Can I choose which school my child goes to without the agreement of the other parent?

Sally Clark Blog

If both parents have parental responsibility, both must be in agreement about which school the child should attend. This is even the case when the child lives with you and you are the primary carer.

If parents are unable to agree on which school the child should attend, the following routes are available to try and come to a resolution:

  • You can try to resolve matters between you.
  • You can attend mediation. Mediation is a process whereby a mediator will work with both parties to help you make important decisions regarding your children. It is a safe space to discuss issues and discussions are not legally binding, until you reach an agreement which is right for the both of you and more importantly, your child.
  • You can negotiate through solicitors. Solicitors will take steps to assist you and to try and resolve matters, without the need for a court application.
  • You can make an application to court for a specific issue order. In this case, the Court will be asked to determine which school the child should attend. In order to make their decision the Court will consider what is in the best interests of the child; Ofsted ratings for the schools each parent have put forward; the commute, etc.

We would strongly advise that you seek legal advice if you are facing a disagreement over schools and our team of solicitors can offer you expert guidance and assistance.

Our mediation service specialises in assisting parents and helping them to make decisions about their children in relation to school, as well as contact arrangements, holidays, etc.

For further information, or to arrange an appointment please contact us on 01274 861096 (Liversedge) or 01423 637272 (Harrogate) or email Please note that we offer a free half an hour consultation.