School applications – What happens if the parents disagree on schools?
Applications for primary school places need to be made by this Saturday, the 15th January, to confirm your child’s place for September 2022. Parents will be notified of the outcome of their child’s school place on National Offer Day which is 16th April 2022.
Choosing where your children attend school can be a difficult process. Worries about catchment, Ofsted ratings, the ethos of the school are all areas which will inform your decision making but this process could be even harder to navigate for separated parents. By this point you should have visited schools and listed these in order of priority.
What to do is there is disagreement on school choices?
It is vital that you make an application for a school place even if you and the other parent disagree as to the schools being chosen. This can be agreed once the child is in the system and a school place allocated.
We would advise that you attempt to mediate any such disagreement with mediation being the best place to start. Mediation is independent from the court process and fosters communication between the parties. The process is an informal and flexible dispute resolution process. The mediator’s role is to guide the parties toward their own resolution. A process which we can guide you through as it is key to take advice from a family lawyer during the mediation process.
If mediation is not effective, you would need to consider making an application to the family court for a Specific Issue Order. Such Orders determine how a dispute over a child’s upbringing or wellbeing should be resolved. As with all cases involving children, the child’s welfare will be the court’s paramount concern. A Specific Issue Order will automatically end when the child is 16 years of age unless there are exceptional circumstances.
If you need any advice relating to a children dispute our Children team can assist.
If however there is no dispute and your concerns centre around your child not being offered a place at your preferred school, there may be grounds to appeal that decision and our Education Team will be able to assist you to explore this.
For further support and legal advice around Specific Issue Application and Orders please get in touch with Reena Vadera on 01895 207819 or Reena.Vadera@ibblaw.co.uk.
For further support and legal advice around School Appeals Process and please get in touch with Celia Whittuck on 01895 201772 or Celia.Whittuck@ibblaw.co.uk.
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