What Can We Do if We Don’t Agree on Which School Our Child Should Attend?

Many parents will be faced with the process of applying for a place at a school for their child but what happens if both parents don’t agree on the same choice of school?

There are many factors that can influence which school you would like your child to attend, from religion to after school childcare. One parent may wish for their child to attend a school that offers certain activities, whereas the other parent may place bigger value on the curriculum used.

It’s usual that both parents have parental responsibility for their child. Mothers will automatically have parental responsibility and fathers will acquire it by being named on the birth certificate, or by being married to the child’s mother. If both parents have responsibility, then they both have a say in which school the child attends. Any disputes should be resolved before applying to the school. But how are these disputes resolved?

Historically, couples who cannot agree on the choice of school would take the matter to court and a judge would make a decision in the best interest of the child. This can be a lengthy, costly, and upsetting process as the outcome may be one that neither parent chose.

Couples are now increasingly choosing the option of family mediation to reach a decision without the need to attend court. Family mediation offers the opportunity to discuss school options in a series of confidential meetings with a mediator. Both parents can spend time exploring the benefits and drawbacks of each school in a structured and neutral environment. They can also consider any changes that may occur to the child’s routine when attending a new school and make a plan to accommodate this.

Parents can have as many sessions as they require to resolve their disagreement. They can be as thorough as they would like in setting out a plan, including decisions on the expenses of school trips and uniforms and childcare if the child is ill in termtime.

If you are a parent who cannot agree on a school for your child or would like to discuss any points in this article further, please contact Spire Solicitors Family team on 01603 677077.