A star of The Aprentice ruffled feathers on GMB this morning by admitting she lied on the application form to get her son into her preferred school.
Bushra Shaikh, 38, who lives in Surrey with her family, admitted she used an old address on her son’s application so she could pretend she was still part of the right catchment area, during a debate on Good Morning Britain.
The businesswoman said she isn’t sorry that she lied on the application, arguing parents’ will always do what’s best for their children.
Broadcaster Shay Kaur Grewal said she was ‘sickened’ by wealthy parents who ‘price out’ children from good schools with tactics such as renting a property nearby.
Meanwhile, while some viewers agreed catchment areas can be unfair, others said being dishonest on a school application teaches children to be liars.
Some people agreed with Bushra that parents have to find ways to get around the issue of tricky catchment areas when looking at school applications
Bushra said it is worth bending the rules for your children in similar situations.
‘I definitely think it’s worth taking a risk, within reason, and bending the rules because it’s down to being the best parent for your child,’ Bushra said.
She said her decision to give incorrect information on her child’s application was down to her neighbourhood school’s catchment area, which determines which school families can apply to depending on their location.
‘We were in the process of moving home, the catchment area has just adjusted itself to that particular school. So we became on the borderline of it,’ she explained.
Bushra Shaikh, 34, who lives in Surrey with her family, admitted she used an old address on her son’s application so she could pretend she was still part of the right catchment area, during a debate on Good Morning Britain
Broadcaster Shay Kaur Grewal said she was ‘sickened’ by parents who use money to ‘price out’ children out of good schools
‘I made a deal with the lady we sold our house to that my application would have our old address on it, so that remained on the application,’ she revealed.
‘Had I put the new one on at the time, they wouldn’t have accepted it.’
While there are loopholes parents can take advantage off when it comes to education, broadcaster Shay Kaur Grewal said she doesn’t approve of wealthy families holding on to property and addresses to get to better schools.
‘I come from a strong working class background, and I was fortunate to be afforded a fantastic education which was fair for everyone,’ she explained.
Bushra, right with Shay, said it is worth bending the rules for your children in certain situations as it makes you a better parent
Shay said she does not think cheated on application is fair, regardless of parents’ wanting to get a better education for their children
‘It sickens me that parents who have a little bit more money in the bank account can essentially rent a property closer to a school, which then prices out children who otherwise would have been able to go to that school. I think that’s what’s wrong with the system.’
‘When you’re the parent, your child has to be number one,’ GMB host Kate Garraway interjected.
But Shay said she does not think cheating on applications is fair, regardless of parents wanting the best education for their children.
‘What councils need to do is provide better education for all children,’ she said.
‘If you talk about fair game, what we’re essentially saying is: “If you got a speed limit that is 30mph if you want to get to school you can do 40mph. It doesn’t matter if you hit x, y and z as long as your child get to school”,’ she told Bushra.
Viewers were split on the issue, with some agreeing with Bushra and others calling her a liar and saying she was dishonest
The Apprentice star rebuffed her argument, saying: ‘I’m not going to be putting anyone in danger.
‘I’m saying at the end of the day, I have to put my child first. You think it’s unfair. To me, that’s my child,’ Bushra added, reiterating that she thought she had been a good parent by lying on the application.
But Shay went on to suggest there need to be more penalties ‘for parents like Bushra who think it’s okay to hold on to a property or rent another property to ensure their child goes into school’.
She said that in her family, if others had leapfrogged over them for a school place, they wouldn’t have had their first doctor or first person to get a degree.
The broadcaster went on to say that often, the school the eldest child goes to determines which school the younger children will attend as well.
She added that by using loopholes and lying about their postcodes, Bushra’s family would take the place of three other children.
Bushra still did not agree and concluded: ‘To me my child comes first and that’s paramount.’
Viewers were split over the issue, with one sayying: ‘Don’t understand why Shay is getting so rattled. Every parent will try to get a first choice place for their children,’ one said.
‘100% yes to cheat school admissions because catchment areas are b******,’ another agreed.
However, a critic wrote: ‘Such parents raise liars! So dishonest.’
‘If your kid’s that bright, you don’t need to cheat,’ another added.
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