Mum’s outrage as son can’t get reception place at Bourne Abbey Primary Academy and Bourne Westfield Primary Academy

Katie and Louis Taylor
Katie and Louis Taylor
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A MOTHER is outraged after being told her son cannot get a place at either of Bourne’s two primary schools.

Kate and Shaun Taylor have instead been offered a place for their son Louis, four, at Edenham Primary school, four miles from their home.

Lincolnshire County Council says there were children than spaces available in the reception years at Bourne Abbey Primary Academy and Bourne Westfield Primary Academy.

Mrs Taylor has lodged an appeal with both schools.

She said: “I am really upset about it. If the schools haven’t got enough places, then there should be more funding made available for mobile units.

“We have always supported the local community. We both work full-time for Bourne companies and feel that now when we need support back, we are not being treated fairly.”

Mr and Mrs Taylor, of Springbank Drive, Bourne, asked for Bourne Abbey Primary as their first choice school and Bourne Westfield as the second choice. They did not give a third option.

But last week they found out Louis, who currently attends Building Blocks Kindergarten in Exeter Street, Bourne, has been allocated a place in Edenham.

Mrs Taylor, who works as an accountant in Bourne, had already arranged for after-school care, having assumed he would be offered a place at a school in Bourne.

Mrs Taylor said: “I want to be able to walk my child to and from school but I can’t do that if he is at Edenham. I might even have to reduce my working hours which is a major concern.

“It is not Edenham as a school I have an issue with, it is the nearly four miles every day backwards and forwards, when my husband and I both work in Bourne.

“It is very unfair given that we have lived in Bourne all our lives and we live within the catchment area for the Bourne schools. We just presumed we were going to be able to get a place there.”

Between them, Mrs Taylor and her husband, a factory manager, have attended all four schools in Bourne, the two primary schools and Bourne Grammar School and Bourne Academy, formerly The Robert Manning College.

Mrs Taylor’s appeal will be heard before the end of this school year but a decision may not be made until two weeks before the start of the next school year. She has accepted the Edenham place in the meantime.

County council’s assistant director of children’s services Debbie Barnes said there were 180 places available at the two Bourne schools but there had been 205 “first preference applications”.

She said there were eight children in Bourne, who were offered places at either Edenham, Thurlby or Baston primary schools.

Mrs Barnes said: “Many people applying for places in the Bourne schools live outside of the town, in some cases closer to other schools. If those parents already have another child at the Bourne school that they are applying to then those siblings will get a place ahead of someone living closer to the school.

“This has resulted in some local parents being unable to get a place at their local school.”

Mrs Barnes said parents who had chosen a Bourne school were automatically placed on a reserve list.

The council is still working with Kier Homes, the developers of the Elsea Park estate where Mr and Mrs Taylor live, which agreed to contribute funding towards a new school.

Mrs Barnes said the council was not expecting as many new starters in September 2013 and 2014 as this year.

She said: “If additional capacity is added it would have to be an additional classroom which would provide 30 extra places for only a few children. With additional places then becoming available to others this could have a negative impact on the rolls of nearby rural primary schools.

“We have to be sure there are sufficient local children to warrant a new school without harming local schools.”

The council said that of the 7,541 offers made, 6,969 children will receive their first preference school. There are 169 children who have been offered a place that wasn’t one of their preferences.