Mum faces 32-mile school run

Pupil placement problems for  Vicki Decosemo who has been offered places at Wittering, Orimiston Meadows and Gladstone primary for her three children Ruby (7), Jack (5) and Bobby (4). She lives in Hampton.
Pupil placement problems for Vicki Decosemo who has been offered places at Wittering, Orimiston Meadows and Gladstone primary for her three children Ruby (7), Jack (5) and Bobby (4). She lives in Hampton.
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A mum says she has been forced to reject school places offered to her three children because it would involve a 32- mile journey every day.

Vicki Decosemo moved to Hampton Hargate from Bolton with her three children because her husband had a work contract in London.

But, after moving in July, she was unable to get a school place in Hampton for Ruby (7), Jack (5) and Bobby (4) - and was instead offered places across the city. Ruby was offered a spot at Wittering Primary School, Jack at Gladstone Academy and Bobby at Ormiston Meadows Academy.

Vicki said: “We can’t accept those places - every morning if traffic was good, it would be an hour and 10 minute journey. It would be a 32-mile journey every day. We know schools are busy, but that is impossible.

“We know we applied for places late, but we put our three choices as schools in Hampton. If they had all been given different schools in Hampton it would not have been too bad, as we could just about make it - but we cannot accept these places.”

Mrs Decosemo is now appealing against the decision.

She said: “It is affecting my business as a personal trainer - I have had to turn clients down as I am looking after the children. The children are very upset by this as well.

“We have looked at The Peterborough School, but we can only just about afford fees for one child, but not three.”

A Peterborough City Council spokesman said: “When the family applied for places this summer all three Hampton primary schools were already at capacity for these year groups and therefore it was not possible to offer them school places.

“The parents have turned down the initial offers and we will now be contacting them to discuss options which might allow them to keep their children together at one school. The parents have also taken up their right to appeal against the council’s decision to not allocate a place at the three Hampton schools and the appeals will take place in due course.”

The spokesman said 98 per cent of families who applied in time were given one of their first three preferences of primary school.

He added: “Each child’s application for in-year applications is dealt with separately within its school year group according to the date of birth of the child, and so it is common for children from the same family to be made offers of different schools.”