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Disagree about school choices

(16 Posts)
dazedandconfusedagain Mon 12-Jan-15 00:11:34

How does this work?

Both parents have PR. Kids live with me, ex has them alternate weekends for 3 nights and one midweek visit but not overnight. Ex has an application at Court now for more time with kids (he wants 50:50) which I am contesting- final hearing not been heard yet (in two months time) I think he'll get more contact time but not 50:50 (based on the Cafcass report) he may get midweek overnights which means he'd take them to school 6 days a month instead of the current 2 days a month. There is a Child Arrangements Order in place stating the current alternate weekends and midweek for 3 hrs contact he has, if that's relevant.

Eldest needs to make school application this week. Ex wants school A near him (he's in the former family home) I want school B near me (I moved to a local town on separation) as kids are here for almost all school days and it's much easier for me logically to have them at school near me. Ex drives so it's only a 10 min drives and he currently only takes them to school twice a month.

We've negotiated and discussed via email and we totally disagree. I cannot afford to go to Court (ex pays no maintenance and I'm struggling for money) and I only have 5 days left to make the school application anyway so doubt there'd be time. I told him to apply to Court for them to decide if he is that against it but he says he's been advised it is I that has to do so and without his permission or that of a Court I am not legally allowed to make the application.

Does anyone know if that's true? It would mean no application at all is made and no school place at all is offered which seems ridiculous. This is to start school not change schools. I can prove my attempts via email to communicate reasonably and I have lots of good reasons to have the school local to me in addition to the location.

titchy Mon 12-Jan-15 07:59:22

Just apply for the school near you - you need to be pragmatic. Any application has to use the address the child spends the majority of time at NOW, not in the future if he get the contact he wants.

If he take the issue to court in theory you could withdraw the application if you lose, but you need to apply on time, and he hasn't done anything legally to stop you doing so.

I'm not lawyer however...

benfoldsfive Mon 12-Jan-15 08:35:48

Agree with titchy this is the here and now, not the what if future.

If the only rain he wants the school near him is distance based that is. If school near him is top of the league tables and yours is essentially a crack den, only then you will have a problem

Courts work in the best interests of the children not parents. So dcs happiness and best educational fit for there needs would lead the discussion if, IF he decided to challenge your choice.

So make the reasons for choosing your school, when telling him what you are applying for about your dc.

1. it's a specialist science unit and this is were dc struggles the most educationally. So his chances of support will be greater here.

2. Dcs primary is a feeder school and already has many links with one another. His peer group will be going here, he will be happy.

3. They play county cricket, he is a cricketer.

4. Dc is able to walk to school and can acess after school facilities, clubs and support groups.

And so on.

addictedtosugar Mon 12-Jan-15 08:51:12

Just a thought, is the school near him popular?
If so, and you apply using your address, you don't stand a chance of getting in, due to the distance.
So, you could put his school first choice, at your address, and not get it, at which point, if you have your prefered school second, and you are reasonably high on the priority list, or its not massivly over subscribed, you will get your preference.....

dazedandconfusedagain Mon 12-Jan-15 09:20:57

Thanks all for replying. I've made sure my reasons I've given him are all very child focused (they aren't made up it's definitely better for DC to go to the school near me) and I've kept all my emails reasonable and co operative knowing they may well get shown at Court.

The application needs to be from my address I know that much but as this is an application for a Junior school, priority is given to a child at the Infant school on the same (not the same school different head, completely separate school) and this means because DC goes to that Infant school now they would get a place from my address even though we are 7 miles away. The Infant school is excellent the Junior school is dire, hence me wanting the application to be for the school near me.

pumpkin93 Mon 12-Jan-15 09:27:07

Does anyone know a good divorce lawyer in ashby area?

prh47bridge Mon 12-Jan-15 09:50:32

He is wrong to say that you need either his permission or that of the court to make an application. You have consulted him over the choice of school. You are unable to agree. He has not taken any legal action to stop you naming your preferences. The deadline for applications is just 3 days away. If you miss that you are unlikely to get a place at any popular school. Get on and apply naming your preferences.

titchy Mon 12-Jan-15 12:12:24

Once you've applied (on-line?) maybe you should keep quiet until the deadline has passed in case he also makes an application.....

3xcookedchips Mon 12-Jan-15 12:22:20

Make the application - there is nothing stopping you from doing so - he certainly can't stop you without a court order. There isn't one.

You could always put his school as one of the choices, even as insurance if you don't get your first choice.

It is unlikely he would get 50:50. it is possible he may get his time increased. This will not make it possible for him to start dictating to you about schools given that the kids are with you the majority of time.

If he did apply - it would get rejected(eventually) and he could get in to trouble for making false representations i.e. where the kids live most of the time.

He's deluded, poorly advised or both!

Maybe he's confused what PR confers upon him and the he doesn't understand the difference between rights and responsibilities...

ThePriceOfMagic Mon 12-Jan-15 12:26:54

You are required to consult him as he has PR. You have done so.

For admissions purposes, the LA will use the address where the child spends the majority of their time. That is yours. If you applied for a school place using his address and it was discovered that it was not their primary address at the time of application, the LA would consider it to be a fraudulent application and any offer of a school place would be removed. Your ex clearly doesn't understand the admissions process.

You should apply for the schools you want and quickly. If you miss the deadline your DC may end up with no school place at all.

If your ex wants to challenge you in court that's his lookout. I don't fancy his chances of success though.

dazedandconfusedagain Mon 12-Jan-15 13:08:49

Thank you all. My worry is that he will apply for the school near where he lives using my address. The application forms state any parent with Pr can make an application from the child's address even if they don't live there with them. He's on a different local authority to me so each local authority will receive an application one from me and one from my ex but each using my address.

ThePriceOfMagic Mon 12-Jan-15 13:18:21

I can see your concern. But I would still make your application today and then phone your LA to ask advice as to what would happen in such a situation? I can't believe your situation is unique.

But if he did make an application to 'his' school using your address, it would be unlikely to succeed unless the school is under subscribed which is quite rare these days. The problem then is that your DC could end up without a school place. Does he understand this?

titchy Mon 12-Jan-15 13:45:23

OP has explained that child gets priority as currently goes to a linked feeder infant school. OP - just make the application! Let him sit and sort out with the LEA a fraudulent application if he makes one.

FTCarer Mon 19-Jan-15 14:15:33

If you want a clear and simple way forward (based on the assumption the school you want is genuinely in the child's best interests )

1- make the application today
2- inform the ex
3- if there is a real issue the ex can apply for a prohibited steps order, if not, the application will go through as normal.

5inabed Tue 20-Jan-15 11:38:36

Not sure if this is the case in England but in Scotland you have to apply at your local school then put
In a placing request if you want your child to attend a different one.

PatriciaHolm Tue 20-Jan-15 11:52:30

England is very different, 5.

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