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Does anyone know - is the non-resident parent allowed to apply for school

(12 Posts)
Nothernbird Sat 29-Aug-09 17:54:17

My XH is about to move house to a 'better' area with better schools in the vicinity. The DCs live with me, but he says part of the reason he's moving is so that we can get the DCs into a good state school. Can he do that if the DCs don't live with him? I thought school applications had something to do with child benefit/family allowance? I definitely don't want to transfer custody of the DCs to him.

nancy75 Sat 29-Aug-09 17:59:19

the children have to live in the house, in our area you have to provide a copy of your child benefit allowance letter to prove they live there (along with a million other letters)

Nothernbird Sat 29-Aug-09 18:03:38

That's what I thought. So unless I agree to him having the children 'full time' so he gets the child benefits, his plan isn't going to work? He has suggested that I transfer custody of the kids to him but keep the contact arrangement as is - ie he seems them every other weekend. Surely that's not right either?!!

nancy75 Sat 29-Aug-09 18:13:07

depends on the school/area you live in but its not that easy to get into a school that the children dont live in the area for. my dd is starting school in jan and a rep from the school made a suprise visit to our house to check we lived there - this particular school checked ever home for this years school entry. if you get caught lying you can be taken to court.
are you happy that your ex would stick to your current custody arangements if he had something else on paper? would you trust him to give you back the child benefit money. how far would you live from the school, too far for your childrens friends to come home to play?
there are lots of questions you need to have answered before you decide to go ahead with it.

Mamazon Sat 29-Aug-09 18:15:50

thwe school application is from the home the children live in most of the time.

so no, he wouldn't be able to

Nothernbird Sat 29-Aug-09 18:16:21

I agree - there are a lot of questions to ask. I don't see how it would work and it's not something I really want to consider - as you say, you can get taken to court - ie it's ILLEGAL! He brought the subject up a couple of weeks ago and I just couldn't imagine how he thought I would agree to transfering custody etc. I just met a mutual friend who said he would be entitled to get the DCs into a school nearer him (we're probably going to be about 5 miles away from each other).

nancy75 Sat 29-Aug-09 18:19:02

even if you did get away with it, you have to take them to school everyday, is it even a journey you could do every morning? tbh living 5 miles or more from a school would be a pain in the bum imo!

Nothernbird Sat 29-Aug-09 18:27:32

Nancy75 I agree. There's no way I would want to do a 5 mile trip along with my commute. And as you say they would be a fair way from their friends. I don't see how he thinks he can get away with it. I just wanted to check that I wasn't being unreasonable by telling him that there's no way it would work!

nancy75 Sat 29-Aug-09 18:30:20

no, i would imagine he has probably come up with the idea wil all good intentions, but not actually thought about the reality of it.

Niceguy2 Sat 29-Aug-09 19:01:42

I've never had to prove where I live yet by showing child benefit etc.

I guess it all depends on how good/bad your local schools are and how devious you are willing to be to get your kids into the best school you can.

If your local school is a sink estate like the one near where I used to live. A school which not only had its own full time policeman but also an on-site benefits "shop" (I kid you not!) then yes I would take the risk of getting caught anyday.

If your local school is ok to good then no I wouldn't bother.

GypsyMoth Sat 29-Aug-09 19:05:59

is it a case of the chool being nearer to him genuinely being the better one? or is he up to something? are you happy with the present school?

NanaNina Sat 29-Aug-09 22:33:11

Are the children already in school or is this looking to the future. State schools usually take children from a set catchment area (based on geoographical location)in relation to any particular school. The children would therefore be expected to attend the school in the relevant catchment area. I think the child benefit issue is a bit of a "red herring." A school will usually accept that a child is in their catchment area by the address, without expecting proof. If however the school is very popular (with an excellent OFSTED report) for instance and is over subscribed, and there is a suspicion that the child's normal address is not in the catchment area, then they may want to check it out. There was a case in the news recently where a woman was taken to court for telling the school that her child lived at an address in their catchment area when this was not the case.

Headteachers do have discretion however and will sometimes accept a child living outside of the catchment area. However this would be on the basis of honesty and not by pretending the child lived in the catchment area.

I don't think you should go along with your EH's plan as unless you are going to be upfront with the headteacher of the school near to his home, then it is illegal. If however you both agreed that you would prefer the school near to him there would be nothing to prevent you talking with the head teacher about the possibility of the children joining the school, but being honest that they live with you on a permanent basis at an address outside of the shcool's catchment area and have contact with their father who lives in the catchment area.

Hope you manage to sort things out

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