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Bromley school places shortage: Has the situation become 'desperate'?
PARENTS and teachers have revealed the ‘desperate’ lack of space which means some children have failed to make any of their six chosen schools whilst others are being taught in break-out areas due to lack of space.
Four out of five parents got their first choice of school in London while 92 per cent got one of their top three choices therefore Kirsty O’ Brien was surprised to discover her three-year-old daughter failed to get into any of her six chosen schools and was instead assigned to a junior school.
She had assumed she would get into one of the schools they had selected given some were less than ten minutes walk away and one was on, Kent House Road, where they have lived for 36 years.
Instead the 40-year-old was told Milly will be being sent to Worsley Bridge Junior School, in Brackley Road, Beckenham, which is 20 minutes away and is being converted into an infant school due to lack of space.
Ms O’Brien said: “I do not feel it is the best place for Milly meanwhile many of her friends have got into the schools we selected.
“I’m unhappy because I don’t think it has been properly thought through and I’m worried it will be rushed and it’s not as good academically as the other ones.
“When you look at the figures, it does not make sense. I did think she might not get into our first choice but I thought she would at least get into one of the six. That is what upsets more than anything.”
“Will they teach four year olds in portacabins? It is a big part of their life and they need stability.”
Executive Member for Education Councillor Stephen Wells said: “There are across London, including Bromley, very major pressures on primary school places this year.
“Council Officers are currently seeking to address these issues where they can in collaboration with parents and schools and some readjustment of allocated places can take place over the next few months.”
Meanwhile another mother has revealed the “crazy” situation where her five-year-old son is being taught in a break-out area in Keston Church of England School, in Lakes Road, because the over-subscribed school he attends was refused permission to expand due to concerns from the nearby Residents’ Association.
Jo Higgs, of Poulters Wood Road, Keston, said: “It is crazy. Charlie is being taught in a room which is used for meetings and after-school clubs because there is no space.
“The Residents’ Association treats the kids like they are an inconvenience but these are children’s lives we’re talking about.
“There is nowhere else to put them.
“It is ridiculous - this school has been there longer than the association has.
“There are fewer kids them there were five years ago - it does not make any sense.”
The 32-year-old added: “Now the extra children are there, what difference does it make to other people if they are taught in a permanent or temporary structure?”
Head teacher Julia Evison revealed staff were getting “desperate”.
Chair of Governors Robin Allis said: "It is highly unsatisfactory that as a result of the co-ordinated actions of residents and ward councillors, there will be children within Keston village and the school’s normal catchment who will not be able to attend their local school.”
However chairman of Keston Village Residents' Association David Clapham said the expansion proposals “do not take account of the unsuitable infrastructure, dangerous junctions and significant lack of alternative modes of transport to the car.”
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