It is the time of year when applications for children’s primary schools need to be made and whilst the criteria for admission will vary from Borough to Borough, generally only one application for each child must be submitted. If more than one application is received or if the Admissions Team is aware of a dispute between parents then such applications will be suspended, and so will any allocation of a school place.
This can happen if two parents of a child do not agree which school their child should attend.
Parents who have Parental Responsibility in respect of a child, have equal opportunity to have input into their education and in particular, the choice of school for them to attend.
Conflict may arise if the child lives or spends time with each parent during the term time.
However, the rules are quite clear and two applications submitted for different schools will mean that neither will be processed until written agreement is received from both parents stating which application has been agreed upon.
If agreement is not possible, and if other avenues such as Mediation are not viable, an application to the Court for a Specific Issue Order is required, for the Court to have input and to reach a decision in the best interests of the child.
Such Court applications would need to be made on an extremely urgent basis, because the process needs to be finalised before the School application deadline. Otherwise, neither choice may be available and the school allocated by the local Education Authority.
Therefore, if you would like further information as to Child Arrangements Orders and Specific Issue Orders, then please do not hesitate to contact Annette Lowen of the Children Department, to book an initial Fixed fee appointment to discuss the case, 01702 338338.