Bourne mum Katie Taylor still outraged over Lincolnshire County Council’s school admissions policy

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A COUNCIL has clarified its policy for school admissions after a mother was told her son could not get a place at either of Bourne’s two primary schools.

A COUNCIL has clarified its policy for school admissions after a mother was told her son could not get a place at either of Bourne’s two primary schools.

The Mercury featured Katie and Shaun Taylor’s plight last week after they found out their four-year-old son Louis had been offered a place at Edenham Primary School, instead of their preferred choices of Bourne Abbey Primary Academy and Bourne Westfield Primary Academy.

Lincolnshire County Council said there had been more applications than places available at either of the schools.

Bourne Abbey and Bourne Westfield each admit 90 children a year in the reception classes.

County council pupil services manager Chris Wrench said the oversubscription policy stated that children in care must be the top priority but there were no applications for the Bourne schools from this group.

The second issue to consider is whether the children already have a sibling at the school. Bourne Abbey had 38 sibling applications and Bourne Westfield had 51.

Mr Wrench said: “These children are admitted wherever they live as the admission policy seeks to keep children together in a single school, recognising that the parent who takes the children to school cannot take two children to two different schools.”

The last thing to consider is the distance from the school. Bourne Abbey admitted 52 children, measured in a straight line from the school and the furthest lived 0.752 miles away.

Mr Wrench said Bourne Westfield’s policy was to take children nearest to the school by road and 15 were admitted.

The remaining 24 places were allocated on driving distance and the furthest lived 1.64miles away.

Mr Wrench said there were nine children in Bourne, who were not offered a school in the town. They were offered places at Edenham, Baston or Thurlby schools.

Mr Wrench said the school governors agree the admission policy but do not know the order of preference listed.

Mrs Taylor, of Springbank Drive, Bourne, said she was even more outraged after learning the admissions policy.

She said she believed her home was 0.744 miles from Bourne Abbey.

She said: “ I still strongly stand by my argument that if you live in Bourne and have done for all your lives that your child should be offered a Bourne school place.

“On the one hand we are being told that you need to live so close to a school to be offered a place but on the other hand the first place they can offer my child is four miles from our house.”

Mrs Taylor believes the selection process should be the same for both schools to make it a fair process. She has called for Lincolnshire County Council to make more places available by building mobile units.

Mrs Taylor has appealed to both Bourne schools and is waiting for her appeals to be heard.

A decision may not be made until two weeks before the start of the next school year so she has accepted the Edenham place in the meantime.