Contact us
Hunters Law LLP
9 New Square
Lincoln’s Inn
London WC2A 3QN
Hunters Law
12th September 2023

How to choose a school but avoid court

How to choose a school but avoid court

I was recently asked to comment on the difficulties that parents can face when making choices about education for their children when they are already in conflict with each other. 

Those seemingly impossible decisions about education choices and knowing whether you are doing the right thing for your child are magnified when you are in dispute with the other parent or carer for your child. And what happens if you cannot decide? 

With parents and carers of year 6 children starting to look at secondary school options for their children and facing a looming deadline for making an application, the need to select options is pressing. The deadline for parents whose children are due to start school for the first time in September is not far behind that.

In theory, an application can be made to the court for a specific issue order under Section 8 of the Children Act 1989, but the court system is slow and cumbersome in dealing with these issues. 

Both mediation and arbitration offer enormous scope to the parties in this situation. Mediation allows parties to fine-tune a solution having discussed the issues and aired their concerns. 

Where it is impossible to find an agreed solution, arbitration can offer a speedy and discreet solution and where the ambit of the dispute is limited, there is the prospect for the issue to be dealt with on paper without the need for a hearing.