• 2 min read

Choosing your child’s school when parents are separated

9. Father and daughter holding hands

Parents of children starting school in September 2024 will need to make applications for the schools of their choice by mid-January. This means that now is the time for parents to start thinking about which school they would like their child to attend. Factors such as catchment, the school at which older siblings attend and the needs of the child will be considered when making that decision.

For separated parents, choosing a school can be a difficult decision to make particularly if they live some distance apart. Each parent may wish their child to attend a different school – one that is closer to their home or one they attended themselves and has a better reputation or Ofsted rating.

All those with parental responsibility are required to provide their consent to issues of schooling and both parents will need to consult with each other. If the choice of school is in dispute between the parents, a professional mediator can assist by facilitating further discussions and hopefully resolving the issue by agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, an application will need to be made to Court or arbitration for the choice of school to be determined.

With the decision having to be made before the application deadline expires in mid-January, if a dispute exists now as to the issue of schooling, parents will need to act swiftly. There can be no guarantee a Court will have the capacity to determine an application prior to Christmas. Arbitration is often much quicker than an application to Court, therefore it may be the preferred method of resolution.

Our family mediators can assist you both in resolving disputes about your child’s education or, if you require legal advice, our Family Team offer a free initial consultation and can assist you with an application to Court or arbitration if this proves necessary. Please get in touch on 0800 280 421 or complete the enquiry form below.

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