Mums united in anger over school admissions policy
MUMS in Warwick and Leamington are demanding a rethink of Warwickshire’s school admissions system after being told their younger children would not be able to attend the same primary schools as their older siblings.
Those affected include families with children at Coten End Primary School, Ferncumbe School in Hatton and Telford Infant School.
Warwickshire County Council, the area’s local education authority, has said its current system is fair and gives high priority to siblings living within a school’s catchment area.
But it is families who live outside a school’s catchment area but already have their older children at that school who are most affected.
Hayley Hindle’s eldest son is at Coten End but her youngest has been offered a place at Emscote Infant School.
She said: “The situation seems to have taken everyone by surprise and has caused deep distress and upset for the families concerned as they face having to send their children to different schools.
“I’ve had mums sobbing to me down the phone and at the school gate this last week, shocked that their children have not been offered a place at school, distraught that their children are going to be split up and worried about how they are going to manage.”
Mrs Hindle said she believes the factors which have led to some schools being oversubscribed and to families living outside of catchment areas being “discriminated against” include the county’s rising birth rate and the financial climate, which is causing parents to chose state over private education for their children.
She says families should be free to chose which school their children attend and that youngsters are being forced into “unpopular” schools to boost their numbers.
Cllr Heather Timms, who is responsible for policy on schools, said: “Warwickshire’s admissions policy ensures that places are allocated to pupils on a fair basis and we do give high priority to siblings living within a school’s catchment area.
“Where we can, we will also try to accommodate siblings living out of catchment but this is not always possible when schools are oversubscribed.
“We make every effort to ensure that sufficient school places are available and this includes expanding schools where appropriate.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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