Education Blog

Question: I’m moving house – will my daughter miss out on a primary school place? 


The Telegraph, 18 February 2016 – Read the article in full here.

Vivienne Durham: Start approaching schools in your neighbourhood as soon as you know the area

First and foremost, please do not let anxiety overwhelm you. You have done exactly the right thing in registering your daughter for a school in Pinner and your daughter is likely to thoroughly enjoy her first experience of school in September. It’s an exciting and emotional rite of passage for a child – and her parents.

You will need confirmed proof of your next address and a re-location date, before a new state primary school can take your application forward. Of course, if you are applying to an independent school then you can apply without an address in the local area.

If you are looking for a state school then start approaching schools in your new neighbourhood as soon as you know the area of your new house. Do speak to the Admissions Registrars in your preferred schools; they will give you accurate advice on their school’s admissions criteria, including the catchment area. It is always valuable for a young child to live fairly close to his or her school.

Do speak to the Admissions Registrars in your preferred schools; they will give you accurate advice on their school’s admissions criteria.

As you are aware, in a perfect world, a child who is thriving at school would not move during his or her first year of formal education. Life is rarely this simple. Young children are sensitive – they are also gloriously resilient. Your daughter is likely to adapt far more readily than you anticipate to moving to a new school during her first year – even in the middle of a term, if necessary. Schools will also liaise, wherever possible, to ease the transition for your daughter.

When your daughter does move to her new school in Marlow, keep her daily routines at home exactly the same – especially first thing in the morning, at home-time and at bed-time. A hug and gentle reassurance will get her through any unsettled moments. Be confident that the move will work happily and well for you and your husband – and your daughter will almost certainly do the same.

Vivienne Durham, schools advisory director at Enjoy Education and former head at Francis Holland School, Regent’s Park

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