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Father blocking private school

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  • Father blocking private school

    My son is at a state primary school and is due to go to secondary school in September. He has been offered a place at the local state school but I have recently sold a house and made enough money to cover 2 years of private schooling. Iíve always wanted to put my son into private education and this has made it much more affordable. My son has been offered a place at the private school, he loves it and really wants to go there. The father has been to see the principle and said he doesnít give his permission for our son to attend. May I note, I have not asked for any financial contribution. The father has only been paying maintenance since November 2017 of £9 per week (he is self employed) and is already behind on the payments.

    The father, whom I separated from 10 years ago, has joint parental responsibility, our son lives with me 10 out of 14 nights (alternate weeks with his father from Thursday after school until Monday morning, drop back to school), our court order states we must agree on important matters such as schooling. The father doesn't want our son to go to the private school - his stepson who is the same age as our son is going to the local state school my son has a place at. From what I can gather this is the main reason he wants our son to go to the local state school.

    My question is, how do I go about gaining the relevant permission to send him to the private school?

    Does it need agreeing through a court via a specific issue order? Can I do this without any legal representation? I don't want to wast the money I have on court fees (I have spent plenty in the past) or it will be very difficult, maybe even impossible to send my son to the private school.

    Is my 11YO at an age where his opinion counts? Although it is worth noting that the father is a very controlling, aggressive and manipulate man. I am used to this behaviour being directed at me but he is now starting to bribe and bully my son about the school situation. Life has not been easy for my son due to the terrible relationship between his father and I and I feel as though the additional attention and pastoral care he will receive at a private school will help him to cope with some of the situations he has been witness to but I donít want any more harm coming to him in the process.

    Our son is a fairly shy, retiring boy with low self-esteem. This school focuses heavily on public speaking, seems to have great pastoral care and a great drama department which could pull my son out of himself a little more. I think these activities will be invaluable for him. My son is a talented sports person and this is where he finds his more comfortable, confident and happy self. The school has great sports facilities and such a varied list of extracurricular activities, from his mother's point of view, this is the perfect school for him.

    The father has told our son he is no son of his if he goes to the private school and even tried to bribe him with a Playstation if he goes to the state school. Last night he collected him from our home and took him football training but ignored my son all evening because he is so angry that my son has told me about the Playstation. My son cried himself to sleep, which isn't unusual after any disagreements between me and the father. The father puts a lot of pressure on our son. Often I give in to save the hurt and upset for my son but my son really wants to go to this school and we can't have him bullying us forever!

    Please advise?
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Can I just ask
    You say you can afford two years of private school - what would happen then, would you expect your son to move back into the state sector.

    I ask because your son is the most important person in this and would moving school at the end of year 8 be the right thing?

    I also believe that the school should fit the child and private/independent is not always the right choice - equally will you be able to maintain the lifestyle many of his contemporaries at a private school are likely to lead . This is not judgement, just observations
    Any advice or opinions I offer are based on my experience dealing with personal debt as well as other life events.
    I have no formal legal training
    Any advice is offered without liability
    If in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB

    Comment


    • #3
      Are you divorced yet? If so I donít think he can stop you .
      However as previous post if youíve only enough money for 2 years is that a fair thing to do?
      my sister in law is in a similar position and her children went to the private school against ex husbands wishes but canít afford it and she is in a real mess now as doesnít want to take kids out of the school but is up to her neck in debt!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you both so much for responding and sorry for my delayed response. I probably wasnít clear about the finances. I can afford to send my son but the final decision on my part to send him was based on the fact that I made some unexpected money which would contribute to School fees and make it that much easier. Iím not a huge earner but I can comfortably afford to put my son through private education until the end of his schooling.

        I fully appreciate your advice and agree it would not be sensible to send my son somewhere out of our financial reach.

        What I'm looking for is some advice on how to go about getting the approval I need to send my son to this school. My son lives with me most of the time but we have a court order stating both parents must both agree on important decisions such as schooling.

        Comment


        • #5
          And we were never married so no divorce. Thank you again!

          Comment


          • #6
            Clearly you want what is best for your son but did you read the recent report from KCL saying private education had a negligible impact on gcse results.

            It was Co authored by that odious little man Toby Young

            I should say I was educated outside the state sector but am fundamentally opposed to private schooling. To paraphrase Tony Crosland 'I want every f****g private school closed'

            Any advice or opinions I offer are based on my experience dealing with personal debt as well as other life events.
            I have no formal legal training
            Any advice is offered without liability
            If in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB

            Comment


            • #7
              I hadnít seen this report but o have now. Sending my son to this school is not all about GCSE results. Itís about the focus on sports which he loves, the broader range of extracurricular activities and possibility of finding new passions. As I mentioned before he is a quiet boy with little confidence and the School focus on public speaking and and increasing confidence. Iím not opposed to state schooling but I do feel as though I have found the right school for my son and his personal needs.

              If if anyone has any advice on how to gain the authority to go ahead and send my son the the school I would like to send him to I would be most grateful.

              Comment


              • #8
                I actually agree with you that it would be good if there were no private schools but there are, and I want to give my son the best possible start in life.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It would seem that if you cannot come to an agreement you may have to apply to the family court for a Specific Issue Order to determine the matter

                  There would be an initial meeting before a judge and a qualified social worker from Cafcass to try and reach an agreement, but if that fails the dispute goes to the family court with all that entails and reports by Cafcass etc.

                  Tagging Kati to see if there is anyone with more knowledge about this sort of situation

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Peridot maybe??
                    Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.

                    It doesn't matter where your journey begins, so long as you begin it...

                    recte agens confido

                    ~~~~~

                    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

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                    But please include a link to your thread so I know who you are.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by des8 View Post
                      It would seem that if you cannot come to an agreement you may have to apply to the family court for a Specific Issue Order to determine the matter

                      There would be an initial meeting before a judge and a qualified social worker from Cafcass to try and reach an agreement, but if that fails the dispute goes to the family court with all that entails and reports by Cafcass etc.

                      Tagging Kati to see if there is anyone with more knowledge about this sort of situation
                      I was advised during face to face legal representation with a Solicitor about a different matter that it is standard practice of Cafcass in all family matters to do a "Wishes and Feelings" report with children 10 years or older, as he's of age to go to High School your son (like all children) is determined to be old enough to understand what is going on and make his desires known independently of you or your ex.

                      As you say your ex has influence on his feelings about private school you should take this into consideration as if your son expresses he wants to go into state education that will carry heavy sway in this matter.
                      My posts on this forum are offered based on my experience dealing with a variety of life events. I have no formal legal training and if in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB. If you follow anything I write on this forum you do so at your own risk and I accept no liability for any loss, costs or other out comes.

                      I do not come on here at weekends or on public holidays.

                      Comment


                      • #12


                        Thank you for your response. Yes, I though a Specific Issue Order would be the next step but was hoping we wouldn't have to go down this route again and that the fact my son lives with me most of the time I might have some additional rights.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jaguarsuk View Post

                          I was advised during face to face legal representation with a Solicitor about a different matter that it is standard practice of Cafcass in all family matters to do a "Wishes and Feelings" report with children 10 years or older, as he's of age to go to High School your son (like all children) is determined to be old enough to understand what is going on and make his desires known independently of you or your ex.

                          As you say your ex has influence on his feelings about private school you should take this into consideration as if your son expresses he wants to go into state education that will carry heavy sway in this matter.
                          Thank you for this information! That's great because my son is adamant he wants to go to the private school. Do you know how I can go about getting a report done directly (without solicitors)?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Namastacey View Post

                            Thank you for this information! That's great because my son is adamant he wants to go to the private school. Do you know how I can go about getting a report done directly (without solicitors)?
                            Cafcass is part of the Family Court process, there's more information about them here: https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/

                            If as Des described above the initial meeting with a judge and a qualified social worker from Cafcass fails to bring about an agreement this would be part of the reports by Cafcass the Family Court would request.

                            I honestly don't think you will settle this without need for a Solicitor or at least the initial meeting stage of the proceedings.

                            I know from personal experience it's galling to have to fork out good money for someones unreasonable whim (in my case they were legal aid funded and I was paying cold hard cash out my pocket), but you just have to bracket that cost in with the fees for the schooling as an investment in your sons future.
                            Last edited by jaguarsuk; 27th March 2018, 15:17:PM.
                            My posts on this forum are offered based on my experience dealing with a variety of life events. I have no formal legal training and if in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB. If you follow anything I write on this forum you do so at your own risk and I accept no liability for any loss, costs or other out comes.

                            I do not come on here at weekends or on public holidays.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jaguarsuk View Post

                              Cafcass is part of the Family Court process, there's more information about them here: https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/

                              If as Des described above the initial meeting with a judge and a qualified social worker from Cafcass fails to bring about an agreement this would be part of the reports by Cafcass the Family Court would request.

                              I honestly don't think you will settle this without need for a Solicitor or at least the initial meeting stage of the proceedings.

                              I know from personal experience it's galling to have to fork out good money for someones unreasonable whim (in my case they were legal aid funded and I was paying cold hard cash out my pocket), but you just have to bracket that cost in with the fees for the schooling as an investment in your sons future.
                              Thank you jaguarsuk I think you are probably right. I've arranged mediation as the first step and looks like it will be another matter dragged through court wasting time, effort, money and creating stress for all involved.

                              Comment

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