East Dulwich (Mobile) Forum

'Renters Row' around Charter school

Hi all, it might be folklore or hearsay but I'm sure I've heard that there's a particular street around the catchment of Charter school (north Dulwich) where people traditionally rent for a period in order to get their child into The Charter School. So they keep their home elsewhere, get their child a place, then move back to their original home. If this is true, anyone know which street this could be? Many thanks
It's not folklore or hearsay - I know several people who have successfully done this! None of them went to one particular street though.
I also know two people who have done this. Not to any particular road though.
Red Post hill always has of flats/houses for rent...BTL paradise for this reason (Charter) I suspect
I heard that the school is supposedly in the process of tightening up their procedures to at least attempt stopping this from happening as it's very unfair on those who stay put and then don't get a place because of people who can afford the expense of temporarily renting to play the system!
Thanks for enlightening this to us in the area emc but it's it's been happening a few years now.
I have heard of popular schools asking for at least 2 years council tax bills and utility bills to establish genuine residency.
I know it's been happening for years - have heard about it since I moved to the area! It was a work related question. All done and dusted now. Thanks all
Could you let us know the name of the street, emc?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was march 03, 10:46pm by hammerman.

Hello, it seems, like everyone said, that there is no specific road. Perhaps an actual road was a bit of an urban myth
On reading this thread, I contacted Charter. They are an Academy, so operated their own admissions. Hopefully they will be asking for proof of address from offer holders this year

Cllr Renata Hamvas
Labour Councillor For Peckham Rye Ward

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Hi Renata,
I'm not sure asking for proof of address will make much difference - if they've rented out their house and are renting close to Charter I imagine they have council tax/utility bills/child benefit for the place they're renting. The only thing Charter could do is look at the electoral roll - most people stay for such a short time in the place they're renting that they don't bother to register their 'new' address.
Renata - it is much more complicated than that! Often people let their existing house outside of the catchment and rent another house much closer to the school for a year or two, get their first child in on distance and then all the rest can follow on the sibling rule. Meanwhile, the family move back to their first house which they've continued to own all along. It happens a lot in this wealthy enclave and the school should do more to get on top of it. Other schools do much better (for instance, not having the automatic sibling priority).
Many other councils seem to be way harsher than Southwark on this. If you still own a property that you lived in at some point in time, many councils assume that's your main residence, so you cannot just rent for a year or so then move back to the family home. Merton and Wandsworth come to mind; their schools seem to be more oversubscribed than ours, but maybe it's time for Southwark to catch up?
Unfortunately Charter's admissions process is handled by Charter, not Southwark, so it's not a council issue.
You're right - I was imprecise. I do note, however, that Southwark seems less harsh than Merton and Wandsorth even for those admission policies it controls directly, e.g. most state primaries.
Let's hope The Charter get on top of their admissions policy soon then!

Where does 'urban myth' come into things?
I used to live on Ardbeg Road - a flat which we owned a few years back.. i know for a fact there are parents who moved in for the "schools", DVIS as well, and then moved out once the admissions had been approved..

not sure how you resolve it..
Well, families who are rich enough can always afford to sell their place, rent near a good school for a while, then move out. As long as they only have one property at any given time then I don't think there is anything that can be done.

What can be done, and what many schools and councils do ( like those in Wandsorth, Camden and Merton ) is to not accept applications from families who have moved but still own a property they had previously lived in; in these cases the presumption is that the family will move back to the old house after little Johnny gets a place at the school, so applications tend to be processed with the old address, not the new one. I am not sure if any school in Southwark follows this approach but it seems sensible.

You might have also heard about the recent change in the sibling policy in Wandsworth: now siblings get in via the sibling route only if the family still lives in the same address as the one used when the first child was offered a place, or if they moved less than 800 metres away. Arguably this is unfair on families who genuinely rent and who may have been kicked out by greedy landlords, but at the same time I understand the number of families who had moved out but still sent siblings to local schools was so great that the maximum distance in many schools shrank to 200 metres or so.
Agreed DulwichLondoner. But I've seen teachers comment, on another forum, that schools LIKE the well off and middle class families with sharp elbows who'll go to such extraordinary lengths to secure a place. It demonstrates a certain commitment to the school and a prioritising of education within the household, after all.

So many of the so-called comprehensive schools in London find a way to skew their intake; it makes you very cynical when you've been through the system a couple of times.
Yes, agree. Wasn't there a big row a few years ago because the Charter in North Dulwich used 'safe walking routes' which oh-what-a-coincidence just so happened to exclude a couple of big council estates?
Yes I remember that row, Charter kids could walk the short cuts via Greendale to get to the Denmark Hill estate but this was not considered as a safe walking route by Charter.

I know of a family who sold their house just off Barry Road, to rent a property near Charter to get their daughter into the school. Both parents had good jobs and were able to afford the rental costs for around a year and kept the house sale money intact to use to purchase another house in different area after the daughter had started at Charter.
Never heard whether daughter got into Charter and where they ended up moving to.
it's not as bad as the parents who go to church just to get their kids into the church schools.
The religious criterion for state schools is even worse, because religious state schools are funded by everyone's taxes, including those of atheists, agnostics, and people who simply follow another religion.
Yes and government has enabled even more segregation funded by the tax payer
I was appalled at the level of openly anti-gay comments from students and total absence of pastoral material on LGBT matters when addressing Equality issues in faith schools I have taught in. It was like stepping back to the 1970s.
I feel deep sympathy for any student who goes to a faith school and discovers that he/she is gay.....
Do these families end up as despised social pariahs, or not really because so many do it? I mean the families who sell, rent close to a school for a little while, then buy elsewhere, therefore respecting the letter, although arguably not spirit, of the rules.
It has gone on for years. I think it's completely immoral. You have fee paying schools for the wealthier types. Then you get the best state schools taken by these people that have the money to pay inflated rents for short periods. You also have accademies skimming those kids they want. And your average kid gets the leftovers.

People that do this will justify it as doing the best for their kids (and @#$%& everyone elses'). I have no time for these people. Much like those that used to (probably still do) go to church for a while to get a school place.

Then other people start realising that their only hope is to try and somehow play the system, so the system breaks because of pure greed.

God I really don't like people very much. I should take my guitar and move to a field somewhere.

Long day.
I'm reading this thread with interest because renting in a catchment area is something I've contemplated and I'd genuinely be interested to know what those who find it so immoral would do in my situation, as I'm finding it a tricky one to navigate ethically.

I've always lived in the area and 6 years ago after years of saving managed to scrape enough together to buy a place with my now husband. Our child won't be school aged for several years but recently we have realised that our home appears to be in a primary school blackhole - we have multiple local primaries all within half a mile to a mile of us but their catchments are all so small that we wouldn't get in. Instead it looks as though our child would either be offered a place at a school miles away, or more likely at a local catholic school which as quite a staunch atheist I would feel extremely uncomfortable with. We love our home but in any case, with house prices having gone up so much, couldn't afford the costs associated with selling and buying another place nearer to one of the schools(stamp duty etc). However when trying to figure out a solution we reckoned we could just about afford to rent our place out and in turn rent somewhere in the catchments of one of our local schools.

All of our options seem pretty grim when it comes to school a) have our child at a primary school miles away which would be very difficult to manage with our jobs and mean that they don't develop local friendships b) have them sent to a religious school we disagree with, c) have the expense of renting somewhere for a year and be universally hated or d) move out of the area entirely away from all our family and friends

If anyone can think of alternative options I'd love to hear them, or if not I'd be interested to hear which option other people would choose?
Otta Wrote:

Then other people start realising that their only
hope is to try and somehow play the system, so the
system breaks because of pure greed.

Believe it or not, I genuinely feel for you. You've not created this problem, and now you're forced to find a way around it because you're not minted. It's all so wrong.

What especially annoys me is that parents don't know how lucky they are to have London schools. They all push everyone out of the way to get "the best" ones, without realising that they're all pretty bloody good.

Look at Newham, horrid place (I worked there the last 7 years), but genuinely great primary schools throughout.

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