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EDITIONS
Breakfast Tuesday, 29 April, 2003, 04:48 GMT 05:48 UK
Lack of local schools
Breakfast's series Chasing Places
How far should children travel to school?
School admission policies can cause real problems for parents trying to find a place in a school for their child.

Many consider factors like whether the applicant has a sibling already in the school, while some schools go by how close the family lives to the school.

All this week Breakfast will be looking at some of the problems facing parents and children when it comes to getting the best school and ultimately the best education.

  • Today we reported on the case of 11 year old Joel Ansell-Fraser from south London, who has applied to four schools without success. And at 0845 the head teacher of a school in Wimbledon - Angeles Malden - told us what it's like to deal with the problem of allocating places.

    Jules Botfield reported from Lewisham, where there's a campaign to build a new school.

    Jules Botfield
    Jules Botfield reports from the school gate

    One of the campaigners was elected to the council on this issue in an attempt to get the new school built. Councillor Helen Le Fevre said that it's children who aren't being listened to - they want to go to a local school - that's their top priority.

    But Katy Donnelly from the council's education committee said that the council would be opening a new school in the borough to offer education closer to where children live.

    And on the issue of parental choice - parents wanting to send their children to good schools - she said that a school's reputation often lagged behind improvements that had been made.


    If you want more information on schools in England and Scotland, click on the link below. We don't have information on Wales and Northern Ireland as they do not produce league tables.

    Having brothers or sisters already in a chosen school can be a major factor in allocating another school place, as can how close the family lives to a school.

    Some schools allocate places on the first criterion and others on the second.

    One Gloucestershire mum has fallen foul of the system and now has to face a daily nightmare school run.

    Nicki Clayton can't get her three children into the same school. The school her first two children goes to in South Gloucestershire has a strict admissions policy that considers proximity in favour of whether the child has brothers or sisters in the school.

    When she moved slightly further away from the school, it took her just outside the catchment area by a third of a mile and now Nicki can't get her third child into the same school, giving her a nightmare school run.

    The policy changed after she had moved, and her attempt to appeal against the decision failed.

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