A LOTTERY for school places has resulted in 11-year-olds being turned away from schools they can "see from their window".

Parents have branded the admissions policy of Harris Academy Falconwood in The Green, Welling, "unfair" and "wrong" after their children were refused places despite living a few houses away.

The mother of a Bishop Ridley primary school pupil, who asked to remain anonymous through fear of jeopardising her appeal, said: "I have lived at my house for 17 years and it backs onto the school.

"We just assumed he would get in.

"It was our first choice because it is the local school and it got outstanding Ofsted results."

The 45-year-old said her son was offered a place at Welling School, meaning he would have a 20-minute bus ride then a 10-minute walk.

She said: "I just want my children to have the security of going to a school they can walk to."

The school insists its admissions policy is fully in line with Government guidelines.

It allocates places to students in nine ability bandings.

Where a band is over-subscribed, a tie-break situation applies and 90 per cent of students are selected randomly from those living within a 1.75 mile radius.

More than 1,110 youngsters applied for Harris Academy’s 180 September places.

Despite the Department for Education ban on area-wide lotteries from next year, Harris Academy does not intend to change its policy.

A school spokesman said: "The new code allows random allocation to take place in a tiebreak situation, which is why our admissions policy is unlikely to change.

"However, if Government advice changes between now and then, we would of course adapt our admissions policy accordingly."

Another Bishop Ridley mum, 37-year-old Samantha Robinson lives less than half a mile from the school in Cornwall Avenue.

She said: "I think it is disgusting. We pay to live in an area, we pay our council tax but our children don’t get into the local school."

Unwilling to send Nash on the bus to Welling School, Mrs Robinson said she is frantically trying to find her son a place at a school in September.

She said: "It is horrible. It makes me feel ill. It is such a worry. He’s not going to school in September at the moment."

A third Bishop Ridley primary school parent, Deidre Barnes, 45, of Westmoreland Avenue, said she ‘went mad’ when she found out her daughter, Jessica, would have to travel to Bexleyheath School.

"It is disgusting. I look out of the window and I can see the school."

A Harris Academy spokesman said it was ‘always sad’ when children failed to get a place but that its policy gives "equal priority to all children in the whole of the local area".

The spokesman added: "We are limited on the number of places we can offer and feel it would be unfair to take a place away from another child."

Harris Academy said there was a waiting list for places that parents could apply for.