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Can you move away after your child started in a local state school?

Getting a place in a state school in London is hard enough. But what happens if you have to move away from your original residence, the one you used to make your state school application? Will your child have to change school if you move away?

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Can you move away after your child started in a local state school?

1. The requirements

Interestingly, whilst the rules are extremely strict when you make a first application for a state school in London, they become quite lax after that.

There is no requirement for schools to check that parents still live at the same address for the following school years, nor are parents obliged to declare it (except for the purpose of receiving official correspondence from the school, of course) to the school or the Borough.

2. Changing school

Equally, the rules do not oblige children to change school if they move to a different address, even if it is far away from the school.

To summarise: once you’re in, you’re in!

You are however allowed to apply for a new local state school (fortunately!), but you don’t have to.

3. Parents’ strategies

You might think: so I could move next to my preferred state school, apply, get a place, and then move out? In principle yes! Although this might be frowned upon by the Councils who manage most state school applications, it is  permitted (as far as our experience can tell).

The exceptions will be: if your child has been in primary school, and changes over to the state secondary school system: the address will play a role again during the applications for Year 7.

And lastly, we cannot emphasize enough how large London is a city, so we would strongly recommend to check what the journey to school would be for your child if you move to a different address.

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