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Lola misses a place at her local primary
A FOUR year-old has been left without a primary school place after she was refused admission to her local school.
Parents Simon Bartholomew, 36, and Debbie Froud, 31, had planned to send Lola to Great Wakering Primary School, in September, along with her two older brothers Samuel, ten, and Oliver, six.
However, due to high application numbers the nearest school with space for the youngster is Thorpedene Primary School, three miles away in Shoebury.
Her parents rejected the place as it is impossible for them to get Lola there and her two brothers to Great Wakering, particularly as they are expecting their fourth child.
Miss Froud, of Havengore Close, Great Wakering, said: “It has been a stressful few months, especially considering I have not had the easiest pregnancy.
“Lola has had several years of going up to the school, dropping her brothers off and seeing all the teachers. It is all really familiar to her and we all just assumed she would be going there too.
“She is not one of those children who makes friends easily, so it’s really worrying that she won’t be going somewhere with the rest of her peers.”
Mr Bartholomew and Miss Froud appealed the decision and suggested getting Lola into her second choice of Barling Magna. While this school is even further away, Lola has a cousin at this school and would have been able to travel there with her but this was also rejected by Essex County Council.
The council claims the couple’s application was late making it difficult to accommodate the couple’s top three choices without breaking class size regulations. However, Mr Bartholomew said they received no notification of admission deadlines.
He said: “They’re saying we missed the deadline, but we were never sent a letter telling us it was time to apply. It’s been an absolute nightmare.
“The council kindly offered us transport to get her to and from school, but there is no way we would let our four year-old travel in a taxi with a stranger on her own.
“Lola still thinks she’s going to school. Luckily her nursery offered to keep her on until she turns five so we have from now until November to get it sorted.”
A spokesman for Essex County Council said: “The council offered a place at Thorpedene as the nearest school to home with a place and free school transport would have been provided to this school if the place had been taken up.
“Regrettably, as the offer has been declined, Lola is currently without an allocated school. However, the council will be happy to assist the parents in sourcing a place at a school that has vacancies if they get in touch.”