Mum ‘baffled’ after son rejected from chosen secondary schools

Vinny Clarke, 10, with his mum Donna

Vinny Clarke, 10, with his mum Donna - Credit: Archant

A Welwyn mum is outraged after her son did not get into any of his chosen secondary schools.

Vinny’s first choice was Richard Hale School in Hertford, which is a boys’ science and engineering academy, but he was given a place at Sir Frederic Osborn School in WGC.

His mum Donna said: “Richard Hale is the only boys’ school within our catchment. He’s really competitive and a boys’ school would bring out the best in him.

“He’s incredibly sporty and they have a fantastic sporting history, and he’s really interested in engineering and it’s the only school in the county with a working garage.”

The family appealed the decision but the appeal was rejected.

“From Welwyn to Sir Fred’s would be two public buses and a 20 minute wait in Welwyn Garden City for the second bus, and if he was to miss that he wouldn’t get to school until 9.40am,” Donna said.

“It absolutely baffles me that they’re willing to leave a child without a school place. He wasn’t offered any one that he wanted and they’re asking him to leave all his friends and go to a school that he has no desire to go to.

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“His friends that he’s had from playgroup all got in. I think that’s what’s upsetting him most of all.”

A spokeswoman for Hertfordshire County Council said: “There are a number of children, including others living in Welwyn, who live in the priority area for Richard Hale School and who, like Vinny, have not been offered a place.

“Whilst Vinny was not offered a school of preference he has been allocated place at his second nearest school, Sir Frederick Osborn.

“Where an application for a school place is refused, parents are able to appeal the decision.

“Appeals are heard by Independent Panels who will take into account the individual circumstances of each child and family and the reasons given for wishing to attend a particular school. The decision made at the appeal is final.”