Parents' anger as no school places in Chatteris mean children face 10-mile round trip to another school

PUBLISHED: 15:34 18 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:34 18 July 2019

Disgruntled parents in Chatteris have slammed council bosses after they were told their children as young as five will face a 10-mile round trip to a village school from September. Picture: GOOGLE EARTH

Disgruntled parents in Chatteris have slammed council bosses after they were told their children as young as five will face a 10-mile round trip to a village school from September. Picture: GOOGLE EARTH

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Disgruntled parents in Chatteris have slammed council bosses after they were told their children as young as five will face a 10-mile round trip to a village school from September.

Reception classes at Glebelands and Kinglands Primary School are full, meaning parents will have to settle with the "nearest alternative school" in Wimblington.

Cambridgeshire County Council say that late applications by those within the catchment area meant that places were already taken by "out of catchment children".

Transport for children to be taken from their home direct to school will be offered - which could see a five-year-old child being put in a taxi.

The decision has angered Chatteris Town Councillor Florence Newell, who said: "For a little child to be put in a taxi on there own to go to a school in a place they don't even know is disgusting.

"Surely there should be provisions put in place such as a cabin on site to help with the overflow.

"I have even been contacted by a parent who already has a child who goes to school at Glebelands but now her other child will have to go to Wimblington instead.

"This is just wrong."

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One parent, from the Slade Lode area, told the Cambs Times that they were appealing against the decision.

"Our daughter is only five and we've been told she will have to be transported to another school outside of our area in a taxi.

"We were told that there was not enough room in the Chatteris school but how can it be acceptable to send her to a school outside of the area.

"We are settled in the Chatteris community and will be fighting this through and appeal.

"It just seems completely unreasonable."

Cambridgeshire County Council said they were actively working on increasing primary school places to meet demands.

A spokesperson said: "Both Chatteris primary schools are full in Reception for September 2019 and late applications by parents within the catchment area meant that places were taken in the first round of allocations by out of catchment children.

"This resulted in children being offered places at the nearest alternative school with places available. Those places are offered with home to school transport. Parents who are refused a place at their preferred school have the right to appeal.

"We recognise that there is and will continue to be pressure on places at local schools, especially where housing developments are planned. We are actively working on proposals to increase primary school places to meet known and forecast demand.

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