ARTICLE
16 April 2024

Separated Parents And School Places: What Are My Rights?

EL
Ellisons Legal

Contributor

Ellisons Legal
With the announcement of school places for children starting school in September 2024 approaching, some separated parents may have a concern about where their child...
UK Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration
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With the announcement of school places for children starting school in September 2024 approaching, some separated parents may have a concern about where their child should attend school if both parents are not in agreement.

When it comes to important decisions about a child's life, which includes their education, any person with parental responsibility has a right to make such decisions. A mother automatically receives parental responsibility upon the birth of the child, with a father obtaining this by either being named on the child's birth certificate, being married to the mother, entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement or by making an application to the Court.

If those who hold parental responsibility are not able to agree between themselves as to where the child will be receiving an education, mediation is a great starting point for parents to try and reach an agreement. The aim of mediation is to try and reach an agreement in the most amicable way, with the child's best interests always being the paramount concern. However, if parents are unable to reach an agreement either through discussions or at mediation, then an application will need to be made to the court for a Specific Issue Order, for the court to then consider what is in the child's best interests and an Order will be made. With new costs rules coming into force from April, it is also likely to be appropriate to consider the arbitration process (a privately funded court process), not only in terms of avoiding potential costs orders, but also for the speed at which arbitration can be used against the court process.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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