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Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school place

Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school place

Old Apr 10th 2019, 4:37 pm
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Default Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school place

I have a British Passport, but by descent only, so I cannot pass the passport to my kids. We intend to migrate to UK in Aug 2020. My daughter will be studying in Year 7 by then. I just realized that the application for Year 7 will be in Oct 2019, this means that if I want to apply for state school, my kids should have gotten the dependent visa before Oct 2019. My question is: Assuming we can get the visa by Oct 2019, we will go to UK to apply for schools, then go back to our original country until Aug 2020, and then go back to UK again. Once we’re in UK, will stay there most of the time. Will the absence from UK from Oct 2019 to Aug 2020 affect my spouse or kids from getting the ILR or PR?
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Old Apr 10th 2019, 8:49 pm
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post
I have a British Passport, but by descent only, so I cannot pass the passport to my kids. We intend to migrate to UK in Aug 2020. My daughter will be studying in Year 7 by then. I just realized that the application for Year 7 will be in Oct 2019, this means that if I want to apply for state school, my kids should have gotten the dependent visa before Oct 2019. My question is: Assuming we can get the visa by Oct 2019, we will go to UK to apply for schools, then go back to our original country until Aug 2020, and then go back to UK again. Once we’re in UK, will stay there most of the time. Will the absence from UK from Oct 2019 to Aug 2020 affect my spouse or kids from getting the ILR or PR?
I’m not sure your premise is correct. Your Local Authority is obliged to find your daughter a school place. You may not get your first choice but you shouldn’t need to get them a settlement visa a year in advance just to secure a school place.

Are you coming to the UK with the other parent? If so what will their status be?
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Old Apr 11th 2019, 12:01 am
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
I’m not sure your premise is correct. Your Local Authority is obliged to find your daughter a school place. You may not get your first choice but you shouldn’t need to get them a settlement visa a year in advance just to secure a school place.

Are you coming to the UK with the other parent? If so what will their status be?
Thank you for your prompt reply! Yes, I understand that the Local Authority will assign a school for my daughter any time we go, but the chances of getting a better school is lower. So, I’m thinking if we can join the central allotment the year before for a higher chance to get to our first choice.

The other parent (my husband) will also go together. Only I have the UK passport, so he will apply for spouse visa and the kids will apply for dependent visa at the same time.

From the thread, you mentioned that there’s no 180 days requirement for spouse (and dependent?) visa. If we show that we are staying in UK most of the time after we settle there, will it be a concern if we’re absent for 8-9 months in the first year?

Much appreciated your help!
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Old Apr 11th 2019, 4:49 am
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post


Thank you for your prompt reply! Yes, I understand that the Local Authority will assign a school for my daughter any time we go, but the chances of getting a better school is lower. So, I’m thinking if we can join the central allotment the year before for a higher chance to get to our first choice.

The other parent (my husband) will also go together. Only I have the UK passport, so he will apply for spouse visa and the kids will apply for dependent visa at the same time.

From the thread, you mentioned that there’s no 180 days requirement for spouse (and dependent?) visa. If we show that we are staying in UK most of the time after we settle there, will it be a concern if we’re absent for 8-9 months in the first year?

Much appreciated your help!
I thought you were required provide proof that you're living in the UK in order to apply for a state funded school place?
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Old Apr 11th 2019, 2:54 pm
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post
Thank you for your prompt reply! Yes, I understand that the Local Authority will assign a school for my daughter any time we go, but the chances of getting a better school is lower. So, I’m thinking if we can join the central allotment the year before for a higher chance to get to our first choice.
As above, a visa isn't enough. You need to actually be living in the catchment area. The LA will check council tax records etc and need to see either proof of contracts exchanged, or a signed rental agreement, to allocate a school place.

But if your daughter will be in Year 7 in August 2020 then there isn't an October deadline anyway - her application will be dealt with as with any other moving family, you can apply anytime and if the school is oversubscribed she'll just go on a waiting list for your choice of school. The October deadline is for those in Year 6 who are moving up to secondary school.

Whereabouts are you heading to, is it an oversubscribed area or not?
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Old Apr 11th 2019, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
As above, a visa isn't enough. You need to actually be living in the catchment area. The LA will check council tax records etc and need to see either proof of contracts exchanged, or a signed rental agreement, to allocate a school place.

But if your daughter will be in Year 7 in August 2020 then there isn't an October deadline anyway - her application will be dealt with as with any other moving family, you can apply anytime and if the school is oversubscribed she'll just go on a waiting list for your choice of school. The October deadline is for those in Year 6 who are moving up to secondary school.

Whereabouts are you heading to, is it an oversubscribed area or not?
I see. Thank you for your advice!!

I’m heading to Reading, do you know if that’s oversubscribed area?
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Old Apr 11th 2019, 5:05 pm
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post
I’m heading to Reading, do you know if that’s oversubscribed area?
I do know it well - I'm just a few miles south of Reading! Schools here are oversubscribed, the good ones very much so, it's one of the best areas in the UK for schooling. I don't know all of Reading's schooling situation, only the south side of it, so perhaps wherever you're going to will be different. You can check on the LA's website though to see what the intake was like this year, and to get an idea of where you'll need to be living to get in to the school of your choice. A lot of the schools here take to less than a mile or two away as they're so popular. The only exception to the rule are the grammar schools, i.e. if you were looking at Kendrick then their intake rules are very different.

Moving in the end of Year 7 isn't ideal to try and get your child in to the secondary school of your choice, is moving any earlier an option at all? That way you could apply normally (rather than an in year application), and your daughter would start secondary at the same time as everybody else so might make it easier for her.

Might be better to split these posts off in to your own new thread about schooling, let me know if you want me to do that.

Last edited by christmasoompa; Apr 11th 2019 at 6:01 pm.
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Old Apr 12th 2019, 12:09 am
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
I do know it well - I'm just a few miles south of Reading! Schools here are oversubscribed, the good ones very much so, it's one of the best areas in the UK for schooling. I don't know all of Reading's schooling situation, only the south side of it, so perhaps wherever you're going to will be different. You can check on the LA's website though to see what the intake was like this year, and to get an idea of where you'll need to be living to get in to the school of your choice. A lot of the schools here take to less than a mile or two away as they're so popular. The only exception to the rule are the grammar schools, i.e. if you were looking at Kendrick then their intake rules are very different.

Moving in the end of Year 7 isn't ideal to try and get your child in to the secondary school of your choice, is moving any earlier an option at all? That way you could apply normally (rather than an in year application), and your daughter would start secondary at the same time as everybody else so might make it easier for her.

Might be better to split these posts off in to your own new thread about schooling, let me know if you want me to do that.
Thank you so much for your reply! Actually, we are planning to move to UK in July or August 2020, and want my girl to start her Year 7 in September 2020 as everybody else. However, if I only land in July or August, the schools should have closed for summer and we can only be assigned a school when the academic year starts, thus many uncertainty. That’s why I’m thinking of going there in Oct 2019 (9 months earlier) to apply for school first, then leave UK and get back again to settle there permanently in July 2020 onwards. But from the case above, though there’s no hard limit for spouse visa, leaving for 9 months after applying the visa may jeopardize the application of the ILR at the end. Is this understanding correct?

I'm new to this group and don’t know how to split the post. Can you help? I’d very much like to learn more about schooling in Reading. Many many thanks!!!
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Old Apr 12th 2019, 12:29 am
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post


Thank you so much for your reply! Actually, we are planning to move to UK in July or August 2020, and want my girl to start her Year 7 in September 2020 as everybody else. However, if I only land in July or August, the schools should have closed for summer and we can only be assigned a school when the academic year starts, thus many uncertainty. That’s why I’m thinking of going there in Oct 2019 (9 months earlier) to apply for school first, then leave UK and get back again to settle there permanently in July 2020 onwards. But from the case above, though there’s no hard limit for spouse visa, leaving for 9 months after applying the visa may jeopardize the application of the ILR at the end. Is this understanding correct?

Enrolling your daughter in school and the effect of a 9 months absence on a spouse visa are two separate questions.

You would not be able to apply for a state funded school place on a short visit to the UK in October 2019. You'll need to be living in the UK permanently before you can do that.
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Old Apr 12th 2019, 12:57 am
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
Enrolling your daughter in school and the effect of a 9 months absence on a spouse visa are two separate questions.

You would not be able to apply for a state funded school place on a short visit to the UK in October 2019. You'll need to be living in the UK permanently before you can do that.
Thank you for your reply! How do they define as permanently living in UK? If we have a house there, will that be considered as a proof?
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Old Apr 12th 2019, 8:33 am
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post
Actually, we are planning to move to UK in July or August 2020, and want my girl to start her Year 7 in September 2020 as everybody else.

Ah, ok - previously you said she'd be in Year 7 in August 2020, which would mean she'd be starting as a Year 8 in Sept 2020. But if she'll be Year 6 in August 2020, that makes it a bit easier for her.

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post
I'm new to this group and don’t know how to split the post. Can you help? I’d very much like to learn more about schooling in Reading. Many many thanks!!!
You can't, only a mod can, but I'll sort it.

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post
Thank you for your reply! How do they define as permanently living in UK? If we have a house there, will that be considered as a proof?
It means exactly what it says - you are living in the house, as your permanent address. You can't just get a house there and not live in it, they do check, both via things like council tax records, but also just turning up on the doorstep (they did it with me when my son's school application was in). They will be more likely to do this if you are applying for a school that's very oversubscribed i.e. Maiden Erlegh, St Crispins, Bohunt etc (these are just schools in my area I know are very popular, not sure on others in Reading area).

You can see the exact requirements on the council's website, they have the guide you can download. Are you looking at schools in Reading Borough itself, or in the surrounding areas? If you can let me know which LA, I'll find the relevant sections for you. And will you be returning to a house you already own or renting/buying somewhere new?

Bottom line is that if you want to be able to apply in October and stand a chance of getting your first choice, you need to be living in the catchment area by then. If you move in after October 31st, it'll be treated as a late application and you'll be behind everybody's else's applications.

If you can move then, it would make much more sense for your daughter though anyway. She'll get to spend a year at a local primary school and make some friends before moving up to (the far bigger and usually quite daunting) secondary school, plus she'll have done things like her SAT's which will help her academically when starting at secondary. Not sure if that's an option, but personally I would move this year if you can.

Last edited by christmasoompa; Apr 12th 2019 at 8:40 am.
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Old Apr 12th 2019, 1:27 pm
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post

Ah, ok - previously you said she'd be in Year 7 in August 2020, which would mean she'd be starting as a Year 8 in Sept 2020. But if she'll be Year 6 in August 2020, that makes it a bit easier for her.



You can't, only a mod can, but I'll sort it.



It means exactly what it says - you are living in the house, as your permanent address. You can't just get a house there and not live in it, they do check, both via things like council tax records, but also just turning up on the doorstep (they did it with me when my son's school application was in). They will be more likely to do this if you are applying for a school that's very oversubscribed i.e. Maiden Erlegh, St Crispins, Bohunt etc (these are just schools in my area I know are very popular, not sure on others in Reading area).

You can see the exact requirements on the council's website, they have the guide you can download. Are you looking at schools in Reading Borough itself, or in the surrounding areas? If you can let me know which LA, I'll find the relevant sections for you. And will you be returning to a house you already own or renting/buying somewhere new?

Bottom line is that if you want to be able to apply in October and stand a chance of getting your first choice, you need to be living in the catchment area by then. If you move in after October 31st, it'll be treated as a late application and you'll be behind everybody's else's applications.

If you can move then, it would make much more sense for your daughter though anyway. She'll get to spend a year at a local primary school and make some friends before moving up to (the far bigger and usually quite daunting) secondary school, plus she'll have done things like her SAT's which will help her academically when starting at secondary. Not sure if that's an option, but personally I would move this year if you can.
Thank you so much for your valuable advice. Will seriously think if we can move in before October.

We’re planning to buy a flat in Reading, not currently owned. The LA should be Reading, right? Do you where can I find the popular schools in the catchment area? Many thanks!
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Old Apr 12th 2019, 1:39 pm
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post
We’re planning to buy a flat in Reading, not currently owned. The LA should be Reading, right? Do you where can I find the popular schools in the catchment area? Many thanks!
OK, so central Reading? Have you visited there before? It's not exactly the nicest of areas in most parts! I only go to Reading when I absolutely have to, about twice a year. It's a pretty grotty place IMO. If you haven't visited before, I'd recommend you do so before moving.

Yes, central Reading will be Reading Borough Council. Here's the relevant admission guide - http://www.reading.gov.uk/media/9331...Guide_2019.pdf

As you can see from that, you'll need a tenancy agreement and they'll check council tax records etc. But one good thing is that you only need to prove you've moved in to the house permanently by the middle of January, so that gives you a little more time at least. For info on which schools are oversubscribed you can check here - http://www.reading.gov.uk/media/1000...2019_Table.pdf

So you can see that, for instance, Maiden Erlegh, took most of their applications from feeder primary schools (which won't apply to you if you move after the end of Year 6 for your child), so you'd have to be living almost on the doorstep to get in without meeting that criteria.

I'm afraid I don't know any secondaries in central Reading other than Kendrick, so can't comment on the good ones, you'll really need to visit them to get an idea of which may suit your child. Schools do all their open days in September usually so plan a trip over then and you can work out which may be best for her.

One final thing, just checking, exactly how old will your daughter be in Sept 2020? It's just that you said Year 7 in August 2020 earlier, so are you sure she's going to be starting secondary in Sept 2020? Just want to make sure you've not misunderstood the school years here.

Best of luck.
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Old Apr 13th 2019, 5:25 am
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
OK, so central Reading? Have you visited there before? It's not exactly the nicest of areas in most parts! I only go to Reading when I absolutely have to, about twice a year. It's a pretty grotty place IMO. If you haven't visited before, I'd recommend you do so before moving.

Yes, central Reading will be Reading Borough Council. Here's the relevant admission guide - http://www.reading.gov.uk/media/9331...Guide_2019.pdf

As you can see from that, you'll need a tenancy agreement and they'll check council tax records etc. But one good thing is that you only need to prove you've moved in to the house permanently by the middle of January, so that gives you a little more time at least. For info on which schools are oversubscribed you can check here - http://www.reading.gov.uk/media/1000...2019_Table.pdf

So you can see that, for instance, Maiden Erlegh, took most of their applications from feeder primary schools (which won't apply to you if you move after the end of Year 6 for your child), so you'd have to be living almost on the doorstep to get in without meeting that criteria.

I'm afraid I don't know any secondaries in central Reading other than Kendrick, so can't comment on the good ones, you'll really need to visit them to get an idea of which may suit your child. Schools do all their open days in September usually so plan a trip over then and you can work out which may be best for her.

One final thing, just checking, exactly how old will your daughter be in Sept 2020? It's just that you said Year 7 in August 2020 earlier, so are you sure she's going to be starting secondary in Sept 2020? Just want to make sure you've not misunderstood the school years here.

Best of luck.
Very informative! Thank you so much!

We haven’t been to Reading before, but will visit it this summer. Apart from Central Reading, any other places would you recommend for living with family and with good schools around?

I found that Kendrick is a very good school, it must be very competitive. You mentioned it works differently, can you let me know more?

I’ve double checked that my girl’s age should study at Year 7 in Sep 2020. Thanks for your reminder.

Much appreciate your help!
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Old Apr 13th 2019, 5:54 am
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post


I found that Kendrick is a very good school, it must be very competitive. You mentioned it works differently, can you let me know more?

https://www.kendrick.reading.sch.uk/...olicies&pid=41
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