Twenty-four families have lost their school places for the 2016/17 session after being caught giving false statements to get their children into popular Edinburgh schools, The City of Edinburgh Council announced today.

2014_02_05-City-Chambers-2

This comes after the Council’s Fraud Team carried out 1500 investigations, which included every potential S1 pupil at three of Edinburgh’s most popular high schools.

The findings show that there were 13 catchment frauds at high schools and 11 at primary schools around the city. The school with the highest number of fraudulent cases was James Gillespie’s high school.

The number of fraudulent cases has quadrupled since last year, where only six families were caught.

Parents were found to have been committing catchment fraud by making up false leases for properties that fall within the desired school catchment area, or by claiming to live in an address that was rented to the students.

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.”

Cllr Godzik also urged parents to trust in their local schools rather than risk being caught by the Council: “All our schools provide a great education and I would urge parents to visit their local schools to see for themselves the fantastic learning environments rather than trying to commit fraud.”