Crayford schoolgirl refused place at secondary school she can see from bedroom window

News Shopper: Paul Gunning with partner Kerry Joyce and their daughter Shannon Gunning. Paul Gunning with partner Kerry Joyce and their daughter Shannon Gunning.

A Crayford schoolgirl has been refused a place at a secondary school she can see from her own bedroom window.

Shannon Gunning, 11, of Iron Mill Lane, selected Haberdashers’ Aske’s Crayford Academy as her choice of senior school for September which is a two minute walk from her family home.

But when the letter came through the door Shannon was left devastated when she found out she had allocated a place at Erith School in Avenue Road which is three miles away.

Shannon's annoyed dad Paul Gunning, 49, told News Shopper: "It seems ridiculous that my daughter cannot go the school she can see from her own window.

"I could throw a stone from my doorstep and could hit the school gate with it.

"When making the choice for Shannon's secondary school we only put down Haberdashers’ Aske’s Crayford Academy because it's on our road.

"I don't see why my little girl should have to get two buses to school each way when there is a good school within walking distance."

Mr Gunning explained that Shannon was not very "streetwise" and rarely goes out on her own.

He added: "If Shannon was forced to go to Erith School my partner Kerry would have to take her for the first year and because she doesn't drive the bus would cost about £800 for a year.

"Kerry would also have to give up work in the mornings because she wouldn't be able to fulfil her duties as a carer for Avanti."

The family say they will be appealing the decision and are taking special advice on appeal procedures.

A spokesman for Haberdashers’ Aske’s Crayford Academy said: "We are very sorry to hear that Miss Gunning did not receive a place at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Crayford Academy.

"We know that finding the right school for a child is very important and that this is a stressful time for parents.

"We cannot comment on individual cases, nor on the admissions policies of other schools in the London Borough of Bexley.

"Haberdashers’ Aske’s Crayford Academy is heavily oversubscribed and we are scrupulous in following a fair admissions policy, which is available on our website.’

The school also confirmed that nine children are applying for every one place at the school.

Comments (7)

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1:53pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Wiff180 says...

Doesn't seem to make any sense, but then I was sent to Hurstmere when I lived closer to Bexleyheath school.
And the little girl doesn't look happy does she....
Doesn't seem to make any sense, but then I was sent to Hurstmere when I lived closer to Bexleyheath school. And the little girl doesn't look happy does she.... Wiff180
  • Score: 8

10:47pm Wed 26 Mar 14

mumcabs says...

Absolutely ridiculous !
Absolutely ridiculous ! mumcabs
  • Score: 6

11:21pm Wed 26 Mar 14

ISaidThis says...

Top quality arm folding from the little smasher.
Top quality arm folding from the little smasher. ISaidThis
  • Score: 18

4:15pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Kentish Maiden says...

The parents are really naive and stupid , I really don't know what they are hoping to achieve by going to the press. It won't help their appeal, it just gives the poor little girl false hope that the newspaper will be able to do something.

My son was lucky enough to get into Haberdashers 3 years ago. We are told when we apply how many applicants there are per place. To only put down the one school on the application form is madness as no matter how close you live, with over 3,000 applications for 150 places there are no guarantees at all.

Haberdashers has a well documented application process and, in the event of over subscription, lots of criteria come into play. Just because you live close does not guarantee you a place. All prospective students take a Banding Test and , based on the results of this, places are allocated with a specific number of pupils per band to ensure a good mix of abilities. The band Shannon was in obviously was over subscribed and there were children who either had special needs, older siblings already at the school or who lived nearer to the school than her,

And why on earth would the Mum will have to give up work in the mornings if she has to take her to school? Secondary schools start earlier than Primary schools in the morning, and I expect she currently takes her to school so what's the difference? She won't need wrapping in cotton wool and escorted to school for a whole year. Take her on the bus for a week or 2, she'll make friends who get the same bus and will very quickly adapt. Plenty of secondary school children have bus journeys to school and they cope, there is no reason why Shannon wont.

They'll obviously appeal but there is no guarantee they will be successful, so they should start now in telling Shannon hat a great school Erith is and get her excited about going there, rather than making out it's a very poor second best otherwise she will start off feeling negative towards the school which will do her no good at all. I hope they do succeed with their appeal but if they don't, I wish Shannon well at Erith.
The parents are really naive and stupid , I really don't know what they are hoping to achieve by going to the press. It won't help their appeal, it just gives the poor little girl false hope that the newspaper will be able to do something. My son was lucky enough to get into Haberdashers 3 years ago. We are told when we apply how many applicants there are per place. To only put down the one school on the application form is madness as no matter how close you live, with over 3,000 applications for 150 places there are no guarantees at all. Haberdashers has a well documented application process and, in the event of over subscription, lots of criteria come into play. Just because you live close does not guarantee you a place. All prospective students take a Banding Test and , based on the results of this, places are allocated with a specific number of pupils per band to ensure a good mix of abilities. The band Shannon was in obviously was over subscribed and there were children who either had special needs, older siblings already at the school or who lived nearer to the school than her, And why on earth would the Mum will have to give up work in the mornings if she has to take her to school? Secondary schools start earlier than Primary schools in the morning, and I expect she currently takes her to school so what's the difference? She won't need wrapping in cotton wool and escorted to school for a whole year. Take her on the bus for a week or 2, she'll make friends who get the same bus and will very quickly adapt. Plenty of secondary school children have bus journeys to school and they cope, there is no reason why Shannon wont. They'll obviously appeal but there is no guarantee they will be successful, so they should start now in telling Shannon hat a great school Erith is and get her excited about going there, rather than making out it's a very poor second best otherwise she will start off feeling negative towards the school which will do her no good at all. I hope they do succeed with their appeal but if they don't, I wish Shannon well at Erith. Kentish Maiden
  • Score: 4

6:22pm Tue 1 Apr 14

bevo46 says...

Could i just ask why didnt you have your daughter in Barnes Cray then ? If you was that concerned surley you would have put her name down for primary stage 1st then you would have a selected pass through to secondary.I think you didnt like Barnes Cray because at the time it was very old and not good enough for you,now a good school you seem to think its ok for your daughter to attend. why you have put your daughter through this is unbelieveable.Has for a stone throw away which has been stated you would have to have a very good long shot. I saw pictures in the daily mail. I understand yes you live near but can not get my head around it why not the old school Barnes Cray if needing a school place at the new school.
Could i just ask why didnt you have your daughter in Barnes Cray then ? If you was that concerned surley you would have put her name down for primary stage 1st then you would have a selected pass through to secondary.I think you didnt like Barnes Cray because at the time it was very old and not good enough for you,now a good school you seem to think its ok for your daughter to attend. why you have put your daughter through this is unbelieveable.Has for a stone throw away which has been stated you would have to have a very good long shot. I saw pictures in the daily mail. I understand yes you live near but can not get my head around it why not the old school Barnes Cray if needing a school place at the new school. bevo46
  • Score: 5

8:31pm Tue 1 Apr 14

bevo46 says...

Ive just read Daily mail news on this story,wow you moved in to area to get a place at this school?No the mother has lived in same house all her life.It seems to me this story is not about child getting a place in local school its about not getting own way.Kerry i believe mothers name giving it the sob story why didnt you put your daughters name down for Barnes Cray ?Also carer in local area you need to focus on making good caring for your child needs at Erith school,Bless your daughter,my son use to leave my house at 6.30am to get to a school in Biggin Hill and we lived in Catford look on a map the distance he was not (streetwise) either,but sometimes you have to make your kids do these things to make them realise what life is all about.
Ive just read Daily mail news on this story,wow you moved in to area to get a place at this school?No the mother has lived in same house all her life.It seems to me this story is not about child getting a place in local school its about not getting own way.Kerry i believe mothers name giving it the sob story why didnt you put your daughters name down for Barnes Cray ?Also carer in local area you need to focus on making good caring for your child needs at Erith school,Bless your daughter,my son use to leave my house at 6.30am to get to a school in Biggin Hill and we lived in Catford look on a map the distance he was not (streetwise) either,but sometimes you have to make your kids do these things to make them realise what life is all about. bevo46
  • Score: 5

8:34pm Tue 1 Apr 14

bevo46 says...

Family not that bothered they have not commented on any comments in this section or daily mail news.What are they playing at?
Family not that bothered they have not commented on any comments in this section or daily mail news.What are they playing at? bevo46
  • Score: 4

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