Secondary school admissions with separated parents(50 Posts)
My eldest DSS is going to choose a secondary school next year. His main residence (without a residence order) is his mum's, about half an hour away from us in a different local authority area. One option we'd like to look at is him going to school in a town half way between us. There are two potential issues with this. One is that particular town is our local authority area, so not the one his primary school is in. The other one is that his mum would like him to go to a grammar school which is half an hour from where they live (but in current local authority area) in the other direction from us - so an hour away from us.
I've got two questions I'd love some help with! Firstly, does anyone know what the deal would be with going to school in a different local authority area to where they live? A secondly, what happens if parents disagree on where a child goes to secondary school?
Going to school in a different local authority isn't a problem as schools are no longer allowed to regard county/authority boundaries. At least thats the case here and I'm sure its nationwide after a parent in London took a school/education authority to court over the matter and won.
However you need to look at admission criteria for the school, usually looked after children, kids with statements, siblings then on distance. So if the school is 30 mins from where he lives is he likely to get in? Does the grammar area normally go that far?
You need to come to an agreement over the school. Come the deadline you have to put a 1st choice, 2nd choice down.
I suppose if no agreement can be reached you could apply to court for a Specific Issue Order - each side would present the case for the school they want and a judge decides.
But if otherwise things are going well, would you really want to cause that much upset over school choice? Does being an hour away have a big impact on contact time? Perhaps Mum & Dad could visit both schools and see what they think - and DSS's feelings need to be taken into consideration, too.
Why wouldn't you want him to go to the grammar? Most people are desperate to get their kids into grammar!
When this happened to me it was the parent who got the child benefit who got to sign the form. As it happened me and exH were in agreement and he was there when the form was filled in but we were both surprised that it was just me who signed, not him, as I was the parent in receipt (sp?) of the child benefit.
Thanks for replies. We definitely need to look at all factors and obviously have a good chat with his mum about the options. An hour away isn't the end of the world, but would make it harder for him to stay with us overnight during the week, where as being half way between us would be ideal (never sure how much to make of these things, but it was him mum who originally moved away and we've moved to be closer). It also puts his social life/clubs over that way which make it harder for us to be involved/support those and see him, where as if he was doing those things in our direction, it would be easier. Again, not insurmountable and obviously we'd get involved and support him wherever he was, but it's a case of looking at all options and weighing up what's best.
Grammar schools - well that's a whole different debate for another thread! Personally not that fussed but that's just my/DP's opinion. We've had very brief discussions and he's not that fussed either way, but does like the idea of being able to come on his own to our house after school. His dad has been very good at presenting a balanced view though.
Rechargemybatteries - I have read this on a couple of LA websites. Surprised me too, as I thought anyone with parental responsibility had a say over the child's education. I worry that the only way to overcome that is court - and I would hate it to go to court, because of the pressure it would put on DSS, so hopefully we can work something out that is genuinely best for him. Just a bit nervous as we don't have a good relationship with the Ex, and she would almost definitely prioritise grammar school over easier access to dad. Obviously a good school that he'll be happy at is very important, but it would nice to have the other side considered!
Why would he not be able to get from the grammar school to your house? DSs get to their father's by bus, and then two trains (they're 13 & 11). Realistically, the time he will be dependent on help with travelling is very short and it's far more important to get the school right, irrespective of how convenient it would be for him to be half way between the two houses.
Littlelamby I agree, as I say we were shocked that his agreement wasn't sought or that his wishes weren't taken into consideration. If we had had different views I would have been perfectly within my rights to fill in what I wanted on the form, totally ignore his views, sign it and that would have been the end of it. (But as I say, we agreed)
I dont understand why he couldnt get to your house? An hour is not that big a deal, many children have to do this every day just to get to school. Taking it to court would be aggressive, and a total over reaction on you and your DPs part. Prioritising the grammer over his father?
Probably best just to support him during this transistion, and to reasure him that it`ll be ok.
an hours travel's not much at secondary age to be honest. Kids travel far longer than that to get to a decent school!
A school halfway between both of you could well be too far away from either to get a place at!
an hours travel's not much at secondary age to be honest. Kids travel far longer than that to get to a decent school!
A school halfway between both of you could well be too far away from either to get a place at!
If you can pursuade his mum to agree with you, then you can apply to the school that's inbetween you from either address - you're presumably neither of you in catchment for it, so it won't matter much which one you use (assuming you're a similar distance from it). Best to use the one that child benefit is claimed from as some LAs ask to see that as proof of address. Being in the wrong LA won't matter - only whether or not you're in catchment matters. You'll likely only to get in if it's not over-subscribed as being out of catchment will put you low down in terms of priorities.
But if you disagree with his mum, then I think you'll lose if you try to take it to court - because he lives with her mainly in the week, and you'd be hard pushed to argue that a grammar school wasn't in the best interests of a child who'd passed the entrance exam.
Unless he's a dead cert to get into the grammer though you'd need a fall back - could you pursuade his mum to put the school that's nearer you as second choice, and then his catchment scool (or some other one that he's very likely to get into) as a third choice, to make sure he gets in somewhere?
surely schooling is an issue mum and dad should be sorting out? I struggle to understand the 'we' in this....
Children only officially live at one address, even where there is 50/50 shared care. The address that a school application is made from should be the one where child benefit is claimed or you run the risk of struggling to 'prove' the child is resident at the other address. I suspect that only one signature is required on applications for this reason. And to be fair, if I had to get my ex's signature on official paperwork, he wouldn't sign. Not because he didn't agree with the school but because he's unable to separate causing problems from me from their potential effect on the children.
What is wrong with the grammar?
mumandboys123 is it really so hard to understand that a stepmum should want to be involved with her DSC's education? Or are there 'issues' for you here that make Lamby a convenient target for a bit of a vent?
I think the objections to the school that is so far away (regardless of the snobbery value/red herring of it being a 'grammar') are perfectly sensible - they will impact on the child's relationship with Dad and SM as clearly the current situation involves midweek contact. And as DSS becomes a teenager, he will want to have weekend contact with friends, clubs, activities, that will just be logistically much more difficult if a two-hour round trip is involved.
Would suggesting mediation be any good, Lamby? It would certainly be a positive first step.
education is a very personal thing as schools are so very, very different even when relatively close together and sharing similar catchment areas. I believe very strongly that parents should sort this between them, it is not the responsibility of a step parent on either side to be making that kind of choice. You don't get a second chance at education so getting it 'right' for the child is important first time. So no, I don't believe that a step parent has an automatic place in choosing a child's school.
Many parents would kill to get their children into a grammar school. Of course, the academic environment won't suit all children, even those who are 'academic'. But to suggest that the grammar school should be discounted because it doesn't suit the living arrangements of one of the parents isn't, in my opinion, acceptable. As others have pointed out, many children travel greater distances to go to good schools. This usually means sacrifices on the part of the parents - so why both parents shouldn't have to sacrifice when parents are separated is beyond me. This is why a third (and fourth) party getting involved muddies the waters - we all have our own agendas and reasons for thinking one option is better than another. If we have 4 people trying to get involvled in the decision it gets even harder. The OP suggest her partner is fairly relaxed about the choice - which to me suggests (and I might be wrong, of course) that she is trying to get a decision which suits her needs first and foremost, rather than the needs of the child. She is also, potentially, anticipating a 'fight' in asking what the options are if an agreement can't be reached. This should be a last resort, not a first one (again, my opinion).
Top of the list should be looking at the likelihood of the child getting into any of the schools mentioned. There is sometimes a need to be careful because if you make a poor first choice, you can end up somewhere you weren't expecting (and usually the least perferred option) when it didn't need to be that way. Being out of catchment (and half an hour away would often be out of a normal secondary school's catchment, but will depend on where they are) means potentially taking a risk putting the school first - but you can't know that unless you speak with headteachers and the LA. Without that information, it is difficult to advise. It is also information that the OP's partner will need if he is looking for a Specific Issues Order in court to get the school he wants.
I realise it is early to be looking at schools (I am assuming that the child is in year 5 at the moment?) but it is never too early to discuss the issue with the child concerned to get him thinking about what he might want. This should be done without putting ideas in his head and at the same time bearing in mind that as children progress through secondary, they become more independent and being close to school friends generally is something that will be important to them for their activities and friendships. Having friends at a distance might not be an issue for some, but parents also have to remember that they will be acting as a taxi and ultimately, that they will have to let their child go and use public transport themselves, at night, at weekends etc. not just during school run times. This brings with it issues of security and safety and is worth thinking about. This, I think, we are agreeing on!
Is there any way you can choose the school to suit the child and then you move to accomidate the distance between the school choosen and your house?
Where does he want to go to school?
If the other parent of any of my children was prepared to veto a place at a good local to the child's residence school solely based on the distance from there own home and how it would impact on them.
I would be pretty pissed off. If however the school nearer to them was better for the dc concerned that would be very different
i agree an hour is not too far to travel, i had to travel an hour too and from school, so did most of the school.
Wow, thanks for all the replies!
Firstly - yup, it's definitely a decision for his parents and I'm glad I don't have to make it! However, I'm a partner of one of those parents, so I help DP think about those decisions. This is just me, finding out a bit more about the situation so I can be helpful and informed. I also care about DSS and want him to be happy!
It sounds like the resident parent does get the final say. So that's useful to know. We're in the middle of trying to do mediation/communicate via solicitors, and DP is hopefully going to have the opportunity to discuss this with ExP during that.
DSS is only year 4 at the moment, so we're just doing some thinking now so we have time to discuss it. We (DP, me and DSCs) had a chat about it today, as the topic of secondary school came up, but DP kept it very light and was very balanced - his brother got a scholarship to boarding school and went away, so it was easy to have a conversation comparing that to our experiences at the local comp. DSS was very keen on being able to see us during the week, but that's just off the basis of one conversation.
Obviously the best bet is DP being able to have a balanced chat with ExP and come to the decision that is best for both DSSs, but which has fairly taken into account their education and their ability to maintain a relationship with both parents. However, we have been categorically told on many occasions that DP is not important in the children's lives, so I don't hold much hope out for that. This is also something else to consider - we currently struggle to see the boys regularly, as ExP regularly changes contact at short notice. I suppose this will change as children get older and make more independent decisions.
I don't know what the schools are like in the halfway town, that's something to research. However, I do think you have to consider more than just the quality of school. As balia says, if he goes to school further away from us, then his social life etc will all be based further away from us. We have the opportunity for this not to happen, so it would be good if it could be considered. For me, it feels like the children's relationship with their father is equally as if not more important than a good school, and it would be very sad to harm one at the expense of the other. Schooling is obviously a very emotive topic, so this won't be a straightforward one to resolve.
You do understand that his relationship with the dc's has very little to do with school location, don't you?
It sounds like you both think its the defining thing
Trust me by the time he's at secondary school he will not want you to have anything to do with hi social life! not sure why you think it would impact on his relationship with his father? Yes you'll have to travel for an hour to see him in school production or for parents evenings once or twice a year but that's no biggie is it?
Don't forget that kids will travel to the grammar from miles away - you may well find he makes friends with kid who live near you now!
Sorry education is far more important. It doesn't matter where the school is, if he wants to maintain contact he will. Even if he goes to the closer school, he might not be happy with that one and move school. His social life could still interfere with contact. He might decide especially during exams to reduce contact. Social interactions could still be further away, not all interactions revolve around the school and that area.
Chances are the rp has been thinking about this. She will be talking to parents at the primary school about where older siblings have gone. Possibly even had the chance to talk to those older siblings, my eldest dd's have been having these conversations with parents for the past 3 years from youngest friends parents (he's only year 2). She probably knows more about more than just the one school, including the one closer to you. Chances are your dss is having conversations with his friends about the school they might be attending.
Then in year 6 there will be the visits to the schools. It's not only about where the adults feel comfortable, but also the dc. When we went through this process, we had complete unbiased conversations, without us as adults having preferences. With each of my dc's we went through pros and cons for their individual needs, and the dc had a major say in the school. Sure it ended up with 3 separate schools, but each school was the best for that dc, even though one ended up doing a 2 hour round journey each day.
it's more than location, you really need to understand how the LA makes a list of who will attend what school. Much depends where you live and the pressure on schooling in the local area - my understanding is that at the moment (last couple of years, next couple of years) there was a bit of a dip in the birthrate so some previously over-subscribed schools currently have vacancies in year 7. However, you can't depend on this with popular schools as there will always be those who will try their luck - and the success rate varies, depending on how far away they live. There are cases every year whereby one child gets in at number 2, but child at number 4 doesn't 'cos they are that bit further away and places ran out.
If you want the child to go to School A but he lives outwith the catchment of that school and you put School A as first choice, he won't automatically then be allocated a place in his catchment school (School B, within a couple of miles of his home address normally) because that could already be full with people who put it as first choice. Your stepson then gets allocated a place in School C which will probably be the worst school in the area with all the vacancies! You then face an agonising wait to get to the top of the waiting list for either School A or School B by September and whether that will happen or not depends on a lot of factors - including how many drop out (there are always some - parents move away) but also how many are on the list that are closer than you are (including those who move into the area which is a factor which is often forgotten about).
Sorry if that was telling you something you already know. My concern is you persisting with the idea that the school half an hour away towards you is the best school for him - you really do need to get a look at the figures on whether or not it is over-subscribed, understand their catchment boundaries (if there are any) and the LA policy on allocating places. As I said earlier, it's also worth speaking with the LA and the headteacher if you want to attend a school which is a bit further away than normal as they will know the likelihood of getting in. Your PWC doesn't have the defining choice but the courts will need a good reason to go against the catchment school/nearest school, particularly if getting into the school you want doesn't have good odds.
So much to think about! Mumandboys, thanks for background on admissions - had a fair idea it was mega complicated but useful to understand more. Sounds like it's a difficult thing to negotiate before you even try & consider the separated parent situation!
I (we) do see quality of relationship doesn't depend on proximity of dad to children - we've been living 100 miles away before and DP's relationship with DSSs has been brilliant, even when ExP has made that difficult. However both DP & DSSs both want to see more of each other & the children say this & say they're sad they can't see him more. When ExP has made contact difficult we have seen changes with the children & at times their time at school has suffered as they've been unhappy leading to difficult behaviour. So I don't think it's so simple as to say education is definitely more important than seeing their dad.
All a long way off & DSS's opinion is obviously v important too & will absolutely be taken firmly into account. It's really useful to get all these opinions as it helps me/DP understand ExP's point of view as well. Thanks everyone for comments!
OP are you a parent yourself? tbh it sounds like you're not.
Personally for my own child, location and "perceived handiness" would be far down the list of priorities for my child's secondary school. If someone else was trying to butt in and choose a school place for my child because it made life easier than them, I would be furious. It's totally about which school is best for the child. The child's quality of life, as a child and into adulthood, will be affected hugely by how good the school was for them. Adults can simply just fit around that imo.
Have to agree. As parents/step parents the most important thing to consider is which is the best school for my child. The one that will suit them the best. That's by far the most important thing and when you've made that decision then you work the logistics out, however tough they are.
I know people who send their kids to a school near us which has no school bus. These parents get up and drive their child for 40 mins every morning to secondary school, often with younger kids in the car as well. Then have to rush home for getting the younger ones to primary. Then in the afternoon repeat the journey.
Every day for 7 years. Rather than sending them on the bus from the village with most of the other kids.
Sometimes a childs' school will inconvenience a parent. But the parent has to sort it/live with it.
I think the objections to the school that is so far away (regardless of the snobbery value/red herring of it being a 'grammar') are perfectly sensible - they will impact on the child's relationship with Dad and SM
That is simply not true.
I find it hard to believe that a parent wouldn't make some level of sacrifice to ensure their child was at the best school for them.
XH still manages to support DSs in their education/hobbies and maintain midweek contact despite having moved a 45 minute drive away.
No, I'm not a parent myself and I'm not trying to make this decision - just trying to understand all options so I can support DP & DSS. DP however is a parent and is just as capable of making good decisions about his child as the child's mother!
Obviously lots of responses on here involve our opinions e.g. the grammar is automatically the best school for DSS(what if DSS really didn't want to go there?), it isn't unreasonable for parents to travel long distances for child's school (what if one parent had a long term medical condition that limited travel?) and that the mother will automatically have chosen the best option (what if she has recognised mental health problems?) (not saying anything in brackets is true - just saying decisions aren't black and white). So lots of other discussions are going to pop up here! Also there's lots of details specific to our situation that I don't want/need to go into, but are all factors to consider.
DP would love DSS to go to the grammar if it was what he wanted and he felt DSS would be happy there. What I said at the start was we wanted to explore other options and I needed a bit more understanding of the situation around those options, and thank you to people who have helped answer those particular questions. Thanks everyone else for the opinions, I've felt a bit judged at times (just trying to do my best! Really no conspiracies here to sacrifice DSS's education to save us a bit of travel time - as his father, DP of course wants the best for his son and I have to/will happily go along with that!) but it's useful to see other points of view and add those into my/our thinking.
If DSS is presented the options fairly and honestly as to what each school can offer him decides grammar is best for him and gets in I'm quite sure DP will be delighted he's happy, and will support him and arrange our life accordingly to be part of it all and of course is happy to 'sacrifice' things to see the children, he's done plenty of that already (as has their mum - part of being a parent). What DP is concerned could happen is that ExP will not let DSS consider any other options & he'll be made to apply for grammar even if he didn't want to. It sounds like short of court (which would be horrible and feels way out if proportion) there's not much DP can do to help DSS if he's not happy with his mum's decision. I wish I hadn't said grammar school at the start as there's an automatic assumption that's the best school - the question should have been, do both parents legally get a say in where their child goes to school? And now that it looks like the answer is no, the resident parent gets the final say, is that fair (even if there's nothing that can be done to change that!)?
It's good to understand what the situation is so that DP can approach discussions with that understanding and be able to support DSS through that whatever happens. I will do the same, and promise I won't stick my nose in or force unwanted opinions on anyone! Funny how you feel the need to defend yourself on here eh? DP is a great, loving father trying to do the best for his children, and I'm just trying to help him do that!
(Oh goodness, terrified the mental health problems comment will open up a new can of worms. All I meant was, what if she was in some situation that prevented her from being able to make good decisions e.g. was under immense stress? Don't want to be flippant about mental health problems, I've had them myself and have full sympathy for anyone experiencing them - doesn't prevent you being a good parent AT ALL. So apologies if I've offended anyone, I was just trying to find an example! Sorry sorry...)
Tbh from my own perspecive, whilst I would of course ask my child's opinion on his secondary school and take relevant points into consideration, I would still make the choice. So if I felt grammar school was the best option for him and would be more suited to his abilities and nature, then that's where he would go, regardless if he said he wanted to go to the local comp. We're talking here about a 9/10 yo (when the application is made?). Sorry but at that age a child doesn't get to make a life changing decision.
This is very similar to a thread a couple of weeks ago where the OP asked the child if he wanted to come and live with them instead so he could go to the school that her DP preferred. I really think you should stay out of it and leave it to the parents. And I also agree that an 11 year old shouldn't be burdened with the decision on where he goes to school, especially in a case like this where there are other factors to consider. It should be left to his parents to decide.
Both good points - definitely up the parents. I'm not planning on making the decision, don't worry! Can I at least be allowed an opinion/thoughts about it, even if I keep them to myself (except on here!)?
It looks like, even if all things were equal (i.e. both parents able to make informed, fair decisions that were fully focused on the best interests of the child and could both present an option that ticked those boxes, however you judged that) and the parents disagreed - the resident parent gets the final say.
LittleLamby - unless your DP took it into court for a Specific Issue Order (is that what it's called?) the resident parent signs the form and it is ultimately their decision. I don't think that's necessarily fair, but it is what it is.
(have pm'd you btw)
If DSS is presented the options fairly and honestly as to what each school can offer him decides grammar is best for him
Be wary of letting him choose his school. IMO they should only be allowed to express an opinion. eg DS2 wanted to go to the decent High School where all his friends went. This was not the right school for him by a long way. As has been said, this is a decision to be made by the parents, not the child.
I made the actual decisions about which schools to send my children to (I don't think I actually consulted XH before actually putting the applications in as the choices were quite clear cut and the schools they attended did not affect him on a practical day-to-day basis *). Thankfully XH was in agreement but ultimately I do think the final choice is down to the resident parent as they will be dealing with it on a day to day basis. Unless they are utterly barking and making a ridiculous choice, obviously! At the end of the day, the decision has to come down to one parent. If there are strong and valid reasons why the decision should be challenged then I guess it has to go to court but, realistically, the deadlines for applications are so tight that this probably isn't practical.
You need to approach it from the POV of ^which school is the right one for this child?* This is the primary concern - the school must be the one you feel the child will do their best at. Anything else can be worked around.
Choosing schools is a hellish job at the best of times.
* apart from the fact that both DS are at private secondary and he's paying the fees! A minor point - LOL. Clearly he was happy with that though
Thanks Soupdragon & Rechargemybatteries. It does sound like choosing a school is a nightmare anyway!
Primary concern is definitely where DSS will do best. That's part of the problem - DP (for valid reasons which are another debate) isn't convinced a grammar school is the best option for DSS. But you're right - so long as DSS is at a school that is good for him, the rest can be worked round. What would be sad would be if DSS ended up at a school that wasn't right for him (grammar or not) and DP was pretty much powerless to do anything about it - that's a hard position to be in as a parent. But then how do you totally know if a school is right for a child until they've been there a while anyway? Just have to go on the best information! Sigh!
the concept of 'what is right for him' is very difficult though, isn't it? Even when together, parents can have different opinions on just this issue. When separated, and there's a third party involved, it makes things even more difficult.
Your partner has a legal say in what school his child attends. I don't think you should dismiss it quite so easily as 'she signs it so it's her say'. But if taken to court, it would be up to your partner to 'prove' to a judge that the decision is a wrong one. As such, the circumstances of the parent with whom the child lives most of the time are going to be of prime importance - it is no good sending a child to a school an hour away if there is no public transport and mum is unable to drive, for example, no matter how good a fit the school might be to your step-son's needs. I too have a son in year 4 and would like him to go to a school a couple of towns a long when the time comes - preliminary discussions suggest this is possible from a 'getting in' point of view - but as I teach myself, in the opposite direction, and need to be in school prior to the time my son needs to be in school, and my ex is as useful as the proverbial chocolate fireguard, it simply isn't going to happen. I have to accept that and make the best of the nearest school (which isn't bad, but probably isn't what I would choose for this particular child for a whole host of reasons). That's just how it is. If you're going to fight for something, you will need to be very clear why you're fighting and what the odds are of the child getting into the school 'cos that will, ultimately, be the deciding factor.
Even if parents are together it isn't easy as they can still have different views. In a way, it was easier for me because, as primary carer, I have a pretty good grasp on what my DSs needed from a school and could argue this (it wasn't actually necessary).
It's a shame you've come into this at this time of year as I would have suggested going to the open evenings for all prospective schools. Definitely go next year though - they are usually in September/early October. By seeing them in Y5 you will have a better idea of what will suit and thus be able to make a more informed judgement before seeing them again in Y6 and making a decision.
Whatever happens, going into it with a "we want him nearer" attitude will only put the mother's back up. It needs to be argued from the POV of what suits the child and you may find that neither school is right!
As primary carer, I had the best grasp on DSs needs as I dealt with any issues when they were at primary and did all their HW with them etc. XH simply did not have this in depth knowledge.
i went to grammar, and most of the children lived miles away, a lot lived near me, we used to get the bus too and from school together. for 7 years.
Sorry but I'm on the ex's side on this one. I'd pay every penny I could afford, move heaven and earth to send my child to the best possible school. As it happens all the grammar schools in this school are reserved for the very well off or the exceptionally intelligent so this isn't an option for us. But if there was a grammar school which there might be a chance of my child getting in then I'd do everything within my power to get him in. If it happened to be a ball ache for me to get him there then ah well. If it happened to be a ball ache for his dad then that's a shame but never mind.
Tbh I think you're being quite selfish.
Yes your DSS probably isn't bothered about going to the grammar school but that's because he's 11 and probably won't appreciate the value of his education until he's much older and left school.
I do understand what you mean about a grammar not always been the best school for every child.
My dd is quite bright and passed her 11plus but we live a bit too far away from the grammar and she didn't get a place. There is a very academic comp near us with better results than the grammar (100% of kids get 5 GCSEs inc maths and english). She could have gone there but we didn't send her there as it wouldn't have suited her even though she is probably bright enough to manage the workload.
So we went her to the bog standard comp!
It might be worth asking your DSSs Year 5 teacher towards the end of Year 5 if they think he will be suited to a grammar. The teachers often have a good idea of which kids will suit which schools or vice versa!
And I might be wrong but I get the impression your DH is a bit "anti Grammar schools".
If I'm right, he really needs to put that to one side. This isn't about him, its about his child. Even if he doesn't believe in selective education if its the best school for his child then its the best school. I don't think its fair to not let a child go to a grammar just because you don't believe in them.
That's just my opinion. But in this case I think that view point is even more valid as the boy's mum obviously doesn't mind Grammar schools.
I do think Soupdragon makes a good point about know knows in detail about his day to day work at school, how he gets on with homework etc etc. I think it would be very unusual for an NRP to have as good a grasp on this as the Pwc
Actually, if both parents have parental responsibility they have to agree on the order of which schools are put on the preference form. If they don't agree and the NRP (with no day to day school contact at all), knowing what choices had been made by the closing date on 31st Oct, decides LAST WEEK to put in a 'counter application' against the child's wishes and for a school that is oversubscribed, both applications get suspended until either the matter is agreed or a Specific Issue Order is granted in a court. This information is correct & up to date and I am having to deal with it right now hope this helps
MumAndBoys123 explanation of the admissions process is inaccurate. The schools decide which applicants they can offer places to based solely on how they meet the admissions criteria. Applicants are placed in order of meeting the criteria no matter what position you have put the school in in order of preference. Then you get an offer from the school highest up your list which can offer you a place. But for determining distance the address to which child benefit goes, and the place where the child lives the majority of time is counted as the address from which the application is made. So a school closer to you would probably be too far from his mother for him to get a place.
Yr 4 is early to be starting an argument about this. You can't yet know if grammar would be best. And Yr 7 children are a different species to Yr4. Chill out and step back.
Hi OP, my DH has had a battle over secondary school for DSS. His Ex re-married and has to move out of FMH and will be moving 90 min drive from the schools she has applied DSS to go to.
DH went mad initially as daily commute to/from school will involve M25 and Dartford or blackwell tunnel. DH has serious concerns over DSS arriving to school on time and being able to see friends at weekends / evenings. DH spoke with LEA who have told him they will put a note on file and get in touch with him if his attendance does suffer.
DH ex reason for sending DSS to a school 90 mins away is cos she works in that area and its easy for her. DH has even offered to have a childminder in place so DSS could go to a school local to his new home and make new friends. The school the ex wants DSS to go does not have good ofsted reports either.
DH could go to court but DSS has had enough of DH an his mum 'fighting' and being used as a pawn by his mum. DH will be reviewing once DSS has moved school and home.
OP maybe your DP could wait until your DSS has moved school too? Is it worth the upset in the long run?
In our case, DH's ex decided the school. She told DH where she was going to send him and that was that. Despite the fact that DH felt the nearest school was the best (and, academically speaking, it is) but she wanted DSS to go to one she preferred further away because "his friends were all going there". She then tried to sting DH with half the (highly expensive) travel costs (no public transport option so had to be by private hire bus). DSS pretty much hated it there. would much rather have gone to local school, walk there and back, have friends round after school, attend clubs etc without it being a pain to travel back from. Actually I DO think there are good reasons to go to a local school.
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