Family welcomes change - but says its too late

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A MUM who moved two of her children to a different primary school after her youngest child was refused a place has welcomed the admissions policy change.

Yvonne Kitson, 36, and her husband, Steven, 41, were left fuming last year after their five-year-old daughter Casey-Beth was refused a place at Throston Primary School, in Flint Walk, Hartlepool.

It came despite the fact Casey-Beth had spent two years at the school’s nursery and she had three older siblings at the school, Jayden, six, Jessica, eight and Rebecka, nine.

Unemployed Yvonne, who lives in Challoner Square, Hartlepool, unsuccessfully appealed against the decision and decided to move Jayden and Jessica to Jesmond Gardens Primary School so they could be with Casey-Beth.

Yvonne said she only decided against also moving Rebecka to Jesmond Gardens because she did not want to disrupt the youngster too much ahead of her final year at primary school.

She said: “It makes me really angry to think we had to disrupt three of our children to go to different schools and now they decide to change the policy.

“The children do seem to be happy now, but it should never have been like this in the first place.

“The good thing to come out of this is now families won’t have to go through what we have been through in the future.”

Also last year four-year-old Amar Khaliq was refused a place at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Primary School where his brother Aadham attended.

It came despite the youngster attending the school’s nursery for 18 months and saw him offered a place at a school two miles away.

Their father, Hamid Khaliq, was told there were 129 applications for 60 places at the school and other children were given a higher priority.

Mr Khaliq agreed with increasing priority for siblings and said: “I think it should be the main priority when it comes to allocating places to children in school.

“The other criteria for me is secondary. Siblings and location should be the top two criteria, I have spoken to numerous families who think the same and sympathise with our situation.

“It’s nice to know the council is looking at it and taking notice of people.

“The council was sympathetic to us and our position, but it wasn’t in their hands. It’s nice to know they have taken our views on board and are going to be taking action.”

His youngest son Amar, five, was awarded a place at West Park Primary School last October and was joined by his eldest son, Aadham, seven, in January.

He added: “The situation is much better. They are both happy and settled.

“They’ve got new friends and are progressing well. Everything turned out well in the end.”