PARENTS have had their child’s school place withdrawn after lying on an application form, figures reveal.

As the deadline looms to submit applications for children to start school in September 2021, Hampshire County Council (HCC) is warning parents not to give false information, or they risk losing a school place.

Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information Request show that the number of parents caught lying on application forms for school places is very low.

Since September 2018, just five school places for infant, junior and primary were withdrawn after parents were caught lying, and for secondary school places there were only two.

In all these cases, the fraudulent information given was the address used in the application. This included parents providing a work address, grandparent’s address, or future address when planning to move but having not exchanged contracts, rather than providing the child’s permanent address.

A spokesperson for HCC urged parents to tell the truth, saying: “Places will be withdrawn if parents give a false address on their application for a school place. This applies equally to situations where parents buy or rent a property solely to use the address in the application without any intention of taking up permanent residence there.

“We investigate all allegations of false addresses and will take action accordingly.”

The council publishes advise about what address evidence is required to support an application, and said that places are withdrawn every year because parents give a false address.

It said it often receives information from friends or acquaintances of applicants who fraudulently use a false address in their application.

A spokesperson said: “They chose to report the information because they feel it is unfair on other applicants. Schools also monitor the use of addresses in applications.

“The county council investigates all allegations of false addresses and may monitor residency details if use of an address causes concern. The county council reserves the right to seek further documentary evidence to support any claim of residence.

“We may also check records held within the council as well as other external agencies when confirming a child’s permanent address.”

The application deadline for Year R places, for those starting school in September 2021, is January 15. Offers will be given on April 16.

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