Separated Parents: What to do if you disagree on which school your child should attend

As the school holidays are fast approaching, the new school year will be starting before we know it.

When parents share parental responsibility it is important that both are involved with the decision as to which school a child should attend. However, complications can arise when parents are not in agreement.

The first stage would be to try and resolve the issues between yourselves. Most schools are experienced with working with separated parents and can assist with enquiries.

If you cannot agree between yourselves you could consider contacting a mediator. A mediator may be able to help you discuss any concerns that you have and aim to assist reaching a resolution. Alternatively, you could instruct a solicitor to assist with resolving the issue.

If mediation is unsuccessful, you could make an application to the Court for a Specific Issue Order. A Specific Issue Order is an order that can deal with a specific issue, such as, which school a child should attend.

When making any decision in relation to children, the Court’s paramount consideration is the welfare of the children. The court will be guided by the welfare checklist, which includes, but is not limited to, the wishes and feelings of the child(ren) depending on their age, sex and background and the likely effect a change of school may have upon them.

It is important that when choosing a school you should consider, the practicalities of how the children will travel there, the funding, the support that the school can offer and the academic credentials.

If you would like to discuss this further, please contact one of our solicitors.