City of Edinburgh Council discovers twenty-four cases of school catchment fraud
Twenty-four families have had their offer of a school place withdrawn for giving fraudulent addresses
Image credit: Boroughmuir High School by jambox998 via Flickr
Twenty-four families in Edinburgh have lost their school places after being caught giving false information to get their children into popular schools.
Thirteen of the cases of catchment fraud were discovered at high schools and 11 at primary schools, up from a total of six caught last year.
James Gillespie’s High School came top of the list, where seven places were refused due to fraud.
The City of Edinburgh Council says it has stepped up its campaign to target catchment fraud at popular schools.
The council’s fraud team carried out 1,500 checks, including all potential S1 places at three of the city’s most popular secondaries.
Where fraud was discovered it resulted in the offer of a place being withdrawn, while some other families dropped their requests once they realised they were being investigated.
In a number of cases families were also found to be fraudulently claiming council tax benefits and were forced to repay money.
Councillor Paul Godzik, Convener of Education, Children and Families for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “We know this is an issue that concerns many parents and we take it very seriously.
“We warn parents every year that we are actively looking into catchment fraud and if we believe there is a possibility that fraud is being committed we will investigate.
“If we discover this to be the case we will withdraw the school place.”
When pupils move from primary to secondary school they are allocated a place based on the address held by the primary school and spot checks are carried out to ensure the information is accurate.
The council’s corporate fraud team can carry out credit checks, check council tax records and make home visits to find out whether someone is really living at the address they claim to be at.
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