More than a quarter of parents are willing to lie to get their children into good schools, including pretending to have Christian beliefs a survey has found.
Pretending to have religious convictions, using false addresses or even trying to bribe headteachers are some of the tactics parents are prepared to employ, according to a YouGov poll.
The survey findings will be particularly applicable for church schools, many of whom have policies of giving priority to children of families who say they have a religious belief or attend churches connected to the schools.
Schools which are better academically than others are often oversubscribed. Sought after schools, including many church schools, therefore get to choose their student intake while less popular schools often struggle to attract pupils.
A debate developed last year when it was suggested that church schools were giving priority to Christian children at the expense of more vulnerable children.
Former health secretary Frank Dobson MP, also tried to change the law to prevent church schools from discriminating in favour of parents who professed a Christian belief.
In the new poll however, Of the 1,232 parents questioned by YouGov, one in five said they would lie about or exaggerate their religious commitment.
The poll was commissioned for Monday evening's Tonight programme on ITV. In the programme a headteacher is shown visiting flats she believes are used for fake addresses.
While underhand tactics would be an option for many parents, most -- 59 percent -- said the preferred way of securing a place in a desired school would be to move house. Estate agents report that being in the catchment area of a popular school can add thousands of pounds to a property's price.