In the week when parents will find out whether their children can go to the secondary school they want, figures show that thousands of them are risking prosecution to secure a place in the top maintained schools.
The number of parents turning to fraud to get their children into the school they want has soared over the last five years, the Daily Mail reports. Under Freedom of Information requests submitted to every local authority in England, it discovered that parents have been caught using false addresses, lying about siblings, impersonating family members and pretending to be a Roman Catholic to prevent their children going to failing schools.
Council investigations into suspicious applications have risen almost 11-fold over the past five years and the number of sanctions – applications rejected or school places withdrawn – has trebled. Experts believe the figures don’t give an accurate idea of the extent of the problem, because some councils investigate more proactively than others. Professor Alan Smithers from Buckingham University said: “We owe it to parents to defend admissions against unscrupulous competition and fraudulent activity. This is probably the tip of the iceberg as it’s not being investigated as much as it should be.”
Do you know of any parents who have cheated to get their children into the school they want? Has this happened at your school?