Parents fight over school places

How far would you go to get your child into the best school?

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Moving house, changing religion or sweet-talking the headmaster; these are just a few of the steps parents are prepared to take ensure their child gets into their preferred school.

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The pressure on primary school places is increasing and a new survey by the Press Association showed that almost 1 in 10 parents in England are missing out on their first choice of primary school for their child. 

And as the pressure increases, mums and dads are coming up with more and more ways to trick the postcode lottery school admission system. A survey by insurance company Sheilas’ Wheels found that 33% of parents are prepared to move house to be closer to their preferred school, 14% would use a relative’s address on the application form, 8% would butter up the headmaster and 1% were even prepared to offer a bribe.

One mum, Mrinal Patel from London, was so keen to get her son into a popular state school in north Harrow that she has been accused of using a false address. She claimed to have chosen her son’s school because it was “close to home and she could walk.” However, four months later, once her son had been offered a place, the school discovered that the address didn’t match the current address details on Mrinal’s tax records.

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Mrinal has denied the charge of fraud by false representation and the case has been adjourned until 8 July.

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