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Child senior schooling - help!

(5 Posts)
Anon310704 Thu 11-Jun-15 09:30:46

Hello - I'm hoping that someone will be able to advise me here.

Basically my partner's daughter has a shared care court order in operation where my partner gets her daughter for one week and then her father one week.

The issue is related to senior school. The father's wife is adamant that the daughter goes to a poor-performing school near them (for their personal convenience). However, this is no good to us because we live too far away.

My partner used to live near the school (which happens to also be close to the primary school the daughter is attending now), but had to flee to her other house further away after her ex-partner abused her (ABH court case pending). She is now living with me, which is even further away from the school.

So as it stands, my partner drives her to the primary school on her week, but it is very draining and time-consuming considering the distance.

We have requested that she attends a good-performing senior school near us (which is probably a non-starter) or a school equidistant to both families, so the shared care can continue (which is the ideal situation for the daughter - her request). However, we are not sure where we stand with this?

Basically the father's wife won't budge or negotiate (the father takes no interest whatsoever and leaves it to his wife to sort everything).

Does anyone know where we stand and what the judge might decide (as we have tried mediation, but with no negotiation on their part, we had no choice to refuse) seeing as it will now be going to court?

Can a judge rule on an equidistant school regardless of catchment areas? I do believe my partner's house is actually in the catchment area of where we are proposing, but their house is certainly not.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.


Anon310704 Wed 17-Jun-15 09:32:45


PatriciaHolm Wed 17-Jun-15 10:11:26

Will your SD actually get into the school you propose from either address?

The court will look at what is best for the child, and if she is coming up secondary age then her wishes should be taken into consideration.

Depending on the local LEA, you may need to use the address of the parent who gets the child benefit since you have shared care. Who is that?

Anon310704 Wed 17-Jun-15 12:07:28

Yes - she would get in to either school.

Although I guess on fairness to both families, it would be ideal if the judge could request that she is placed in a school equidistant. I don't know if this is even possible in court though.

She has said about going to the school near them, but she has not been made aware of any alternatives and does not say she definitely wants to go there. It seems to be more out of convenience. Also, she is adamant that the shared care continues (social services state this as well) with both families, so a school near to them or near to us would not be possible for that to continue.

My partner, the child's mother, gets the child benefit at her address. What relevance does this address have? It's interesting this has been mentioned because my partner said that this has some relevance, but could not elaborate on it and when we spoke to admissions, they just said that it's up to the court?

PatriciaHolm Wed 17-Jun-15 12:10:10

Some LEAs state that in the case of shared care, the address that should be used is the one that receives child benefit. However, if admissions have said something different, your LEA may not have that. I would double check though, admissions policies are normally available online.

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