Welwyn Garden City children still awaiting school places

MEET little Yasmin and Fadhl. They are two normal, happy, youngsters; apart from the fact they are sat bored at home with no school to go to.

The Razali family moved into WGC, from Norwich, last month with new hopes and expectations.

Mum Sarah had found her children, aged nine and seven, three possible schools to go to – Applecroft, Templewood and Harwood Hill.

And she assumed that by now, 26 days since she applied and eight days into the new term, they would be in at least one. It is not the case.

A new system introduced by central government, which requires all local authorities to co-ordinate ‘In Year’ admissions (children who have moved into the county over the holidays and those who already at a Hertfordshire school but want to switch), has caused a backlog of 300 pupils awaiting to hear if they have a place in one of the county’s 527 schools.

Distraught single mum Sarah, who has had to find care for her children while she studies to become a barrister in London, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times the system “doesn’t work”.

The 29-year-old, who lives in the Handside area of WGC, said: “I feel I’ve let my children down.

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“They were at a very good school in Norwich, now they have no school at all.

“I have contacted the county council constantly but we’ve had no reply.

“I can’t afford to keep them off school. I have bought them schooling books and have taken them to the museum but it’s not enough.

“My family are currently backing us while I’m studying and my mum has been coming down from Cambridge to help out.”

She added: “The reason we moved here is because it’s close to London and there’s good schooling. The council has a statutory right to send my children to school.”

A county council spokeswoman said the region was “densely populated”.

She said: “Many pupils, including Mrs Razali’s children, moved into the county over the summer holidays, when schools were closed.

“In Year allocations are being made on a daily basis as schools confirm to us whether they have any vacancies.

“We anticipate the majority of outstanding allocations will be made by the end of this week.”

The spokeswoman added: “We do apologise for any delay but can assure parents all applications will be dealt with fairly and allocations will be made as quickly as possible.

“We expect to be able to offer her places for her children at the nearest school with vacancies in the next few days.”