7:40am Friday 4th May 2012
By Gary Bills-Geddes
PARENTS with receptionage children are facing heartache, worry and disappointment after being told that Ledbury Primary School is oversubscribed this year.
Nine families have been told their four-year-olds face the daunting ordeal of getting on a school bus for their first day, to travel elsewhere, even though they all live in the Ledbury catchment area.
The oversubscription was confirmed by Herefordshire Council spokesman Carla Preston, who said: “At the time of making offers for this September’s intake, there were nine children from the catchment area on the waiting list for Ledbury Primary School.
“Our school admissions team is working closely with local schools and parents to find alternative places for these children, although there is usually quite a bit of movement in places between now and the beginning of September.”
The school has been oversubscribed by “a few places” in previous years, but Herefordshire Council says it has no plans to increase reception class sizes .
Parent Gary Williams is “very unhappy” that his daughter, Holly, has not been offered a place at the local primary school she already attends as a nursery pupil.
He said: “I feel very strongly that Herefordshire Council, in denying my daughter a place at Ledbury Primary School, has failed her at the outset of her school career.”
The council has offered Holly a place at Much Marcle Primary School. Mr Williams, of Elgar Close said: “Inevitably, we have some concerns. I would stress that these are not concerns about Much Marcle school itself but rather travelling plus the fact that she will be separated from the friends she has made at nursery.
“My wife and I have only a single car between us, which I use for my work in Worcester. This means it would be a logistical impossibility for us to take her to school and pick her up afterwards.
“She will be obliged to travel by bus. We both feel very uneasy about sending such a small child off on a bus, without one of us being present.”
“She has been in the nursery since September, during which time she has made friends and become familiar with the surroundings. Sending her to a different school will mean breaking these friendships.”
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