Parents are now faking marriage breakdowns to get their children into a top school amid a rise in admission fraud, an expert has warned.
As competition to secure places at the most sought after schools has intensified, parents are increasingly resorting to fraudulent means to boost their chances, according to The Good Schools Guide’s state school specialist Elizabeth Coatman.
The warning comes as over half a million families in England learn which primary school their child will attend in September, on what is known as “national offer day”.
Local councils have become more vigilant in recent years, Ms Coatman said, with investigation departments trained to look out for anything suspicious such as a family recently moving house.
School admissions departments are now much more alert to common tactics, such as taking out a short-term property lease close to a school.
Another well-known strategy is to cite the address of a grandparent, family friend or a childminder as the pupil’s place of residence in order to appear within the catchment area.
“Parents have become more creative - maybe in response to local authorities being very tight now about addresses,” Ms Coatman said. Read more
Some special needs are easy to spot, others are only determined once a child has experienced considerable difficulties, frustrations or social and emotional problems.
Over the years, diagnosis of and provision for SEN have improved, but both can still be a minefield.
Identifying different kinds of special educational needs
Few children fit a condition perfectly – if they do, we tend to say they are a ‘classic’ case. Most will not be straightforward: perhaps a dyslexic with dyspraxia and a touch of ADD, or a child with ASD who also has Down’s syndrome.
Just as special needs are hard to…
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Counties such as Kent or Buckinghamshire are ‘selective authorities’ and most families will have at least one grammar school close to where they live. Elsewhere, for example in Reading or Kingston-on-Thames, there are just one or two grammar schools and competition for places at these is ferocious.
How to find a state grammar school
Grammar schools are located in 36 English local authorities. Almost half of these are considered 'selective authorities' (eg Kent and Buckinghamshire), where around one in five local children are selected for grammar school entry based on ability. The others are areas such as Barnet or Kingston,…
As proud parents, we all know our children are unique. They're smarter than anyone else's, funnier, certainly more attractive, better behaved and above all bursting with the kind of talent that would leave Daniel Radcliffe, Jamie Bell and Charlotte Church standing. And for some extraordinary - though totally understandable - reason, everyone but us seems blind to our offspring's God-given artistic gifts.
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