Local Talk

update on us and schools advice urgently needed!

(13 Posts)
papooser Fri 13-Jul-12 23:08:22

So, I posted a while back about our move from Australia to Sheffield. DH has signed his contract and we move back at the start of December. He will be working at the university so we are looking to buy a house in S10/S11.

However I contacted the education department at the council about school places (DTs will be in Yr 2 by then) to be told that the majority of schools in the area are full and that we would be placed on a waiting list, and able to appeal! Is this really the case? What are we supposed to do? I know that class sizes are strictly kept to 30 until Yr 3, but does this mean that I will not be able to get a place for either of my kids, or will be allocated a school miles away?
Does anyone have any advice or know whether all the schools really are full? I'm not really happy about moving my kids halfway around the world for them to have to travel miles away from their area to attend school. And would it make it easier to get them places from Yr 3 (when presumably the class sizes can be a little bigger)?

Any advice is really appreciated - I'm really panicking about this!
Thanks

katz Sat 14-Jul-12 08:13:47

Hi

Congrats on the move. Sheffield is lovely.

A little reassurance first, 4 children joined my DD2's year (y2) this year. A lot of the s10/s11 schools have quite big intakes 60 or 90 children and are fed by the universities staff and students ( other people too) who do move in and out of the area during term times based on changing jobs or completing PG Courses mid term year. So waiting list may not be too bad. At what point did they say you could go on the waiting lists?

It probably will be easier to get them into y3 just because you can have bigger class sizes.

Hulababy Sat 14-Jul-12 08:25:48

As Katz says there is a fair amount of movement in schools, esp in the S10/S11 area due to the number of people on short term contracts at the university and hospitals.

It is worth contacting schools or the LEA to actually ask about individual waiting lists and to get your names on them - and keep phoning and checking. Once on a waiting list you can keep calling to know your position. When a place comes up you do have to make the yes/no decision pretty quickly though/

Y3 is often easier as Sheffield does have a number of infant and junior schools, where the juniors can be a class bigger than the infants. Also numbers can be, although not always, be a little larger - it depends on the actual schools as to how many they can take. There is also a small number who leave schools at the end of infants to go into independent schools for the junior years.

There are also independent schools which also will have places, even if you only use them for a term or so - although be aware you do have to give a term's notice (or fees in place of this) and waiting list places come up with little notice and you have to move asap.

Or you could home school until Y3.

Do you know which schools have places and which don't?

I work in an infant school in S11 (covers reception to Y2) and we have had children move in and out of the school this year.

papooser Sat 14-Jul-12 10:54:29

Katz and Hulababy - thank you both so much. This is definitely reassuring. We have talked about home schooling them until year 3 if necessary, so I guess this is an option if it's going to be easier to wait to apply to junior school.

When I emailed the LEA to ask about the schools that have places, they just sent a reply to say that the majority of schools are full, although thinking about it, I should have probably asked them this after September, once the new school year has started. They said to contact them once I have an address, so I guess this is the priority!

It's really reassuring to know that you've both had children moving in and out of your schools during the year and that there is a lot of movement in these areas.

Once again, many thanks.

katz Thu 19-Jul-12 19:21:17

papooser - good luck with everything and just ask if you have any more questions, feel free to PM if you don't want to post on the open forum.

Hi pampooser, we moved to S8 18 months ago and our DS got into our local school on the waiting lists. It was a little bit stressful but worked out very well in the end. Put your DCs names down for as many schools as you would consider them going to, there's no limit.

I think DS was something like 12th on the waiting list for the school he's ended up at but it seemed to move very fast once a couple of kids moved round. Also some parents declined their DCs place when it came available so it became our turn surprisingly quickly.

Hope it goes well.

katz Sat 08-Sep-12 20:38:59

How's it all going?

papooser Wed 12-Sep-12 08:21:52

Hi Katz
Well since I last posted a lot has been happening! I ended up flying over to the UK at the end of July to look at houses and we had an offer accepted on a house just off Psalter Lane. It's currently in the hands of the solicitors but all being well we should have an address before we move back in December. The catchment primary will be Hunter's Bar. I spoke to the LEA who said to contact them around November about schools. I am feeling a lot less stressed about things - although will be much more relaxed once we have completed on the house. I have a feeling we may end up on the school waiting list for a bit but will take things as they come. I'll keep you updated...

katz Wed 12-Sep-12 22:19:53

Glad it's all going well, once your here and settled we'll have to arrange a Sheffield meet up.

papooser Wed 12-Sep-12 22:39:45

thanks and yes that'd be great!

Hulababy Fri 25-Jan-13 21:21:32

I work at HB Infants smile I don't know anything about the Juniors sadly, although it does share our site.

voodoolady Wed 05-Feb-14 15:46:17

I'm curious to know the end of this story. How did it work with getting your kid into school? I moved to Sheffield about a month ago from the US and were offered a place in a school about three miles away (despite the existence of a school literally right outside our front door). We're appealing. Did it all work out or did they make you take your kid to some place on the exact opposite end of Sheffield?

papooser Wed 12-Feb-14 10:12:06

Hi voodoolady
It all worked out really well in the end. We were offered our second choice school, Porter Croft. We were put on the waiting list for Hunter's Bar and were offered a place at the Junior school, but are really happy with Porter Croft, so have left the kids there.
How old are your kids and where are you based? I know a couple of people who moved here and were offered schools initially on the other side of Sheffield, but who were successful on appeal (this was at Y3 onwards though where they could appeal to break the class sizes). Are you on the waiting list for the school you are near to? Certainly on this side of Sheffield there does seem to be a fair amount of movement so if you're on the waiting list you might not have to wait long. Hope you are successful at appeal.

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