I do understand where you are coming from, but if your not the one dragging them out of bed at 6.30am it will be their dad doing it. Either way the children are up early. I dont necessarily think there is anyway you can persuade your ex and i guess he is within his rights to refuse. You chose to move away, albeit for reasons that mean something to you. Have you asked the children what they would like? Yes they will adapt and settle, but why should they have to? And you say its inly 40 minutes away and not the end of the world? If 40 minutes is so achievable, why move them at all?
You have your reasons and nobody can dispute that, but if you took a step back and saw it from an outsiders view, would you agree with your suggestions?
Parents with PR do have the right to be involved in school choices - I agree with Happyagain, what you have essentially said is that you dont want to get them up at 6.30, but there wont be an alternative for your ex.
I dont think you can be offered suggestions as to how it wont impact your exes time with your kids because its clear that it will.
If the care is currently 50/50 shared residence and you have said yourself your boys are very settled in schools then your ex would have a good argument for having the boys stay with him in the week and stay on the school that they are settled in, and happy in.
I dont know how you would go about convincing him otherwise to be honest.
Generally parents with Parental Responsibility can act unilaterally but case law has established certain circumstances that require the consent of all those with PR for a child and changing school is one of them. If a change of school can''t be agreed you need permission from the court.
Its a difficult one to sell really isn''t it, it comes down to "I am moving so the kids will have to change school and you are going to have to do more travelling, so I can spend an extra hour in bed" I just don''t see whats in it for him.
As you say the children are happy and settled in school and have friends from that area, so apart from what appears to be a selfish reason what justification could you put forward for the change?