UPSET parents have are fighting back after their children were refused places at the three schools closest to their homes

A group of 16 families from north of Worcester have set up an action group after their children failed to secure places at any of their first three primary school choices.

The families all applied for Northwick, Claines and Perdiswell primaries but were offered schools across the city instead.

They say they feel upset and let down and believe the council should have known that schools in the area would be over-subscribed.

They have already held talks with Worcester's MP Robin Walker, who says he believes there is a "strong case" for setting up a new primary school in north Worcester to cater for the demand.

Melissa and Dean Jones live in Ombersley Road, in Northwick's catchment, but their four-year-old son Harry has been offered a place at Stanley Road Primary - nearly three miles away.

Mr Jones said: "I'm not sending my child there.

"It's a significant distance to travel.

"Why should I go out of catchment to take my four year old son to school when I live in Northwick's catchment?

He added: "The reason I moved into the Northwick area is because we aspire to do the best for our family.

"It's unfair to say to me you have to travel halfway across the city because we can't give you a school place somewhere near.

"The council has known about the lack of provision for a long time and what is their response to it?

"They think it's acceptable to dot people around the city."

Worcestershire County Council's figures show that 127 families applied for 90 places at Northwick - of which only seven were out of catchment.

It means an entire extra class of children - all living in the area who may have reasonably expected a place - never had any chance of going to the school.

Claines was oversubscribed by 19 pupils, of which 10 were in catchment and and nine from outside the area.

Perdiswell was oversubscribed by 32 children but all lived outside the catchment.

Katherine Sloggett's four-year-old son Jake has been offered a place at Stanley Road even though she lives in Cornmeadow Green (Northwick), which is on the edge of the Northwick/Claines catchment area.

She said: "No matter what I put down on the form we were always going to fall between the cracks."

Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, said there was a problem with capacity but it was for Claines rather than north Worcester.

He said he was talking to staff at Worcestershire County Council and the Regional schools commissioner to try and find a solution, which could be a bulge class or the setting up of a free school.

He said: "I think there is a very strong case for an extra primary school for the north of Worcester, potentially a free school in Claines.

"I think it's a logical conclusion to the problem at the moment."

John Edwards, strategic commissioner for education and skills at Worcestershire County Council, said: "It is our priority to ensure that all children across Worcestershire have access to the best possible education. If one school expands to let more pupils in then this will have an impact on other schools in the area.

"We understand that this is a difficult time for parents and they will be feeling frustrated if they haven't been offered their preferred school of choice.

"We're currently talking with local councillors, MPs and schools to see if there is anything we can do for this September's intake."


Hayley Murray lives off Hindlip Lane in the catchment for Claines but her three-year-old daughter Amy has been offered a place Oasis Academy Warndon.

She said: "We had never heard of the school.

"It's been a bit of a shock.

"It's not our community. Everyone we hang out with are Northwick, Claines, Perdiswell. That's where our lives are."

Julian Evans said four year-old Caitlin was offered Stanley Road even though the family live in Ombersley Road (Northwick).

He said: "We are upset, concerned, worried.

"I work shifts and we'd have to drop off her sister at Cornmeadow, take Caitlin to Stanley Road and my wife get back to her work at 8.30am.

"With the traffic as well, it would be a big strain."

Sarah Johns, Whinfield Road (Northwick) said: "We thought we would get into one of our local schools.

"Lillian has been offered Stanley Road.

"It's massively impractical for us.

"I have a younger child and I'd have to get her to pre-school and Lillian to Stanley Road with all the traffic in the city centre.

"I'm not going to be able to get there where they need to get.

"This is not a handful of children.

"It's an extensive issue that's been overlooked."