Cheating school parents could face court

Parents who lie to secure school place may be punished

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Parents who cheat to get their child into the best school could face court, following a report by the Chief Schools Adjudicator, Dr Ian Craig.

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Until now, parents who lie on school admissions forms only risk losing their child’s school place. But Dr Craig’s report sets out ways to stop parents cheating, recommending that in future parents should face charges.

“Currently parents have nothing to lose by lying,” the report said. “There is a view that as there are probably many more parents ‘getting away with it’ than are caught, it’s a risk worth taking.”

The report also proposes a media campaign to make parents feel guilty about depriving other children of a school place, as well as a suggestion that families who are allowed to keep their place after lying, lose their right for younger siblings to attend the school.

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At least 60 families a year are caught lying on application forms for some of the most popular schools in London. Fraudulent applications include giving a false address or renting a second address near a popular school. Other ways of cheating include claiming a cousin, or even an unrelated child with the same surname, is a child’s brother or sister to secure a place through the sibling rule.

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