According to the survey, commissioned by The Children's Society charity, more than half - 51 percent - of those surveyed agreed that they would be prepared to move house to get their child into a good school. The poll also discovered that 14 percent were willing to go as far as giving false information, such as lying about their faith or where they live, a figure that rose to 23 per cent in London.
Bob Reitemeier, the chief executive of The Children's Society, said that the desperate actions of parents would have grave consequences for education in Britain, and were leading to a two-tier system. "The lengths that parents are prepared to go to clearly indicate that there are huge variations in school standards. But for many parents, the costly exercise of moving house to get their child into a good school is simply not an option," Times Online quoted Reitemeier, as saying.
"The current system is in danger of embedding inequality by making a child's social class and economic circumstances the key influence in their educational success," he added. Conservative education spokesman Nick Gibb said that the findings were indicative of the lack of good schools in Britain.
"Too many children do not have access to schools with the proven successful characteristics such as setting by ability and a strong approach to discipline. There is no reason why schools in disadvantaged areas shouldn't perform well — we need to start by spreading best practice from the most successful schools," Gibb said.
The poll found that many more parents would go private if the fee was nominal, with almost half saying they would send their children to a private school if they could afford to. The survey also looked at assessment and the curriculum. More than half - 67 percent - of respondents agreed there is more emphasis on tests and exams now than when they were at school, while 61 percent strongly agreed that a priority for schools should be to support children's social and emotional development.
The study was conducted by GfK/NOP on behalf of the Good Childhood Inquiry, the two-year research project undertaken by The Children's Society charity into the lives of young people in Britain.