Four weeks on and still no primary school places for Wandsworth families
Parents are facing an anxious wait after being told there is no school place available for their children.
Fears raised by Wandsworth Council about rising population rates and the number of school places available have been born out, after 32 children failed to secure a primary school place on results day.
Eight per cent of families, more than 250, found their children had not been given any of their six preferred choices.
Earlsfield Primary School alone received 334 applications for just 60 places
In Southfields and Earlsfield only 56 per cent of parents got their first choice of school and in Earlsfield 27.5 per cent of children did not get their first, second or third choice.
Jessica Harrod-Pike, 32, of Earlsfield has been phoning pupil services everyday since April 16 when placing were announced to see if her son Samuel has been offered a primary school.
He is currently 35th on the list for Beatrix Potter Primary School and 7th on the list for Earlsfield Primary School.
Mrs Harrod-Pike said: "The delay has been unbelievably ridiculous - to wait so long to get bad news. Samuel loves his little nursery school and I’d love to tell him he’s going to a new school.
"I was very shocked not to get in. I have been phoning [pupil services] every day at 9am. Their systems have been down every single time I have called."
Councillor Rex Osborn, leader of Wandsworth’s Labour Group, criticised the council for selling off some of the best primary school sites to be turned into luxury flats - leading parents to feel ‘let down’ by their lack of forward thinking.
Susan Hanage, aka Annabel from NappyValleyNet.com said it was easy to point the finger at the council but the situation was not that simple and added: "The SW London education system as a whole is creaking at the seams."
A spokesman for Wandsworth Council said: "The council has already provided 120 extra places this year in the surrounding area and next year, will provide 90 more when the new primary academy opens on the Athledene site and we expand another very popular and high achieving local primary school.
"In the meantime, officers are working with local headteachers to identify additional places for this year and will begin to make further offers in the week beginning May 12."
Building work on a primary school on the former Athledene site, Garratt Lane is set to start next month. It is hoped the school will take on 60 new pupils in September 2015, growing to cater for 420 primary places and a 50-place nursery when full.
Some parents have raised concerns that their children, raised Catholic, have been given a place at the Mosaic Jewish Primary School.
One parent who has lived in Earlsfield for nearly 10 years voiced their concerns on NappyValleyNet.com and said: “The school may be very good, I don’t doubt its standards, but I don’t think it is unreasonable to be immensely unhappy about being asked to attend a faith school that is not my faith and that is 20-minute drive away, when I have a school four-minute walk away.”
Mosaic Primary School
Kate Baum the head teacher of Mosaic, in Southfields, has spoken out to reassure non-Jewish families about the ethos of the school which accepts 50 per cent of its intake from Jewish families and 50 per cent from other faiths and none.
She said: “Children are given the opportunity to regularly share and celebrate what they do at home, fostering understanding and respect for all faiths and beliefs, alongside an understanding and respect for Jewish values, belief and culture."
Have you been hit by the school place crisis or do you have thoughts on what should be done? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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