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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My 11 year old daughter is at an underperforming school and

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My 11 year old daughter is at an underperforming school and has told me that she is unhappy and wants to move school. I tried to prevent her going to the school in the first place as it was in special measures with Ofsted. My daughters mother will not support this. Ive applied for a place at a much better school and she has been accepted. My daughter wants to go. Am I within my rights to accept the place and move her?

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:

-Are you named on the birth certificate as the father?

-What are the arrangements for her to live with both of you?

-Are there any court orders in place, if so what?

-Where do you and the mother live and where is the school?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HiYes I am on the birth certificate.
Beth lives with her mother but I have regular access i.e. wednesday's and alternate weekends
There are court orders to do with access but are probably 8/9 years old now
Mother lives in New Mills SK22, I live in Mellor SK6 we are only a few miles apart though. The school is in Poynton Cheshire SK12.

Thank you for confirming. Being named on the birth certificate gives you parental responsibility and therefore a right to be involved in these major decisions.

Given the close proximity between all of you and the school, as well as you indicating that it is a better school, therefore likely to be better for your daughter due to her current underperformance, you have good argument to pursue a move to a school. However, as the mother also has parental responsibility she has the right to be consulted and her consent is required especially as she is the main carer by virtue of the court order in place.

In the circumstances I would suggest that you make a referral to an independent mediator (you can find local ones here: The mediator will assist you both in reaching an amicable agreement that is in your daughter's best interests. If mediation does not help, then you will be able to pursue an application to court under Form C100 together with a £215 court fee to your local family court for a specific issue order and the court can make a decision as to whether she should move schools or not. For your information the Court will take into consideration the following when making a decision regarding the application:
1.The wishes and feelings of the child concerned
2. The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
3. The likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the courts decision
4. The child’s age, sex, backgrounds and any other characteristics which will be relevant to the court’s decision
5. Any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering
6. Capability of the child’s parents (or any other person the courts find relevant) at meeting the child’s needs
7. The powers available to the court in the given proceedings

If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

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