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School admission frauds not recorded
11:00am Wednesday 4th January 2012 in News
THE number of Oxfordshire parents investigated for making fraudulent claims on school applications is not recorded by the county council.
County Hall admitted that it did not keep figures, following the revelation that across England more than 700 children had school places withdrawn over the past five years, because their parents were suspected of providing false information, such as where their family lived.
Council spokesman Marcus Mabberley said: “Oxfordshire County Council carries out an investigation as and when a potential fraudulent application for a school place is identified or drawn to its attention.
“The matter is dealt with in accordance with the findings of the investigation and, where appropriate, offers of school places may be withdrawn.
“The investigation and any action taken is not recorded against individual children’s records. A summary record is not kept as regards to the number of investigations, reasons, etc.”
He added that the council did not carry out surveillance of parents and carers to find out whether the information they had provided to schools about their circumstances was correct.
According to information obtained by the Daily Mail newspaper, lies and misinformation leading to places being withdrawn nationally included parents claiming that their children had been baptised, to try to get them into church-run schools, or using the addresses of friends or relatives who lived within the catchment area of sought-after schools to secure a place.
Across 93 councils responsible for schools across England, 421 suspected fraudulent applications were uncovered last year, compared with 373 in 2010.