Parents in uproar at unexpected Crayford to Slade Green school place switch

Left to right: Natalie Edwards with Amelia, three; Sarah Bull with Summer, two, and Callum, three; Samantha Hazzard with Gracie, six months and Brooke-Louise, four, and Emma Harvey with Jessica, 12 months, and Billbill, four..

Left to right: Natalie Edwards with Amelia, three; Sarah Bull with Summer, two, and Callum, three; Samantha Hazzard with Gracie, six months and Brooke-Louise, four, and Emma Harvey with Jessica, 12 months, and Billbill, four..

First published in News News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A group of angry parents say they were reduced to tears when a Crayford primary school unexpectedly told them their children would be starting school in Slade Green.

Sarah Bull, 31, and dozens of other parents were all delighted when their youngsters were offered reception places at the highly regarded Haberdashers' Aske's Crayford Academy.

But delight turned to despair when a week later they all received letters to say the places would be at the school’s Slade Green campus, known as Temple Grove, and not its main site in Iron Mill Lane, Crayford.

Mrs Bull’s son Callum, aged three, was offered a place at the academy in a letter on April 16 but on April 23 another letter told his mum her son would be starting school more than three miles away from their home in Town Hall Square. 

The mother-of-three claims it was never made clear to parents their child might end up at Slade Green

She told News Shopper: "I would say about 20 to 30 children have been affected and a lot of mums and dads are in uproar about it.

"I never even knew there was a Slade Green campus until I got the letter.

"At no point did anyone say to me Callum could end up there.

"If I had put down a school in Slade Green he wouldn’t have got it because we are out of the catchment area.

"I would say about 20 to 30 children have been affected and a lot of mums and dads are in uproar about it."

News Shopper:

The academy has sites in Crayford and Temple Grove, Slade Green. 

The full-time mum says things got heated when a group of parents were shown round the Slade Green facilities on April 29.

She said: "Some mums were crying and some were getting angry.

"They wanted to give us the tour but a lot of us said we just can’t do this and ended up walking out.

"I walked out because everyone was shouting and raising their concerns and I didn’t want my children to hear that."

Mrs Bull says she can’t afford the £4.90 it would cost her to take two bus journeys to Slade Green and back every day - totalling two-and-a-half hours - when the Iron Mill Lane site is 15 minutes walk from her flat.  

A spokeswoman for the Haberdashers' Aske's Federation said it was made clear to parents their children could be allocated places at either site at parent information sessions and in the Bexley primary admissions handbook.

The federation's senior executive assistant Penny Levack said: "We understand why a small number of parents are disappointed not to be offered a place at the site nearest to their home.

"However, as Crayford Academy’s two primary sites are part of a single school, the school is required to have a single admissions policy.

"It is therefore unable to offer parents a choice of site when they make their application and all applications are considered for both sites.

"All of the places offered based on distance at both of the sites went to the applicants living the shortest distance from them."

Comments (4)

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11:56pm Fri 2 May 14

Sue vdv says...

Whatever happened to Parental Choice? How stupid to make kiddies so young go to a school two bus rides away when they can go to one almost on their doorstep. Makes no sense to me. Children of reception age get tired enough without having to cope with travel time on top.
Whatever happened to Parental Choice? How stupid to make kiddies so young go to a school two bus rides away when they can go to one almost on their doorstep. Makes no sense to me. Children of reception age get tired enough without having to cope with travel time on top. Sue vdv
  • Score: 7

6:01pm Sat 3 May 14

cherished says...

So didnt read the prospectus or attend any meetings?
So didnt read the prospectus or attend any meetings? cherished
  • Score: 3

10:04pm Mon 12 May 14

hlazell says...

I put Haberdashers as my last choice and was shocked when I recieved the letter offering my son a place at the school. Due to the fact it was my last choice and I know how over subscribed it is I rang the school to ask why he had been accepted. This is when I found out they had two sites. I waited for my letter to arrive confirming which school he had been accepted to, which was obviously the Slade Green one, and promptly declined the place. He is now on the waiting list for three other schools. He probably won't be starting school with his peers in September and will instead be attending the nursery he is currently at. This is only possible because he is a summer child. It is disgusting how Haberdashers Aske have been able to get away with this. It was very poorly advertised and for many parents, who just put the school as an option filler on the miniscule chance that their child would get a place, going to 'meetings' and obtaining a 'prospectus' was unnecessary. I am fuming with the whole sorry story! There needs to be a serious shake up as this is ridiculous.
I put Haberdashers as my last choice and was shocked when I recieved the letter offering my son a place at the school. Due to the fact it was my last choice and I know how over subscribed it is I rang the school to ask why he had been accepted. This is when I found out they had two sites. I waited for my letter to arrive confirming which school he had been accepted to, which was obviously the Slade Green one, and promptly declined the place. He is now on the waiting list for three other schools. He probably won't be starting school with his peers in September and will instead be attending the nursery he is currently at. This is only possible because he is a summer child. It is disgusting how Haberdashers Aske have been able to get away with this. It was very poorly advertised and for many parents, who just put the school as an option filler on the miniscule chance that their child would get a place, going to 'meetings' and obtaining a 'prospectus' was unnecessary. I am fuming with the whole sorry story! There needs to be a serious shake up as this is ridiculous. hlazell
  • Score: 1

7:22pm Sat 17 May 14

AmeliaD80 says...

I actually put down the Crayford site as there was two options and yet I got a place in slade green. Not happy how they have handle the admission processes and feel that this was very misleading and also sly. I was there at that meeting and I did not hear any shouting so was surprised to see that in the article.
I actually put down the Crayford site as there was two options and yet I got a place in slade green. Not happy how they have handle the admission processes and feel that this was very misleading and also sly. I was there at that meeting and I did not hear any shouting so was surprised to see that in the article. AmeliaD80
  • Score: 0

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