Every caring parent wants to give their child the best education possible according to their specific circumstances and station in life.  Not all parents earn the same amount of money or have access to the best type of education. However, most parents will do their best, which the law and society expect of all parents. In doing so, they ensure that their child has the best opportunities in life. It is vitally important for parents to co-operate when it comes to their minor child’s education. This relates to the enrollment into a school, the paying of school fees, transportation, parent involvement, homework, etc. 

Parents sometimes have conflicting views on what type of education is in the minor child’s best interests. Disputes may arise as to what school the minor child should attend or the subjects they should do. Parents being unable to agree on the essential aspects of the minor child’s education can cause severe problems for the minor child’s future. The law does not expect parents to agree on all aspects of the minor child’s education. However, the disagreement should not compromise the minor child’s education. The law, therefore, expects parents to agree on those important issues regarding the minor child’s education and work together on making the minor child’s educational journey as smooth as possible.

Schools require both guardians of a minor child to enrol them into a school. This is especially so if the father’s name is on the birth certificate. If there is a dispute regarding the school a child should attend, and it cannot be resolved between the parents, then you would have to approach the Court for assistance in resolving the matter. The Court can make an order that only one parent’s consent is required for the enrolment of the minor child into a school. As always, the court always looks at what is in the minor child’s best interest when it comes to issues surrounding him or her. 

Therefore, when it comes to parental consent issues in relation to education, the court would have to decide what is best for the minor child. Is it best that the minor child attend school A, or School B.? Before the court so decides, it would firstly hear from both parents. It may even ask the Office of the Family Advocate to first investigate and give their recommendations. If the court orders that School B would be best, then it would order that the parent who does not support School B should provide his or her consent, failing which, his or her consent is dispensed with. 

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Author – Jessica Gooding

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