Moving to another area

Hi, I'm looking for advice from anyone who moved areas in the UK when their child ended Primary. My daughter is currently in yr 5. We are hoping to move to Dorset from London next year. However we've been told by Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) that we cannot apply to a school until we have an address and have already moved to the area. They will not consult until we are there. 
It's such a catch 22 as we might not move at all if we don't get a place in one of the 2 schools I have found. Any advice would be great...
We could use a friends address, pretend I live there and that my daughter / husband will be joining me next year, but I really hate having to bend the truth at all, especially as the first point of contact with a new council team. 
Has anyone been through something similar? 


  • Contact Helpline TeamContact Helpline Team Member, Community Moderator
    Hi @Holly73 , welcome to the community. Hopefully some other parents will share their experiences soon. I saw your post and asked a colleague from the education team to review it and provide a response. Here's what they said -

    It's always tricky trying to move and negotiate secondary transfer at the same time. You may need to step back and look at the overall reasons for moving and weighing up the benefits against the possibility that you may not get your daughter into your preferred school. We would not advise using a false address.

    As you mention consulting, I assume that your daughter has an Education Health and Care Plan. Until the date that your daughter moves to another LA she remains the responsibility of BCP council. Once you and she have moved the EHC plan will transfer to the new LA who must maintain the plan as it is until they review it.

    In theory there is nothing to stop BCP consulting a school in London, as you can express a preference for any state funded or approved independent school and the LA must consult your preference. It may be worth trying this but whether BCP would agree to name such a school I doubt. If it's a state school they would also need to consult the LA where the school is situated. You might be a stronger position if BCP had strong evidence that you were moving away

    If you do move say next spring or summer with a BCP school named, then the new LA will have to name another school and you can ask for your preference then. A school being 'full' is not a legal reason to refuse and a named school must admit a child with an EHC plan

    I would suggest that for further advice it may be best for you to call our helpline on 0808 808 3555 and you can tell us more of the circumstances.

    In the interim do look at our pages on school admissions

    I do hope this is helpful.

    Best wishes



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