we know the area that we will move back to (North/NW London or South Herts), we can't register her for any school until we have an UK actual address (we'll be renting - we don't own property there). The earliest we can move is July 2008 - but all the good schools will be full by then and we'll be left trying to get her in to a school that's under subscribed, and probably for good reason! We're Jewish so that cuts out all the RC or CofE schools. There are a few Jewish schools but they are all heavily over-subscribed. I don't know what to do and it's starting to really worry me. My Mum lives in the area and I could use her address because my UK bank statements go there but that really limits us and seems a bit devious as well. Anyone else facing something similar?
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Old Jul 7th 2007, 9:09 am
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Default Re: getting into a good school

Hi Petally - The whole school thing can be a right nightmare can't it - my advice would be first to check out the local schools and their performance tables - the link is here:
http://www.dfes.gov.uk/performancetables/

You maybe surprised - some of the Local Education Authority (non church) schools often have good results and are not always full as they are often larger than the church schools. If you put in a postcode and search within say 5 miles it will list all the schools within this area and their results for the last few years.

Secondly you can check out the latest OFSTED reports of the local schools at this site:
http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/reports/

These are the reports that are produced by the government watchdog department that oversees the performance of schools in England - again plug in the postcode and search on primary schools - it will give you all the schools in the area.

Each area in England has a Local Education Authority who oversee the government schools in that area - you should contact them and they will give you some advice on how best to tackle your dilemna.

The church schools are generally good (although this is NOT always the case - some LEA schools are better than some church schools) and they do hold waiting lists. So even if you do not get in straight away you may well be in with a chance if you are on the waiting list (you should contact the school direct to be put on the waiting list)

Even if you are Jewish and not a church goer this does NOT rule out the possibility of attending a church school - my daughter is at a lovely church school and there are definitely pupils there from families that are from other religions.

And if I were in your position I would definitely use a relative's address to try and get in - you can say you will be staying there indefinitely on your return to England and at least then you can get the ball rolling. You can definitely apply before you are back in the country as I had a friend who applied overseas (in Kenya) 2 years ago - you can do it all on line - ring the Local Education Authority for more info!

Anyway hope that is of some help - good luck with it all!
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Old Jul 7th 2007, 1:43 pm
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Default Re: getting into a good school

Hi Petally

I think you need to show your name on a couple of utility/credit card bills at the address being claimed as catchment area, bank statements might count. Usually address to which child benefit is paid is given as the child's residence, but that obviously won't be relevant to you. Can you get the telephone bill put in your name now?

There is a very good UK parenting forum which has a number of experts in the areas of school admissions who reply to posters queries - also numerous parents who have been through this sort of thing and can offer advice. It is: http://www.parentscentre.gov.uk/forum/

Have a look at the 'choosing a school, admissions etc' section.

The situation varies from local eduction area to local eductation area. As Pommybird said, It is worth contacting yours and asking for advice.

People with children due to go into reception are tending to choose their secondary schools first and then looking at the feeder primary schools!
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Old Jul 7th 2007, 3:24 pm
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Default Re: getting into a good school

My family have got three out of four of my kids names down and they have been accepted into local schools, they will be starting in September. We haven't needed to be in the country to do this. They have also been able to put money down for uniforms. My 2nd youngest is going to a really good school that is very hard to get into. Don't know how they did it and ain't gonna ask...lol. But he is in there. I have one left to go and he is 16. I will have to wait to try to get him a place as its a bit more difficult because he should have left this year and will be going into further education. If you know where your going and you have family or friends there, get them to go down before the school shuts for the summer. If not get in touch with the local offices and put their names down there. It wasn't as difficult to get they younger 3 in as I thought it would be.
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Old Jul 7th 2007, 5:56 pm
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Default Re: getting into a good school

Will you be anywhere near Radlett? My niece went to a wonderful school there that was mainly Jewish. They've since moved. She's actually Catholic but it didn't cause any probs on either side and all religions were respected. They ran Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations and the kids enjoyed both. I can find out the name of it for you if you want.

I went to a private RC convent school and we learned about all religions and celebrated Passover so like the other poster said, I wouldn't necessarily rule out a CofE school if it produces good results and is in the right area.
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Old Jul 7th 2007, 6:08 pm
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Default Re: getting into a good school

We may be near Radlett - it's certainly a possibility. Would it be Hertsmere Jewish Primary? There's another in Shenley called Clore Shalom which would be much more our style because it's reform and not orthodox. We're not religious at all and I'd have a bit of a problem with my daughter being forced to pray at assemblies in Christian schools. I wouldn't be too happy with praying at the Jewish schools, but at least it's our own tradition!

Gosh, it's difficult, isn't it! I left the UK before I had kids and never even thought about all the parents trying to get their kids into good schools before they're even born. I mean, I don't care that much how academic it is - it's only primary school, but I really want her to be in a caring and positive environment to set the stage for how she feels about learning and education in the future. I think this is a real problem in places like London where there is a lot of choice with some really excellent schools and some absolutely appalling ones in really close proximity.
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Old Jul 7th 2007, 6:14 pm
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It's Shenley but it wasn't a religious school. She still has lots of Jewish friends in the area so I can give her a call if you want and see if she has any ideas.
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Old Jul 7th 2007, 6:38 pm
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Default Re: getting into a good school

Then it must be Clore Shalom. Only thing is my mum comes under Barnet lea and shenley is in herts.
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Old Jul 14th 2007, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: getting into a good school

Originally Posted by Norm71
My family have got three out of four of my kids names down and they have been accepted into local schools, they will be starting in September. We haven't needed to be in the country to do this. They have also been able to put money down for uniforms. My 2nd youngest is going to a really good school that is very hard to get into. Don't know how they did it and ain't gonna ask...lol. But he is in there. I have one left to go and he is 16. I will have to wait to try to get him a place as its a bit more difficult because he should have left this year and will be going into further education. If you know where your going and you have family or friends there, get them to go down before the school shuts for the summer. If not get in touch with the local offices and put their names down there. It wasn't as difficult to get they younger 3 in as I thought it would be.
Hi Kim, Can you tell me how you went about this? My son is school age starting September, and I have pretty much given up the idea of getting him a place somewhere before we go. (in 2 months). He needs to be in school legally by Jan 2008, but I'd much rather he get in before. Is it possible to contact someone to find out which schools still have places? (The LEA or the school itself?)

I'd love to be able to do that so we can narrow down where we rent--I'd rather find somewhere where he can get a place at a decent state school. I'll check out those other sites, which sound really useful.

Ofsted--SO useful!
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Old Jul 15th 2007, 9:35 pm
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Default Re: getting into a good school

I rang the local schools first, asked what was required. Recent report card that sort of thing and then my family went up and signed all the forms. The youngest 2 had to have their uniforms ordered before school let out so again I had to lean on family to help me with this and they did. They are all just too pleased that we are making the move home to say no..lol
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