Local Primary School To Drop 'Mother' And 'Father' From Admissions Form

After parent complained about 'discriminatory' wording

Image of Holy Ghost Catholic Primary from Google Streetview

Holy Ghost Catholic Primary School in Wandsworth has been instructed to remove the descriptions 'mother', 'father' and 'guardian' from its admissions form after a local parent complained to the Schools Adjudicator about discrimination.

The parent argued that there was only one space on the admissions form for 'mother' and 'father', and that this was "disciminatory in respect of separated, step or gay parents" and went against the school's admissions code which prohibits giving priority according to the marital status of parents applying.

Peter Goringe from the Schools Adjudicator, a government education watchdog, has now upheld the objection saying in the adjudication, "...in the absence of any clarification of the term 'parent' the use of the words 'mother' and 'father' might, as the objector suggests, be taken to imply that the school is restricting its definition."

The Catholic Education Service (CES) told the Catholic weekly news source, The Tablet, "We expect all Catholic schools to comply with the Schools Admission Code and we work closely with dioceses and the Office of the Schools Adjudicator to ensure this happens."

The CES is now drawing up a form that can be used in its 2,230 schools which will refer more widely to 'family'.

Wandsworth Council, in line with many local authorities in the UK, uses neutral langauge such as 'parent/carer' in its school application forms.

November 14, 2017