Concerns raised over changes

CONCERNED councillors say they plan to call in the decision for review.

Conservative group leader Ray Wells said the views of the school’s admissions forum were ignored and described the decision as “fundamentally wrong”.

Labour councillor Marjorie James will submit the call-in request on Coun Wells’ behalf in her role as chairman of the scrutiny co-ordinating committee before next Tuesday’s deadline.

The pair want to see the issue debated by full council.

Coun Wells, who sits on the school’s admissions forum in his role as a member of the children’ services scrutiny forum, voted against it and said he was “extremely disappointed” with the decision.

He said: “The schools admissions forum debated the issue at some length and took into account all of the responses from the participating primary schools and came to the democratic decision that the schools admissions should be left as they are, leaving children who live nearer the school priority over those that live outside the zone but with a sibling at the school.

“I fully appreciate the difficulty for parents when they have one child at the school and they wish to have their other children at the same school.

“But I believe it is fundamentally wrong to exclude children whose parents live within the zone in favour of those children that live miles away from the school.

“It is a theoretical possibility that you could have a child living next door to a school having to be bused to another because there isn’t enough space there.”

Coun James said: “Children living locally to that primary school will now take second place to those children coming in from an external area.

“The fact is that when schools become full then local children will have to travel elsewhere in order to accommodate the siblings of children that have already managed to get in to the school.

“There is a major issue about that.”