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 Post subject: False Address
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:58 am 
From somebody in Potters bar

[i]“I live around the corner from the best secondary school in the area, one of the best schools in the country. Didn't move there because of the school, but because of the house and the area. I get leaflets pushed through my door from people wanting to rent out my address in order to get their children into the school. Some kids are coming miles by train and bus to go there - it's ridiculous that schools can be SO very different in results that people have to do this for their kidsâ€


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
Posts: 3310
Location: Warwickshire.
I don't know anyone who has done it but we live slightly out of catchment from two schools we would very much like our son to attend. Virtually everyone we speak to suggests that we do exactly that, but we haven't. We did consider selling our house and moving legitimately but soon realised we couldn't afford to. When you are that desperate to do what feels like the best for your child it is hard to remain on the moral high ground, but we have.
One of the schools is Rugby School which would offer a scholarship of up to 100% if only we lived two streets closer in our little village. We are 0.1 of a mile out of catchment - that is hard to come to terms with!! :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:10 am
Posts: 104
Yes, people do it. I know in my son's class a family who rented a flat close to the school of their choice and divided their time between the flat and their 'real' house. They got into the school they wanted and then, after a suitable period, moved 'home'. I don't agree with it but it's not uncommon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:57 am 
To echo what other's have said, Yes it definitley does happen, I have heard about the "break up, move into rented and then later make up" story in this area, and they DO get away with it too!! Outrageous.

Do you think the school's know what is going on? or do you think that they are oblivious?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:06 pm 
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/arti ... article.do

an interesting article here (if the link works) about people getting "caught out" in Harpenden, by falsifying addresses.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:53 pm 
Above article rings true. I am in a neighbouring county and have heard of several instances of places allocated being subsequently removed at my child's school.

At the open evening the Headteacher made special mention of this and I believe plays quite an active part in monitoring the situation. Last year a child in year 7 was removed from the school in the summer term.

A lot of the schools are highly sought after and places are allocated to siblings/nearest to the door. Parents get to find out if people have somehow 'jumped the queue' and County soon get to hear about it and start asking questions. Also, children talk!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:41 am 
This is a difficult situation for the school because they have so much to do with regard to admissions. There are some green-lights
that they should look for – Change of Address in Year 6, distant primary school, siblings attending distant primary school, rental rather than ownership. People are happy to rent, get the utility bills but not actually to move. For some people who own a second property in the catchment area, they won’t be living there as it will be rented out. Once the school has suspicions then they would involve the council who could investigate by talking to the neighbours of the new property and see who is really living there.
It’s difficult to guard against the false break-up where a parent moves out to gain entry and miraculously reconciles and moves back in after place has been secured, but the threat of removal in Year 7 or the disqualification of sibling places should be considered.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:37 am 
I know of three instances of this type of thing, in each case the family actually moved into the properties for over a year:

1. swapped house with grandparents to get into primary

2. bought flat near the sought after (partially selective) Potters Bar school mentioned above. Where we live is outside the area for which children will be considered even for a selective place, the family retained their old house and intend to move back once the eldest child is settled the younger children remaining at their old primary.

3. bought flat in catchment for highly sought after North London Comprehensive

These are all instances involving people I know, obviously I don't go around quizing people! There must be others locally. All these people are "nice" ordinary people, two of them work in education. I guess they see it as working the system and don't think about the family that don't get a place because of their actions, although in the case of primary admissions where there are small catchments it can be obvious who is not getting a place as a result (this was the case in 1 above and there was bad feeling).

Does moving into the property for this amount of time mean that their place is legitimate, is it it any worse than a "genuine" move into a school catchment. I used to think I would move into the catchment for the "sought after comprehensive" but I now feel uncomfortable about that and see going private as a fairer use of our spending power (something I thought I would never do) - it may be a two tier system but at least I'm not buying someone elses place.

Is this a London problem?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:38 am 
Morally and ethically it stinks but when it comes to a child’s education people will do anything to gain a perceived advantage, by taking a place at a school where they think they will gain a better education and the trampling of the innocent’s life chances doesn’t come into it.

They are abiding by the rules in that they physically move and wouldn’t be susceptible to a challenge and for that reason there is not much you can do about it. It makes you think that selection is fairer in that at least ignoring the coaching the playing field is level for a brief moment.

The people who falsify but don’t move – the lazy advantage gainers – should be flushed out and although that wouldn’t stop the well prepared at least they are smaller in number.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:07 pm
Posts: 1149
Location: Finchley - Barnet
Any criterion that makes people to behave unethically and lie is by default a bad criterion. The proximity to the school criterion is not only arbitrary but also entices people to lie. It should be scrapped for both reasons. Ditto for the religion criterion which also has a Middle Ages smell on it: A christening certificate and a good (regular) attendance at church buys you a place in paradise as well as place in a good secondary school???!!! If I were religious I would say this borders on blasphemy!!

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