Parents upset over school admission row
THE parents of a four-year-old girl have been left angry and upset after being told that she cannot join her two older brothers at their primary school next month.
Gemma and Aaron Swann’s daughter Enya is all set to start school but will not be able to go with brothers Noah, nine, and Reuben, six, to St John’s Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School in Ipswich.
Noah is even head boy at the Victory Road school but even after being refused a place for Enya earlier in the year and going through a lengthy appeal process, church officials have insisted that the little girl will not be able to join the reception come September.
Mrs Swann, 31, a maternity care assistant, said the decision had been based on a change in diocese deanery boundaries since the boys started at the school and the fact that the family did not have enough church points, used as a scoring system for admissions.
She said: “We have moved, but just around the corner. Really it’s a lack of points. We didn’t get our church points but we do go to church.
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“We do show our faith, so the other thing is they recently moved the deanery boundary. Kesgrave used to be in the Ipswich deanery and we would have got four extra points for that.
“I think there’s a problem with the admissions policy. It doesn’t give such significance to siblings, which is a downfall in a church school.”
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Mrs Swann and her husband, a dock worker, live in Wilkinson Drive, Kesgrave and now have to decide whether to take their children to two different schools each morning or, as a last resort, move all three to a new school together.
She added: “It will be so difficult. We have only got one car and I’m the only person able to do it. We haven’t really got anyone to help us and how can we be in two places at the same time? I just don’t know how we will achieve it.”
Christopher Hudson, a Conservative Suffolk County Councillor for Kesgrave, has been helping the Swanns and said their treatment had been “unfair, unreasonable and inconsistent.”
He said: “I’m appalled at the unreasonableness of the decision and I have reported that back to my colleague (Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP) Dr Daniel Poulter and (county council leader) Mark Bee.
“The Swann family are now running out of time and opportunity to get this sorted out.”
Last night no one from the Ipswich and St Edmundsbury Diocese was available for comment.