A Balham primary school must amend its admissions policy after a parent complained about being asked to provide details of the attendance of both ‘mother’ and father’ at worship.

A parent objected to questions at the application stage for Holy Ghost Catholic Primary School, which asked “details about ‘mother’s / guardian’s and father’s / guardian’s’ attendance at worship”.

He alleged that it was ‘discriminatory in respect of separated, step or gay parents’.

The school, in Calbourne Road, argued together with Wandsworth Council that only one parent was necessary to fill in the form.

While the Office for the Schools Adjudicator agreed, it also said: “In the absence of any clarification of the term ‘parent’, the use of the words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ must, as the objector suggests, be taken to imply that the school is restricting its definition.”

OSA partially upheld the objection and gave Holy Ghost until December 1 to amend the September 2018 admissions policy.

An Education Commission spokesman, which works together with the Catholic Diocese of Southwark, said: “The schools adjudicator’s determination, dated October 24, of the complaint refers in part to the school’s request on the supplementary information form for the mother’s and father’s religion.

“The school’s oversubscription criteria only requires one parent to be a practicing Catholic.

“The adjudicator points out that there is no definition of ‘parent’ in the arrangements. It is our advice to the governors that this be remedied by providing a definition.

“The adjudicator’s findings are being studied and any implications for other diocesan schools will be set out in future guidance for governors.”

The OSA rejected many of the objector’s other complaints, which included allegations priority was given to parents who donated money to the church and that information required about parents’ pattern of worship went beyond ‘taking account of religious activities’.

However, the OSA’s report also said it found a ‘large number of other ways in which the arrangements do not conform with the requirements relating to admissions’.

This includes priority given to those worshipping at Holy Ghost Church in Nightingale Square.

The report, written by schools adjudicator Peter Goringe, said: “I have come to a similar judgement in respect of two neighbouring schools [St Anselm’s RC Primary School and St Boniface RC Primary School] and determine this aspect of the arrangements of the three schools should be revised by February 28, 2018.”

Wandsworth Guardian has approached Holy Ghost for comment.