Council blames ‘particularly high demand’ for primary school problems

DISAPPOINTED: Some of the families who haven't been allocated their first, second or third-choice primary school place.
DISAPPOINTED: Some of the families who haven't been allocated their first, second or third-choice primary school place.

COUNCIL chiefs have blamed a ’particularly high demand’ for the fact 45 Hartlepool families are facing disappointment over its allocation of primary school places.

A spokesman for Hartlepool Borough Council said: “Almost 92 per cent of parents have been allocated their first preference for a primary school place for the September 2015 intake, which is one of the highest levels in the country.

We fully sympathise with the small percentage of parents who have not been offered their first, second or third preferences, and we are exploring every possible avenue to try and meet parents’ needs.

Hartlepool Council spokesman

“For 2015 there is a particular high demand for school places across the country, and in Hartlepool we have seen particular pressure in the north of the town.

“We fully sympathise with the small percentage of parents who have not been offered their first, second or third preferences, and we are exploring every possible avenue to try and meet parents’ needs.

“This includes examining whether there is scope to increase the capacity at some primary schools so that we are able to offer either a first, second or third preference to some of the 45 parents that we have so far been unable to do so.

“Parents can be assured that we are working extremely hard to try to assist them.”

More on this story

Angry Hartlepool family launch Facebook campaign after school places snub

Mum’s tears over school place four miles from home

Mum will have to close her shop to pick up daughter

Single mum devastated at school place refusal

The council received 1,186 applications for primary school places for September 2015, with 1,082 being offered their first preference, 45 allocated their second preference, and 14 given their third choice.

Forty-five applicants, which includes Leon and Sarah, were not allocated one of their preferences but were offered a place at a school in town.

Places are allocated by in the first instance, to those pupils with a statement of special educational needs where the school is named in the statement.

The remaining places will be awarded in the following priority order:

• Children in the care or previously in the care of social services;

• Children who have brothers or sisters who will be attending the school in September 2015;

• Children who live in the school’s admission zone;

• Children distinguished from others whether on medical grounds or other exceptional circumstances, and who would suffer significant hardship if they were unable to attend the school;

• Children who live closest to the school as determined by a straight-line measurement.