Dad hits out at Peterborough primary school places

Mark Benwell and wife Leanne Benwell with children Chloe (5) and Dylan (4) who cannot go tho the same primary school EMN-150421-223937009

Mark Benwell and wife Leanne Benwell with children Chloe (5) and Dylan (4) who cannot go tho the same primary school EMN-150421-223937009

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A dad has hit out after his young son has been placed at a different primary school to his daughter.

Mark Benwell’s daughter, Chloe (5) started at Hampton Hargate Primary School in September last year.

Mr Benwell lives in Howland, Orton Goldhay, and had applied for Chloe to go to near-by Braybrook, but she was not given her first choice.

However, now Dylan (4)is due to start school in September - and despite requests from his parents to go to Hampton, he has been given a place at Winyates school in Orton Goldhay.

Mr Benwell said: “Hampton Hargate was our third choice for Chloe, but now she goes there we wanted Dylan to go there as well.

“If they are at schools in different parts of the city, we will not have the time to go and drop them off and pick them up at the start and end of school.

“I work full time, and my wife is expecting a baby in July.

“We cannot be in two places at the same time.

“We put the form in on time, and said on the form the situation we are in.

“Originally we didn’t want Chloe to go to Hampton, but we have been very impressed with the school, and she has settled in well, so it makes sense for Dylan to go there as well. We don’t want to move Chloe either, because she has settled in so well.

“We will be appealing against the decision.”

A Peterborough City Council spokesman said the Hampton school had been oversubscribed.

He said: “A record number of parents and carers received first preference primary school offers for their children this year.

“However, those who are unhappy with the school place they have been offered have the right to appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel. Parents were given details of how to appeal within their offer letter.

“When a school is oversubscribed, in-catchment children are prioritised ahead of out-of-catchment siblings when places are being allocated.”

Increase in parents getting pick of primary places

Out of the 2,844 Peterborough parents who applied for a place before the deadline, 90.7 per cent were offered their first preference school. This figure has increased from 88 per cent last year despite 162 more children needing a place.

In total 97.9 per cent of parents were offered one of their three preferred primary schools with 5.6 per cent being offered their second choice and 1.6 per cent their third preference.