Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Wednesday, 8 April 2009 12:01 UK

Parents given home teaching money

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The 10,000 grant will help parents pay the 100 a week per pupil to educate the children at home

A group of parents who refused to send their children to a failing Essex school has been awarded more than £10,450 towards home tutoring.

Essex County Council said it would help towards the education of six children aged between 11 and 12.

The pupils have been receiving private lessons since September after their parents stopped them attending Bishops Park College in Clacton-on-Sea.

The families said Essex County Council had set a precedent for other parents.

Holly O'Toole, whose 12-year-old son Harry is among the pupils being taught at home, said the education authority's decision could prompt other parents to take similar action.

I don't see why we should have to send our children there
Holly O'Toole

Ms O'Toole said: "I definitely think the council has set a precedent.

"It's going to be very difficult for them to say 'no' to anybody who is in the same position as us."

Ms O'Toole said the six children didn't even get into their fourth choice of school.

"People complain when they don't get their first choice school but we didn't even get our fourth.

"Bishops Park is in special measures. You just hear so much bad press about it. I don't see why we should have to send our children there."

A spokeswoman for Essex County Council said: "The payment followed an initial discussion around parents establishing their own school, and we are pleased to be in a position to assist.

"We have always considered, and will continue to consider, any requests from parents for financial support on their merits."

The families said the money would pay for the four boys and two girls' lessons until the end of term after which they hope to get into one of the four local schools they had initially applied for.



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