Anguish for mum as son not offered school place

PUBLISHED: 10:14 22 April 2016 | UPDATED: 10:14 22 April 2016

Amber and Adam Curtis with son Chase

Amber and Adam Curtis with son Chase


A Welwyn Garden City mother has expressed her anguish after her son was not allocated a preferred primary school place, unlike 95 per cent of youngsters in the county.

The county council revealed on Monday that of 15,133 applications for reception places, 14,320 were accepted into a ranked primary school.

However, mother-of-two Amber Curtis, 23, said her four-year-old Chase was not one of those, and he now faces the prospect of potentially going to a school in Watford, Letchworth or St Albans.

The Golden Dell mum, who lives 700 metres from her first choice school, said it was “devastating” to be overlooked and added she “would rather go to jail” than send her son to a school in an unfamiliar area.

The family are now on the council’s “continuing interest list”, which distributes 270 additional school places county-wide that have since become available. Just 30 those are at Welwyn Garden City’s Commonswood Primary School.

“It’s going to be horrifically stressful,” said Amber. “If he doesn’t get a school local to us then I will have to pull out of university and my partner will end up having to extend his hours just to make ends meet.

“I do not think it’s fair for them to make us wait another month to see if we can have another place.”

She said if they are again unsuccessful she will have to get her son homeschooled, which will put further financial strain on the family.

Andrew Simmons, deputy director for children’s services, said: “Although allocations for these families will be delayed for a month, I am confident that every child not currently offered a school place will be offered one at the first run of continuing interest.

“I recognise this is always a difficult time for parents but firmly believe that delaying allocations for a small number of families is preferable to allocating a place at a school outside the local area.”

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