Friday 4 May 2018

The Catchment Conundrum

Searching for a school is rarely easy. Given how long your child will spend in the place, it’s essential they like the one you choose. But, how can you make such a big decision after only seeing a building once or twice? Within a few months of school hunting, your head will hurt and your feet will, too. By that stage, you’ll be crying out for your child to PLEASE pick a school they like.

Then, one day they reach a decision. You’re so relieved you could cry. There’s just one problem; the school they like is out of your catchment area. At this stage, it’s easy to go into panic mode. You only put such effort into this because you want a bright future for your kids. But, now you have to tell them they can’t go to their chosen school after all. Or, do you? Not being in the catchment area is a pain in the backside. But, if you’re willing to make compromises, there’s no reason you can’t still make this work. All you’d need to do is move house, and keep the following pointers in mind.

* Collaborative post

Know the catchment area

At this stage, all you know is that you’re out of the catchment area. But, before you even consider moving, it’s essential you find out which areas do fall under that catchment. The last thing you want is to move and find you’re still two streets out. Schools have no choice but to be picky here. Something has to distinguish who can and can’t apply. So, phone up before anything and check which locations you should look at.

Act fast

Sadly, you can’t take time with this move. School lists fill fast, and moving with school in mind won’t do much good if you miss the start of the year. As such, you should take action the moment your child makes their choice. Rather than having months to spruce your house, you might want to look out for a national homebuyers service which can offer a sale in as little as seven days. Even if you rent until finding a property, having the right postcode will still gain the coveted place.

Get settled before school starts

Easier said than done, but it’s also important to get settled before school starts. You should aim to move at least a month or more before classes get going. Starting at a new school is hard enough, let alone when you’ve just moved house as well. Dealing with that much change at once could lead to issues settling in. And, if your child isn’t happy at school, the whole purpose of your move will come undone. Instead, make sure that they’re happy and settled before their first day. It might even be worth taking them out and about to meet local children. That way, they’re sure to have a friend from the moment they start. And, that can make all the difference when it comes to feeling like they belong.


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