Hundreds sign petition as new council rules force parents to take their children to attend different schools

Mansfield mum Vivienne Davidson with son Daniel 8 and twins Holly and Hanna, 4 who will have to attend different schools because of a changed admission policy.

Mansfield mum Vivienne Davidson with son Daniel 8 and twins Holly and Hanna, 4 who will have to attend different schools because of a changed admission policy.

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More then 500 people have signed a petition calling for Nottinghamshire County Council to change its new school admission rules which are forcing their children to attend different schools.

Angry parents say new school admission rules forcing their children to attend different schools in Ashfield and Mansfield have created a nightmare situation for their families.

New rules mean there is no longer a priority given to pupils with a sibling at the school, if they live out of the catchment area.

However, parents say Nottinghamshire County Council did not consult parents properly and they did not have a chance to voice their concerns over the changes, which they say will have a disruptive effect.

Following the success of a Facebook page set up for parents to vent their feelings, a petition has been set up on change.org

The petition states: “The change took affect for the 2016/17 school year which starts this week leaving many hundreds of families with young children at different schools.

“The council have also formalised the same arrangements for next year.

“It would seem the vast majority of people were not aware of the change until after national offer day and until quite recently there was no mention of it even in the local press.

“Furthermore our research suggests that Nottinghamshire County Council are the only Authority in the Country to implement this change in a manner that affects parents with children already attending a school.”

It adds: “We believe it is unjust to remove a priority for out catchment children who already have brothers or sisters attending the school.

“The Council appears to have failed to ensure that sufficient numbers of parents were aware of the changes allowing concerns to be voiced.”

Dad Greg Argyle said he had failed to get his son Freddi in the same school as his elder twin sisters.

He said; “Freddi is currently in Dalesforth nursery at Sutton. We applied for the school where his sisters attend.

“Freddi was offered Croft school which is in the opposite direction for the kids to walk. It is a two mile round trip before one set of the kids get to school and start to learn.

“We chose the one school on the basis siblings get in the same school,Tthis has altered this year but they said siblings will be high on there priority next year. This does not help and does seem fair.

He added; “There are hundreds of people who have children in different schools because of it - these have massive walks before school and going to be late .

“We have a Facebook group and petition to stop NCC doing this and any other council that tries their luck.”

Vivienne Davidson is a teacher at Kirkby Woodhouse Primary School, where her son Daniel is in Year 3.

But Holly and Hanna, her four-year-old daughters have been offered places at Abbey Primary School in Mansfield.

Vivienne, aged 41, of Mansfield, said: “It will be a nightmare.

“My husband will have to be late for work to get the girls to school and Daniel will have to go in early with me.

“It will be physically impossible for me to pick them all up on time.”

Parents say the authority did not advertise the change in the press, even headteachers were unaware and only nine people replied to the consultation in Nottinghamshire, compared with 200 in Leeds, where it was rejected.

Vivienne appealed against the decision but was turned down.

She said families are now appealing to the Local Government Ombudsman.

She said: “The Office of the Schools Adjudicator is next, but you are supposed to complain to them during the consultation itself.

“We argue that how can you if you don’t know about the changes being proposed?”

“Nottinghamshire County Council did not consult with parents properly.”

The authority says it did consult properly.

Marion Clay, an education chief at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: ”A formal public consultation took place between December 1, 2014, and January 31, 2015, carried out online with the requirements of the Schools Admissions Code.

“This included all schools across the county being made aware of the consultation in advance as well as all registered early years providers within Nottinghamshire, and adverts being placed in local newspapers. We advise applicants to use all four preferences in their application.”

The petition can be found at:

https://www.change.org/p/nottinghamshire-county-council-reinstating-fairness-for-families-with-siblings-attending-nottinghamshire-primary-schools

Caption: Vivienne Davidson with son Daniel, eight, and twins Holly and Hanna, four, who will have to attend different schools.