How to resolve a dispute over choice of school?
Choosing which school to attend may involve factors other that the relative quality of different schools. Sometimes the dispute relates to the distance from each parent’s home, or to the type of school (local authority, private, religious or with other special features). These dispute occasionally end up in court either as requests for specific issue orders or as part of a wider residence dispute. The decision should always be made on what is in the best interests of the child, but determining best interests can be tricky. In one case the sheriff actually visited both schools in order to determine which was most suitable. A recent case concerned the choice between a local authority school near to one parent’s house and a Gaelic medium school which would have required a longer journey to school but which would maintain the language of the other parent. In that case it was decided that the nearby school would be best for the child. Such cases are costly and only settle the immediate question – avoid them if at all possible.