Youngster can't go to school on her doorstep
PUBLISHED: 17:20 31 March 2010 | UPDATED: 11:36 23 August 2010
A FOUR-YEAR-OLD narrowly escaped a 20-mile round trip to her first school after a clerical error assigned her to the wrong town. Alan and Lisa Holton, of Mariner s Way, Northfleet, were shocked to learn their daughter Emily had missed a place at first ch
A FOUR-YEAR-OLD narrowly escaped a 20-mile round trip to her first school after a clerical error assigned her to the wrong town.
Alan and Lisa Holton, of Mariner's Way, Northfleet, were shocked to learn their daughter Emily had missed a place at first choice St Botolphs, in Gravesend.
Instead of being placed at the school just metres from her front door she was told she had been accepted in Holy Trinity C of E Primary in Dartford.
This is despite there being more than 20 primary schools within five miles of the their home.
Only a call to an independent education advisor and appeals to Kent County Council revealed she should have been given a place at Holy Trinity in Gravesend.
Mr Holton, 52, said: "It is just barking, while doing our calls and complaints I ran into another family from Dartford who are having to bring their child to Gravesend, completely mad."
A letter sent to Mr Holton by county school admissions manager Anne Hayward on Thursday admitted the error, stating there was "confusion between Holy Trinity C of E Primary Dartford and Holy Trinity C of E Primary School Gravesend when the allocations were made."
The family have since secured a spot at Culverstone Green Primary, but questioned St Botolph's decision to reject their daughter in the first place and will continue to appeal.
Mr Holton added: "I want to sit in front of those governors and hear them explain why they won't take my little girl when she can see the school from her garden fence.
"There was a box to tick about being religious. We follow Christianity but are not regular churchgoers so didn't tick it - I genuinely believe if we had ticked that she would have got in."
The school's admission places the distance to the school as the sixth and least important factor behind children in care, children with siblings at the school, those who attend St Botolph's Church, those attending any church within the group Church's Together and children whose parents are regular worshippers of any other faith.
A spokesman for Kent County Council said: "St Botolph's is a faith school and it's oversubscription criteria gives a priority to practising members of the same faith as the school."
The school had only 30 places available for September 2010 admissions.
St Botolph's school declined to comment.