Derby - Catchment con families come a cropper

14th August 2009 at 01:00

More than 20 Derby families have been caught lying to get their children into the city's most popular schools.

The 26 families gave false addresses on their application forms to convince authorities they were within the high-achieving schools' catchment areas.

Twenty would-be cheats were caught out by council officials immediately. But the remaining six received offers of places at their chosen schools. These were later withdrawn. Four of these withdrawn offers were for Littleover Community School, which has the best GCSE results in the city. Last year, 86 per cent of pupils at the school achieved five A*-C grades.

David Nichols, Littleover headteacher, told the Derby Telegraph: "Many parents would be quite shocked to find out what lengths other parents will go to get places. I feel sorry for the children involved."

The offending families have been told they must reapply for the handful of remaining places at the city's secondaries.

Legally, parents could face prison for lying on a school application form, but Derby council has chosen not to prosecute those involved.

A spokesman said: "Our admission team always investigates any suggestion of fraudulent addresses and withdraws offers where necessary." ab.

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