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Specific Issue Orders - Education / Advice Please..

(5 Posts)
mumtobealloveragain Thu 22-Aug-13 12:02:37

I posted not long about about making an application to vary a residency order and got some very helpful replies. I have now concluded that my main issue would probably be best being addressed by a Specific Issue Order rather than an addition to the current residency order and was hoping someone may know how I should go about this.

My ex and I have shared residency of our 2 children (young primary aged) we have a mutually agreed Shared residency Order and we have the children on an alternate week basis, one week with him on week with me.

I have recently discovered (via and attendance report from the school) that he has been taking the children to school (well the eldest, the youngest starts next month) late very regularly during his week with them. Looking at the report he was late maybe one every 2 weeks starting from September last year (not so bad I guess) but this has gradually increased and got worse from April/May this year has increased to being late 2-3 days a week, every week (with him). Over the last 6 weeks that they were with him he was late exactly 50% of the time.

I have managed to speak to someone at the school to check this is correct (before I made a fool of myself with potentially wrong information) and it is 100% correct. 50% lateness during his weeks with his dad. I couldn't speak with the head teacher (summer holidays) only the office admin lady but she has confirmed the days he's late range from 10-30 minutes and the reasons given are always "traffic" ""children got up late" and other (what I consider non emergency) reasons. I have been told that they have had a word with ex about this but have not yet taken it to the next stage of a formal letter or Educational Welfare Officer but would consider that if it continues. Because I never get to school late his lateness is "diluted" by being 100% on time on weeks with me. So 50% lateness with his dad turns into 25% lateness overall, although she agreed this was still more than 1 day a week and still not acceptable.

Other posters said on my last thread that this wouldn't bother them, but I feel very strongly about this and plenty have people have agreed that being late to school 2-3 days a week is just not on! I am hoping a family Court Judge would see the importance of this and agree too. It is upsetting DS, he is anxious on his mornings with me, keeps asking if he is being quick enough, if we are being late - I didn't know this was due to being late with his dad so much, but I do now. He said he feels worried going in late and feels silly cause the other children all stare and that he misses his morning time to chat to friends etc. Not the end of the world I know, but not nice all the same.

So, I have tried speaking to ex about it and he has simply said that I know what he's like (he's AWFUL at time keeping and always has been) and he doesn't think it's a big deal. Youngest starts school next month so they will BOTH be late, so I really want to get it sorted. I have offered to do the school run on his weeks but he declined, whether that be them coming to me for bedtime and I take them or me getting up and out a bit earlier and collecting them in the morning before school and taking them, he won't agree to either.

Does anyone "with the know" know if I can get this into a Specific Issue Order and if so, how would I be best to word it? Another poster on my last thread said (quite wisely, thank you!) it may be shaky ground as there are already rules and laws about Education and a parent's responsibility to ensuring a child attends school. I know ex won't bother to change his routine or buck his ideas up any other way. I know I need to complete a C100, I will be self representing and happy to do this, but I'm not sure how I should word it or what I should ask for.

We live local to the school and only a short drive from his house. If he gave me a bit of notice in the mornings I could easily drive there in time to collect them to take them to school on time, myself or my partner do the school run everyday anyway for the other children even when my two are at their dad's (same school). Could I ask for the order to be made that he makes every attempt to get them to school on time unless emergency or unpredicted circumstances and if he thinks he may be late etc then he is to contact me and I will leave slightly earlier and collect them before taking all the children to school.

Any advice on how to get this into an order would be greatly appreciated.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 22-Aug-13 12:29:57

It will be cheaper, and probably more effective, to get the EWO involved who will work with you to achieve what you want.

Why not call them yourself?

mumtobealloveragain Thu 22-Aug-13 12:53:43

Hi again China! I have done so already (surprised they were open during holidays, but they were). Our local area has their own EWO who I called last week, apparently, they only get involved if a school contact them and they are not "allowed" to get involved if a parent calls them (I assume that doesn't happen too often). She said there is no trigger point for lateness, only attendance ie % of days absent before school inform EWO. She said lateness is usually dealt with between the school and the parents directly. sad

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 22-Aug-13 14:39:18

My experience of the Family Court system is as a parent not a lawyer, but my reaction is that it will be hard to pursuade family court that they need to intervene and issue an order in the best interests of the DCs when the professionals with jurisdiction regarding school attendance do not consider it sufficiently detrimental to intervene themselves.
I'm sure a hot-shot barrister could present a convincing case - but if your self-rep'ing then it's a daunting prospect!

kittycat68 Sat 24-Aug-13 17:27:45

EWO is actually wrong! clearly they fell they do not want to get into a a separated parents issue! you CAN self refer! However my advice would not be to get them involved because they will hold you equally responsible as a parent even if its not on your week!!
If this is the only issue going on i would not get involed with it! its your ex who will have to deal with the school about this issue. I dobt family court will make any changes just based on this issue.

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