Villages treated badly over school placements

SIR – I would like to comment on your article regarding the parents of Knebworth children and the fiasco over the allocation of their secondary school places. This situation was totally predicable following the effective closure of Heathcote School to

SIR - I would like to comment on your article regarding the parents of Knebworth children and the fiasco over the allocation of their secondary school places.

This situation was totally predicable following the effective closure of Heathcote School to newcomers this year and the failure of the authority to provide more places at Barnwell.

As a Woolmer Green resident I successfully fought to get my daughter into Barnwell last year (Barnwell is also our nearest school despite us being out of priority area).

It is totally unacceptable that Knebworth /Datchworth /Woolmer Green children should be expected to travel past several other schools to the old town when there is a perfectly suitable school in south Stevenage.


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The local authority closed Heathcote School and decided numbers could be absorbed by other schools in Stevenage, but did not consider the villages to the south. As all schools continue to apply the existing county policy which ultimately allocates places to those living nearest the school, those of us for whom ALL schools are more than three miles will be at the bottom of the list for places.

This has been the way of things for at least the last six years when the last policy change occurred.

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How much is it going to cost the authority to bus all these children to school so far away (which it is now obliged to do under its own rules)?

When is the authority going to start to take responsibility for the shoddy service it is providing to families in rural areas in this respect?

It is not good enough to state it is giving families their second or third choice of school in this case. We have to put three on the form, but for those of us whose nearest school is four or five miles away there really is no other sensible choice.

Knebworth children should be allocated to Barnwell. End of story!

Mrs S Roberts, Woolmer Green.

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