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Schooling and parental disputes - time to start the conversation

Parents of children who are due to start primary school in England in September 2024 will shortly need to decide upon their choice of schools. The application process differs between counties but for all the deadline to apply is 15 January 2024. 

For separated parents decisions over schooling can be even more difficult, particularly where they might live in differing catchment areas and have competing ideas on the environment their child may do best in. There may also need to be consideration to the school that any siblings attend as preference may be given, or any additional educational needs and how these can be catered for.

Decisions about schooling require the consent of all those who have parental responsibility for a child, and separated parents should be cautious about excluding others with parental responsibility from these discussions.

If an agreement cannot be reached then parents may wish to consider involving a professional mediator to facilitate further discussions. However, should a resolution not be possible then the court can determine the issue. If a court application is necessary then parents are urged to take swift advice as obtaining a court hearing before the application deadline may not be straightforward, particularly where the deadline comes shortly after the Christmas break. 


family law