Parents join forces over school places rowBy Laura Herbert
June 26, 2012
Parents campaigning for their children to be given places at the same schools have joined forces after dozens of families found out they are facing an impossible school run.
Despite appealing for help from Wokingham Borough Council to provide places for children at their local school, parents have been told over-subscribed classes mean they need to set up car share schemes or find other ways of coping with long-distance school runs.
In response, the Keep Wokingham Families Together group was launched by parents who are, or will be in future years, seeking a reception place for their children at Wescott Infant School, Walter Infant School or Hawthorns Primary School in Wokingham.
A group of between 10 and 15 mums held a meeting with Brian Grady, strategic commissioner for children, young people and families at Wokingham Borough Council, on Friday.
The group is made up of parents fighting for a school place in September this year, as well as parents of three-year-old children who will be applying for a place in the next couple of years.Parents ‘let down' as 53 children on schools' waiting list
One mum, who wished remain anonymous, said: “It is about the long-term future of school places in Wokingham.
“The school places aren’t keeping pace with the birth rate and there are a number of new houses being built in the area.
“We had a really good meeting with the council and they have been really quite open and understanding about the issues we are facing.
“He has given us help and said he will talk to headteachers as to how we can be supported.”
Some of the parents affected this year already have their eldest child at one school, but their youngest has been allocated a place elsewhere, leaving mums and dads dropping their children off at two schools during the school run.
In April, more than 50 children were given places at Wokingham borough schools that were not the same as their sibling.
Mr Grady said 96 per cent of children were offered a place at a preferred choice school in September and admission changes have been made for 2013/14.
He added: “It is really important we plan with parents and schools for the future to ensure we have sufficient provision and we welcome any parent to get in touch if they would like to be involved in our planning events over the next three months.”
For more information find Keep Wokingham Families Together on Facebook.