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Parents hit out at school admissions

PUBLISHED: 15:17 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:37 03 July 2010

Laura Bagshaw

A GROUP of mothers from the Barrack Estate in Great Yarmouth have slammed the school admissions system after all of their children were refused places at Yarmouth High School.

A GROUP of mothers from the Barrack Estate in Great Yarmouth have slammed the school admissions system after all of their children were refused places at Yarmouth High School.

The five mums requested the school as their first choice but all have been refused and instead their youngsters have been offered places at Oriel High in Gorleston. All the parents are now appealing against the decision.

The children currently attend Greenacre First and Middle School.

Dawn Ewles said: “When I called the county council I was told the school still had places available so I can't see why we should be refused if there are places. The school is in our catchment area and some of the children's older brothers and sisters went to Yarmouth High. I just can't believe we are being made to fight.”

Michelle Al-Muhsen said she was worried about her son travelling the extra miles to Oriel. She said: “I work in Yarmouth and if I have to go up to the school for any reason I couldn't get to Gorleston quickly because I can't drive.”

Nicola Peace said her daughter was “reduced to tears” each evening at the thought of being separated from her friends.

“She knows what's going on and

she is worried she will be split up

from her friends.”

Deborah Adams is another who is concerned about the long journey her daughter would have to make daily in order to get to and from school in Gorleston.

She said: “My 11-year-old daughter would have to start her bus journey just after 7am. She will be going to school before my husband goes off to work. I'm not happy about that because you never know who is about.”

Christine Ewles said: “I only live a few doors away from Greenacre and I watch my daughter go to school every day, I don't let her out of my sight until I see she is safely inside. Oriel is too far out of the way for her to go and I wouldn't let her.”

Mrs Ewles said her daughter was also upset at the prospect of being separated from her friends who are going to Yarmouth High.

Richard Snowden, head of pupil and student support at the county council, said: “We understand the disappointment of families whose children have not been able to get a place at their first choice of school, however Yarmouth High has had many more applications than places for year eight pupils.

“As a voluntary aided school, Yarmouth High is responsible for its own admissions process, which is carried out in strict compliance with the new national School Admissions Code.

“In accordance with this code, Norfolk County Council has offered pupils places at the next nearest school - in this case, Oriel High School, Gorleston.

“Families do have the right to appeal, but again, this needs to be made directly to Yarmouth High, as the school deals with its own appeals procedure.”

Mr Snowden added the county council would be happy to discuss all remaining options with the families involved.

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