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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:26 am
Posts: 1326
Location: Watford, Herts
Two items:
  • The county council have a consultation page on admissions arrangements for September 2011 entry, including the proposal to move to straight-line distance measurement. It also includes the proposed arrangements for VA and foundation schools: I noticed no changes on a quick scan.
  • There is a WD3 School Action Group campaigning for more secondary places in their area.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:26 am
Posts: 1326
Location: Watford, Herts
The Watford grammars have tightened their address rules:
Quote:
If the main address has changed temporarily, for example where a family is renting a property on a Short Term Tenancy Agreement (12 months or under), then the parental address remains that at which the parent was resident before the period of temporary residence began unless it can be shown that all ties to the previous address have been relinquished, or that the move is not easily reversible. The Governors may refuse to base an allocation on an address which might be considered only a temporary address.


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 Post subject: Hope DAO do it too.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:21 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6694
Location: Herts
Excellent news. I really hope DAO do it too. Apparently last year 12 of the 22 spaces for local children went to families who had rented houses. We know three of them. In the US you have to remain living in the house from which you got into the school. If you leave the house and are no longer in the school district you have to leave the school. Could they, would they ever dare to try and do that here!


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 Post subject: Re: Hope DAO do it too.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 7:32 am
Posts: 193
Location: Herts
Daogroupie wrote:
Apparently last year 12 of the 22 spaces for local children went to families who had rented houses. We know three of them.


Cor Blimey, that's outrageous!!, poor schools what a nightmare they must have trying to sort out the "dodgy renters"


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:26 am
Posts: 1326
Location: Watford, Herts
DAO have this in their arrangements:
Quote:
If a child is offered a place at the school under oversubscription criteria 2 or 6 based on the address where the child is living at the time of application, but the child then moves further away from the school before he or she is due to start at the school, the place will be withdrawn.


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 Post subject: tightening of addresses
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:20 pm
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DAO groupie,
How do you know this information 12 out of 22 places were rental addresses; you may know 3 familiies who rented but DAO does not divulge this sort of information.

What happens then when the same address comes up every 1 or 2 years - the admission secretaries are on the ball, surely they recognise these addresses.
Shouldn't imagine 12 months is going to put many off - DAO and watford grammars ought to combine conditions; that would mean at least 18 months rental contract.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:30 pm
Posts: 279
Location: Hertfordshire
On the hertsdirect website, there's this news release

http://news.hertsdirect.org/Release.aspx?id=9600


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:23 pm
Posts: 332
I find this discussion interesting as we are planning on being exactly one of those 'renters'. Before you jump to conclusions, we curently rent, and have never owned because, house prices being what they are, we can't afford to. My DD is in yr 5 - in Sept/Oct last year, we visited 9 schools and she decided her favourite was Watford Gammar. Where we currently rent is just outside the catchment area, so we have to move to enable her to even apply, let alone be guaranteed a place. Not a problem; we hate our current landlord with a passion...

Now, obviously, we could opt to rent on the very edge of the outer catchment, or we could choose to rent nearer the school, where (a) it was easier to get in on based on the exam, as scores required are lower in the 'inner' than the 'outer' area, or (b) we might even get a place on distance, depending on how far the distance criteria stretch when we apply next year, and what we happen to find to rent within our price range. Guess which one we are going to do?

Those who state we 'should' have to have an 18 month rental have clearly never rented! As renters, we'd love security of tenure. BUT changes to tenancy laws under the last Tory govt, mean that such things no longer exist. It is no longer possible to get a tenancy agreement lasting longer than a year, even if one wished to.

So - are we'cheating' the system by moving closer? I don't think so; no more so than anyone buying there. The shortness of tenancy agreemeent is not our choice; that's just the way the law works. Sadly, tenants have very little security.

We shall definitely be living there; it's not as though we could afford 2 lots of rent at once!

And I should add my DD is v bright, and I'd expect her to get in on exam alone; I came top in the HBS exam not far off 30 years ago myself, so I'd expect her to have inherited something. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:06 pm
Posts: 87
Location: West Watford
Hi Herty,

The problem as I see it is not at all people who rent because they have not bought a house, but rather people who own a house in another area, retain ownership of that house, and rent a second home close to their preferred school, into which they move temporarily for the purposes of admissions. Once having gained a school distance place they they move back into their 'proper' home......


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:32 pm 
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Posts: 332
To be fair, we will be renting temporarily in that area too. We'd prefer to be nearer our kids' primary school, as we have 2 younger ones still there, and the journey there from near Watford Grammar would be quite a hassle. Longer term, we'd ideally rent (or buy if we could afford it) somewhere in the middle. But will hopefully rent initially nearer Watford Grammar for the purposes - I admit it - of increasing our chances of getting a place. Either way, whether or not she gets a place, we'd aim to move back towards the area (though not the same house, admittedly) where we currently live, afterwards.

So we are moving to get a place, or at least increase our chances (I don't think we could bear to actually rent on the school's doorstep - I really don't like the centre of Watford very much :roll: ).

But then the rules allow that. We're not cheating in that we will most definitely be living there. It's not a 'pretend' address. We shall have all the hassle of moving house. But - unless we surprise ourselves by loving the area, or our kids really take to the long journey to school in the mornings - we probably would look to move soonish after that.

Does that mean some would see us as 'cheating' those who have always lived in that area and always will? Or are they just fortunate because they happen to have a good secondary school in their area, where we currently have none? Is it 'fair' that some people, by accident or design, happen to live in areas where the only local schools are not very good? Can selection based on distance (which often, in practice, = house prices) rather than merit ever really be considered 'fair' at all? It's an interesting question.

Incidentally, as I said, I certainly hope my DD will get in on merit, ie exam - she's always been top of her class in everything, and is at least as bright as I was at that age.

However, for us, not moving at all isn't an option, because we're currently just outside the catchment, so can't even apply from here. So, that being the case, it seems logical to move a lot nearer, rather than to the very edge of the catchment.


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