Lambeth parents are being forced to send their kids to school in Merton and Wandsworth because of a lack of places at one local secondary school.

Children in one Lambeth neighbourhood are having to trek to other boroughs because of a lack of space at Woodmansterne School.

Families say the problem is caused by parents from outside the area snapping up places at the sought-after Streatham school.

Woodmansterne School is twinned with Woodmansterne Primary School which they say has doubled the number of pupils it takes since 2015.

Students at the primary school are guaranteed a place at the secondary, which parents say has resulted in a shortage of places in year seven for children who attended different local primary schools.

Nick de Souza’s son is in year six at Granton Primary School in Streatham. Despite living a five minute walk from Woodmansterne School, he has been unable to secure a place there next year and is instead having to attend St. Mark’s Academy in Merton.

Mr de Souza, 44, said: “We live 300 metres from Woodmansterne School and we thought we would have had a chance of getting in but we couldn’t get in.

"Our son is going to have to go to St. Mark’s instead – despite it being triple the distance away.

"One parent is having to send her daughter to an all girls school in Wandsworth because she couldn’t get into Woodmansterne even though she lived near it.

Mr de Souza, who is a teacher, added: “Increasingly parents are taking their kids out of the primary school they were in and sending them to Woodmansterne Primary School.

"It’s becoming a problem for the other local primary schools because it’s meaning they lose pupils and it’s causing disruption to pupils.

“A lot of parents love their primary school and don’t want to transfer their kids.

"Parents want their children to be able to walk to school with people they’re familiar with – not have to get on transport to get there.”

According to Mr de Souza, 30 places were available at the secondary school for pupils who didn’t attend the feeder primary school this year, but 27 of those were filled by siblings of students at Woodmansterne Primary School.

Parents of kids who attended other primary schools were left to fight over just three remaining places at Woodmansterne Secondary School.

Parents are now calling on Lambeth Council to take action so that children no longer have to make long journeys outside of the borough to get to secondary school.

They want councillors to change the admissions policy to Woodmansterne so that more local children can attend the school

Speaking before Lambeth councillors at a meeting on July 13, Mr de Souza’s wife, Naomi de Souza, said: “Our suggestions for your consideration are to change the admissions policy, unlink the primary and secondary school where places are allocated to both based on distance, unlink sibling priority between primary and secondary school.

“There is no space for people who did not go to Woodmansterne Primary. The environmental and public health impact is clear.

"Children from out of the area are travelling in, while children from within the area are travelling away.

"Children who shouldn’t have to are using buses, cars and trains rather than walking to their local schools.”

Cllr Ben Kind, Lambeth cabinet member for children and young people, said: “With so many good and outstanding schools in Lambeth it’s inevitable that unfortunately not all children will be offered their first preference but our schools and education services have worked hard to remove as much of the uncertainty around that as possible.

"At secondary [level] 93 percent of applicants are offered a place at one of their preferred secondary schools which is an increase year on year.”