GOING to church, buying a second home or using a relative’s address are some of the tactics used by parents to get their child into a good school, a report has revealed.

Almost a third of professional parents said they know someone who has used ethically dubious means to get their children into a good school.

According to the Sutton Trust’s Parent Power report these include techniques such as buying or renting a second home to use that address, or using the address of a relative.

The most common tactics for getting into a good school cited by parents include attending church services in order to get into a religious school, and appealing against admissions decisions.

The report draws on a YouGov survey of 1,017 parents of school-age children who were asked how they choose schools, the strategies they undertake to get into those schools, and the extra support they give their children.

Half of the state school parents polled reported having been asked for an extra financial donation to their school in the last year.

One fifth of parents from the highest social group said they know someone who has bought or rented a second home in the catchment area of a good school.

This is compared to just six per cent of those in the lowest social class. A total of 16 per cent of all parents said they know someone who has used a relative’s address. Both of these strategies are potentially fraudulent.

Attending church and contesting decisions were popular among all social groups, potentially due to the lack of financial implications, according to the report. But there was a clear social gap when employing the strategies which cost money.

Parents in the top social group were twice as likely to say they know someone who has moved to get into a particular school