School Applications and Child Inclusive Mediation

How can we resolve disputes about which school might be best for a child?

School application decisions are looming both for primary school intake and secondary school. Sometimes separated parents can struggle to agree which school is best for their child.

Anyone with Parental Responsibility has a right to be consulted about school choices and if an agreement cannot be reached, a Judge will decide through a Children Act specific issue application.

The first step is to have a conversation with the child's other parent or parents prior to making any application. The decision is an important one so make sure you have thought about all of the factors to be considered when making this decision, including school location, whether the school offers subjects and options that meet the child’s needs, aptitudes and interests, and whether the school offers before and after school care options. Visiting the schools can be helpful.

This is an issue that is often discussed in mediation, as the court process can create difficulties in co-parenting, costly consequences and can take longer than the time available. This can leave much uncertainty hanging over both the parents and the child, waiting for a judge to make a decision.

It is important to note that the emphasis must be placed on the interests of the child, and not on the interests or rights of the parents. If a child is over the age of 10, they can have a voice in the mediation process, meeting with the mediator in a Child Inclusive Mediation option.

If you would like to know more about how specific children issues can be discussed in mediation, or the benefits of Child Inclusive Mediation, email us at hello@familymandm.co.uk

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