Calls for change to end the ‘nightmare’ school sibling policy
MUMS campaigning for a change in schools admissions policy pleaded their case when they presented a petition and spoke of their concerns before county councillors.
The policy means that even if one child is at a school, a place is not guaranteed for a brother or sister if they are considered out of the catchment area.
One of the mums calling for a change is Hayley Hindle, whose son Sam, aged six, goes to Coten End Primary, Warwick, but her middle son Leon, aged four, has to attend Emscote Infants School.
The campaigning mums presented a 300-signature petition yesterday to a county cabinet meeting as the Courier went to press.
Ms Hindle, of Emscote Road, said having children at different schools can cause big problems for mums and can often mean children being presented late at school.
She said: “The logistics of getting them to and from school can be very difficult. It’s a nightmare getting them there on time and picking them up on time.
“It’s distressing for the children and the parents.
“My sons grew up thinking they were going to school together. It can be a bit daunting starting school for young ones but if they know they have a brother or sister there it’s better for them.”
She said expert opinion states that it is better psychologically for young children to attend the same school.
“It was a huge shock to us and many others. I’ve had mums sobbing to me down the phone and at school about this.
“Each year it comes as shock to parents who assumed their children would follow each other to the same school.”
Ms Hindle said what they were trying to do was have a rolling programme to alert parents and get them to join the campaign.
Campaigners said that when school places were offered last year the other schools with siblings on their waiting lists included Brookhurst, Cubbington, St Teresa’s, Ferncumbe and Telford.
They said the county’s rising birth rate and the financial climate, which is seeing parents chose state over private education, was making popular schools over-subscribed.
Warwickshire County Council said its tries to ensure siblings living out of a catchment area go to the same school but it was not always possible if a school is filled by pupils from within its catchment area and where appropriate schools are expanded to meet needs.
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Weather for Warwick
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
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Wind direction: North