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 Post subject: Moving house
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:59 am 
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:38 pm
Posts: 43
Over the past year we moved house to help our DD gain consideration in the queue for the offer of a place at one of Trafford's selective secondary schools. It was not a happy story. I would like to share the experience here to help other families contemplating the same process. Has anybody else moved? What was your experience?

Trafford has some very special schools. It is not a remote island but 1 of Greater Manchester's 10 boroughs. So I cannot imagine that we are the only parents to have looked across the border from another borough and planned a house move. I would love to hear how others got on.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving house
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:21 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:33 am
Posts: 147
Hi, very interesting topic.
Do share your experiences for the forum.
You say not a happy story, is that because you had to leave your earlier home and moved to a new place!


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 Post subject: Re: Moving house
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:55 am 
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:38 pm
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In the end we got a place but not until July 2012 after many months of nail biting uncertainty, having to take the school to appeal (which we won). After moving house in November 2011 we had more than half a year without any real certainty about whether the school would ever offer a place. Can you imagine trying to explain that to other parents at the primary school gate! The process was much harder than I imagined when we started.

Before I set out my gripes I want to say that the business of tracking and policing familes moving house during the application process is probably an inherently difficult thing for school admissions officers. Many people lie and cheat. I have met the admissions officers at 3 Trafford grammar schools and they all seemed decent, sensible people doing a difficult job.

Nevertheless I think the school my DD has gone to could manage this much better, making life much easier for themselves as well as the families who move.....

Coming soon....


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 Post subject: Re: Moving house
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:33 am
Posts: 147
Wow, thats fantastic. So we have a success story. All's well that ends well!

I am not sure if moving the house is possible for many, as how the main question is how close does one take the house to the school. Can one take in a postcode or the nearer the better?

Do they check if you have sold your previous house? It will be great if you can give more details on points you took care off to get a place.

Do share.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving house
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:38 pm
Posts: 43
Yes. They measure the distance from your postcode to their front door. The Admission Officer will calculate this to one hundredth of a mile.

We moved from a distance of c 7.2 miles to about 4.5. On 1 March they offered up to 6 and a bit miles but we did not receive an offer. Why not? Good question. I am still not sure.

The first problem for anyone trying to get their head round this issue of moving house is that the Admissions Policy is poorly drafted, unclear and ambiguous. Most Trafford grammar schools have a section in their Admissions Policy supposedly setting out the rules for families contemplating moving but they are not much help.

For instance the rules for entry in 2012 at this school said "applicants moving into the catchment area.....before the end of November 2011, will be consideration if.." But does this apply to moves within the 8 mile catchment area? And does that deadline apply to the move itself or the school having in its hands all the evidence, including "disposal" of old home. And what is "disposal"? House on the market to sell? To let? If it means actually let then how long does the tenancy agreement have to be? 24 months as with the new home?

Each year they tweak the policy to make a little more demanding. Fine. I don't mind how onerous it is as long as it is clear. But they have a long way to go to make it clear and user friendly so that families can really weigh up exactly what is required before they make life changing decisions involving a whole family.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving house
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:38 pm
Posts: 43
So the published criteria in the Admissions Policy is tricky to understand and interpret. But perhaps even worse is the unpublished criteria they use to assess your move, which you are expected to guess without being told in advance.

After planning our move in summer 2011 and moving in November 2011 we were told in January 2012 that we should have moved DD to a new primary school in our new area. Keeping her at her old primary school made them question whether our move was genuine and permanent. We thought moving house and moving up to secondary school was enough disruption for the poor child without passing through 3 schools in one year.

But if the Admissions Policy had required this we would have done it. And yes we did have several conversations with the Admissions Officer at the planning stage and they never said anything about moving primary school.

Is it really too much to ask the school to set out in the Admissions Policy exactly what expect to see to verify a genuine and valid house move?


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 Post subject: Re: Moving house
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:38 pm
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Next problem. You have to prove the tenure of your new home with "legal documents" but the school do not know how to read them.

I sent them a letter from our solicitor saying Dear Mr Daddy now that you have "bought" (past tense) you new home how would you like us to register the purchase with the land registry? I included their bill, dated a little later, with an item for the registration.

Six weeks later the admissions officer told me she could not see how this proved we had bought our new home!

In the end I had to send in office copies from the land registry.

Once again, if this is the requirement then why don't they just say so at the beginning.

Don't worry, I have nearly finished...


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 Post subject: Re: Moving house
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:33 am
Posts: 147
Just wondering if they also checked on your previous house status. I mean did they ask to see the registry papers of that home being changed to another person name.

Thanks for sharing! I am sure this is usefull to many!


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 Post subject: Re: Moving house
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:57 am 
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:38 pm
Posts: 43
Dear Topsy

The school put a lot of stress on showing the "disposal" of your old home. If you sold it then perhaps you would need to prove transfer of ownership but I think more people let out their old home. It would be very hard to sell a house in this economic climate quickly enough without giving it away.

In our case we showed them an 18 month tenancy agreement for our old home. How long they expect the tenancy agreement to be for I really do not know. Whereas they specify 24 months for the new home they leave "disposal" undefined.

I think this is one of the areas where they are very open to being conned. Anyone can get hold of a tenancy agreement and get a friend to sign it. So it puzzles me why in our case the school saw this as the critical document opening up the offer of a place when we had provided so many documents which are more robust and harder to fraud.

I fear that making tenancy agreements the key passport encourages fraud.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving house
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:33 am
Posts: 147
Hi Determineddad, I wonder if you have read the policy changes for AGGS.


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