The Daily Mail reports that rising pressure on school places means families are increasingly resorting to fraudulent means in order to get their children into top schools.
Councils have been attempting to crack down on admissions tactics such as using another family member’s address in order to put your child into a certain catchment area. However, reports by the Office of the Schools Adjudicator show that admission fraud remains an issue across the country.
In 2015-16, 267 offers were withdrawn on the basis of fraudulent applications, with 75 local authorities reporting concerns. The previous year, 284 offers were withdrawn – up 53 per cent from 2013-14.
Elizabeth Coatman, state school specialist at The Good Schools Guide, said local councils have been training staff to spot suspicious details in applications, such as a family recently moving house, or taking out short-term leases close to schools.
‘Parents have become more creative – maybe in response to local authorities being very tight now about addresses,’ she told The Daily Telegraph. ‘There are different types of fraud. For example, faking a marriage breakdown to create a situation where a child can live part time with each parent.
‘There are also bogus baptism certificates and hiring private doctors to justify preferential treatment for a child’s needs. Schools often prioritise special needs children, but you need to have medical evidence.’
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