Parents’ outrage at school allocation

PORTISHEAD parents have been left outraged after learning their children have not been given places in a school of their choice.

Families have been told which infant or primary school their youngsters will attend from September, with 94 per cent of children being granted places at one of their three preferred sites.

However, North Somerset Council has come under fire from families in the remaining six per cent allocated a place elsewhere.

The Haseldine family of Portishead’s Village Quarter is set to appeal North Somerset Council’s decision after learning James, who will be four in June, has been given a place at Crockerne Primary School in Pill.

His mum Laura had chosen Trinity Primary School as their first choice because it is close to their home and James already attends its nursery. However, in a letter from the council, the family was told James could not attend either of their three preferred schools as they were oversubscribed.

Laura, an occupational health nurse, said: “We only have one car so would not be able to get James to school and I don’t want to put my four-year-old son in a taxi.

“I think it is outrageous the council is treating us like this.”

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Laura will appeal the decision and says she will keep James at home until a place at a preferred school is found.

Another set of parents also applied for their son, Joel, to attend Trinity Primary School because he attends the nursery. They were also told all three of their preferred choices were oversubscribed and that Joel would have to attend High Down Infant School.

His mum, Sam Blackmore-Squires also of the Village Quarter, has written to North Somerset Council to raise a number of concerns, one of which being if she chose to place Joel on a waiting list for another school, they would lose the offer of free transport to take him to the Down Road site.

Her letter said: “We know there are a lot of parents feeling the same way and appealing will do us no good as classes are full. However, something needs to be voiced as this result has been deeply upsetting for us.”

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “The number of primary school applications in our area for pupils starting in September 2012 was 2,286.

“The percentage of children granted places at their first choice school is 86 per cent.

“For September 2012 the council has increased the number of school places across reception to year six by 447 places including 142 additional reception year places.”