Call for changes in school admission criteria after Ipswich mum’s four children set to go to four different schools in September

Laticia Van Sertima's four children will be at four different schools in September. Laticia is pictu

Laticia Van Sertima's four children will be at four different schools in September. Laticia is pictured with Lucas Carvalho Wolton (11)(left), Leandro Carvalho Wolton (9) and Melissa Carvalho Wolton at their home in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich mum has called for a review on the way school places are allocated after her son lost out on their first choice – meaning the mum-of-four will be set to make four school runs each morning come September.

Laticia Van Sertima, 33, of Cambridge Drive in Ipswich applied for her 11-year-old son Lucas to attend St Alban’s Catholic High School.

But along with one other current classmate at St Mark’s Catholic Primary School, Lucas failed to get in, despite Miss Van Sertima’s 14-year-old daughter Melissa already going to the school.

At an appeal before Suffolk County Council last week, the exasperated mum was told her case wasn’t strong enough, despite telling them she is a single mum who has to take her children to school.

The self-employed online shop owner said the situation was especially frustrating in that her rejected appeal for Lucas had been almost identical to a successful appeal made several years ago when her daughter Melissa was originally denied a place at the school.

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Miss Van Sertima said: “It’s all just contradicting each other – it seems like it depends what mood they are in.

“I take all my kids to school and have no family to help but they didn’t take that into consideration.”

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Lucas was offered a place at Stoke High School, which Miss Van Sertima declined due to the school’s attainment figures, and is now preparing to appear before the Local Government Ombudsman. She has also admitted that home tutoring Lucas might be her only option.

She added: “That is my last port of call because he is on a waiting list, but it has had a huge impact emotionally and financially on my situation.”

A spokesman from Suffolk County Council confirmed that it was following the school’s oversubscription criteria and that Lucas had been put on a waiting list, as well as the right of appeal being offered.

The spokesman added: “Should an appeal be unsuccessful and they do not wish to accept the school place that has been offered to their child, we recommend that they contact the admission team to find out which schools have places available.”

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