Parents Commit Fraud To Secure School Places. What Lengths Would You Go To For Your Child?

2 October 2015

Would you lie for your child?

Most parents would admit to happily going to any lengths reasonable for their kids. Whether that means sometimes going without so that we can treat our kids, or making decisions based on what's best for our children rather than most convenient for us, it's a normal part of being a parent to want the very best for your child.

But how far would you go to get the best for your kid? Would you lie? What about breaking the law?

That might sound preposterous but according to the Mirror that's exactly what increasing numbers of us are doing in order to get our kids into the best possible school.

The paper reports:

Record numbers of parents are lying and cheating to get their children into top state schools, a study reveals. Pushy parents are even renting small apartments in catchment areas for choice schools and others are lying about being baptised to get into faith schools.

But this amounts to admissions fraud and if you get caught, your child could lose their school place. That's happened to 696 children in the past three years after their parents committed admissions fraud.

Admissions fraud can include giving a false address on your child's school application form, with some parents using the address of friends and relatives or even business premises in order to meet the criteria for a school place.

I understand a parent's judgement being clouded by the anxiety that goes hand in hand with making decisions about your child's education, but opting to cheat the system by technically breaking the law seems like storing up trouble. Wouldn't you have to advise your kid never to disclose their actual address to anyone, incase the lie gets caught? And isn't achieving a place at a 'good' school for your child sort of at odds with doing so under false pretences?

On the other hand, I've spoken to parents who say that the schools admission system is so broken that they almost feel they have no choice but to bend the rules if they have their child's best interests at heart. "It's either that or face the prospect of sending your child to a school where you'll actually fear for their physical well-being, never mind their education," said one mum.

Evidently the impact of the government's budget cuts and the ensuing shortage of school places is partly to blame, and the fact that parents feel compelled to lie or act fraudulently in order to secure their child a place at their desired school points to problems in the postcode lottery that is our schools admission process. But taking matters into your own hands through admissions fraud is surely no solution.

What's your view on this news? Do you feel some sympathy with parents who feel they have no choice but to lie on school application forms? Or do you draw the line at breaking the law to get the best for your child? How far would you go for your child? We'd love to hear your thoughts over on our Facebook page.

TOPICS:   Parenting Tips

1 comment

  • Lucyk31
    I have 2 children in local school and one in another school as did not get a place. I have another parent who I pass when going to school that used false address and got a place for her one child . It appears to me you can put what address you want as long as it's not honest and you don't live there you are garanteed a place . The system is a joke councils have no money to investigate and I don't think they even care. My children have been torn apart everything has changed I drive an extra 13 miles a day at least to get my children to school and I'm still learning about the people that have lied and are still doing so. I've made my self ill over it .!! The whole system is rubbish .

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