Spike signing her home school agreement after us changing her school after her primary school offer had been received
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Moving before starting school – our experience of moving house and school the summer before your child starts reception

So last year I mentioned that Spike was starting school this September and we had a few options about where to send her. We were considering schools around here. But we were also considering moving before the application had to be in to make things easier on us all. Things were undecided for a long time but finally, with a few months to spare. They are now falling into place. 

To move or not to move 

That was our main question. We wanted to move closer to work. We live 30 miles from work at the minute and its getting a lot. But with Spike so settled in nursery we didn’t want to uproot her. So we decided not to move, and to revisit the idea at another time. 

Applying for school places in our current town 

We applied for school round here. Our 1st choice school being one that has been undersubscribed for the past 5 years. As luck would have it, it’s now oversubscribed and we didn’t make the cut! We instead our primary school offer was our 3rd place. A church school. Which we didn’t want. The only benefits it had was of lots of her friends going there and a long enough before and after school club option. 

Moving between Primary school offer date and starting school 

We accepted the offer but something was still niggling. We started thinking about how much we’d save, money and time wise, by moving closer to work. Everything I could find about changing school between accepting a primary school offer and starting school didn’t give a lot of information on the process though and I started to panic. Most articles, forums and information guides talked about moving once a child had physically started school. The government website didn’t really offer any insight either. And what I could find indicated you can’t change until you have a new address in your new area. 

Speaking to the schools we believed we wanted her to go to 

I decided to take things into my own hands and email the schools we wanted for Spike in the city we work in. I was told by one that they were heavily oversubscribed. My hopes were temporarily dashed. The second though told me there was space, and hopefully would be when we found a house. They told me that the process to change would be to go through the Admissions Team at the council they belong to. They wouldn’t be able to offer Spike a place themselves.

Speaking to the Admissions Team

Once I knew that I thought I’d email the Admissions Team to see what advice they could give me about moving things over. I explained we hadn’t an address in the city yet but wanted to place Spike in a school which we knew had places there. I expected them to come back and explain the process. Instead though they informed me that we didn’t have to wait. We could process the change in primary school offer straight away. So long as we were definitely moving there within a set time frame. 

The next step 

Once we had this fantastic news, it meant we could get the ball rolling. We arranged a visit of the school we wanted Spike to be swapped over to and headed there last week. Then received confirmation the Primary School Offer had been swapped and all we had to do is complete the enrolment with the school. She’s got a settling in session on Tuesday and from there it’s uniform buying and planning after school care time! 

The benefits for us as a family 

Of course this all means we have 3 months to find a new house, move and get Spike settled in. But it’s achievable. We think! The city we’re moving too has a high rent cost, but it’s not £200 more for rent. Making it cheaper as we wont have the £200 a month we’re paying for petrol to get to work now. Spike won’t have to go to breakfast club and will be picked up by 5 most days instead of by 6 like she is now. More time as a family can only be a good thing right? 

Settling in sessions

As I say, the next step is her settling in sessions. Expect a full post about how they go and more spam about starting school now the countdown is on! Spike is super excited so I’m hoping for a great transition from nursery to school. Is yours heading to school this year? How do they feel about it?