A West Wittering mum has spoken out against a ‘ridiculous’ school allocation system after her daughter missed out on all three choices for secondary education.
Kate Broadbridge said every other child in ten-year-old Elizabeth’s class at Birdham Primary School who applied to Chichester Free School got a place, but her daughter was offered Selsey Academy, which wasn’t on her list at all.
She said she understood people didn’t always get what they wanted, but other families had had Selsey Academy down as a first choice and it seemed ‘strange’ Elizabeth should miss out.
She said: “If it happened to other children in her class I wouldn’t be doing this but there were four others who had Selsey down.
“To save them all the trouble, they could have given them Selsey Academy and given her the free school.
“The way they’ve done it is ridiculous.”
Ms Broadbridge said she was told she didn’t meet the criteria for her second and third choices and the free school was done on a random selection basis.
But she said the seven other families who applied to the free school got in and she found it hard to believe Elizabeth was the only one left out.
“I just think it’s a funny system. They give you three choices to write down and they don’t even bother to honour one of them,”she said.
Ms Broadbridge has now declined the place at Selsey Academy and has made an appeal.
A spokesperson for West Sussex County Council has said the admissions team work hard to make the allocation system ‘clear and fair’.
A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said: “Where a family’s preferences cannot be met – for example because schools are oversubscribed or for other reasons that mean places are allocated to other students – then we offer the next nearest alternative with space.
“In this instance that was Selsey Academy as the family lives nearer to the Academy than to Chichester High School.
“There is a right of appeal for the three schools that the family has been refused.”
What do you think? Have you had issues with school allocation this year? Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org