A house move can be very stressful for not just the adults in the family but the children too. There is so much to consider and can easily become a nightmare.
Before the moving day, without even thinking about booking time off work or hiring/choosing a removal company, you might even have to consider the fact that you are moving to a new location. For children, moving house in this way can be extremely stressful, no matter what age they are and some kids may struggle to adapt to their new home.
With a new location comes new schools so it is important to make the transition as easy and as seamless as you possibly can. Help them prepare for the move early on – look for schools in your new area and get them to participate in the decision. You will, of course, want the best school possible so you will need to do your research. The last thing you want is to cause a delay to your children’s education because you couldn’t get yourself prepared in time and submit the relevant application form.
You should also please contact your child’s school to let know that they are leaving and that you are looking to move schools to your local area.
How Can I Find The Right School?
Firstly, you will want to research what schools are in the area – do this whilst your kids are still at their current schools to avoid any delays or breaks in their education.
Try to arrange for them to start the new school at the beginning of a new term or academic year so the transition is a little calmer. Moving during term time can be really tough on a child.
Once you have a few ideas, look at what people have to say. Ask around on local Facebook groups, look up Ofsted ratings and see if you can get feedback from students, parents, or staff. You should also visit the UK Department of Education website and take a look at their statistics – you will be looking for their exam results, attendance, and many other things. With eight out of ten schools rated as Good or above by Ofsted, you will really need to do your research to find the right one for your child.
Helping Children Prepare
It is important that your children are used to the idea of moving house and moving schools before the actual move before you start packing. It will be a big upheaval into a new environment for them and it is understandable that they may struggle with this a little.
The welfare of your children should always come first so make sure you provide support for them both before and after the move. At least 15 school days before the moving date, show them where you will be moving to and maybe even let them explore the local area, just so they can get a feel for the place.
Applying For Schools
Depending on how far you are moving, you might find that the local authority for your new area has a different rule for school admissions than where you are currently. Sometimes you need to apply through the local authority, other times the school handles these directly. You should apply at least six weeks in advance of the day you want your children to start – although it is suggested to apply much earlier than this to be sure of a place. Whether you are looking for primary schools or secondary schools, the application process is the same.
Not all applications are successful so you will want to make a few to ensure you definitely get a school in your area. When applying, you should give proof of your new address. With a new home, there is plenty of paperwork so finding a document with the new address should be easy. A tenancy agreement or a solicitor's letter confirming is a good document to use. However, don’t use a fraudulent address as they will find out!
The school application should also include their academic record, any important health information, and whether they have any special education needs.
Should you need to move mid-term, the research you do is even more important as they will need to help your child settle during term time. They can sort out a school start date, offer advice and help get your kids up to date with a little bit of planning.
My Application Was Denied
There are plenty of reasons why an application for one of your preferred schools may be denied. They may feel that you live outside the catchment area or the school may be oversubscribed and you have been put on their wait-list instead. This is why it is important to apply to a few.
You can make an appeal to the admissions office if you believe that your application should not have been denied. Certain members of staff – whether at the school or at your local authority– will assess this appeal and may ask you to show why this school is a better fit than others. If this particular school offers clubs or extracurricular classes that your child would join and that other schools don’t, this is the time to mention them.
Don’t forget the council is legally obliged to help find you a suitable option for your child. Whilst they may offer you one that you weren’t wanting, do your research before turning it down and appealing for another school on your shortlist. Applying for a school during a house move may seem crazy but with these top tips, you should be well prepared.