Mother's appeal for son's education

Laura Ellis and her son, Bailey Noble
Laura Ellis and her son, Bailey Noble
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A desperate Mother has been told her boy will not be accepted to their local school.

Laura Ellis, aged 29, from Gardinia Road, Kirk Sandall feels the admissions board at Hungerhill Academy have treated her unfairly in the case of her 11 year old son, Bailey Noble.

The board have advised Laura to send him to Armthorpe Academy instead, a journey which requires two bus rides, something she is extremely unhappy about.

She said: "I am a single mother with two children, I start work at 8.30; my daughter starts Kirk Sandall juniors at 8.30. Bailey needs to be in Hungerhill which is in walking distance of our house."

An unfortunate series of circumstances has now led to a 'very upset' Bailey being the only pupil to not be admitted to Hungerhill from Kirk Sandall Junior School.

"KS juniors told me that the application forms had been posted to my address. I had moved house and the forms went to my old address. I contacted education who apologised. These papers were reposted to my new address, but did not arrive. Then, three forms arrived the same week!"

Bailey had been attending PE club at Hungerhill for a year as advised by Kirk Sandall junior teachers to aid his transition to the academy.

An appeal was rejected in late June. At the hearing Laura felt that her case 'fell on deaf ears', even though she included a letter from Mrs J Foster, the Executive Head at Kirk Sandall Junior School which stated:

“Bailey is a timid child, it is important for him to be within his social group”

This obviously appears to have been ignored by the board.

Bailey's application was handed in, in plenty of time to meet the deadline for the second batch of entries to Hungerhill but he was not allocated a place.

Laura was assured by the board in early September that Bailey was number one on their list to be admitted, and that he would start Hungerhill in two weeks time.

However, she subsequently discovered another pupil had jumped the queue and been accepted in that fortnight. The whole process, from May to September, has caused a great deal of stress for Mother and child.

"This is having a major effect on his and my health, Bailey has been avoiding his friends as he feels ashamed . It's not his fault, it's my fault, but he's the one suffering."

Bailey is now having to stay at home as Laura desperately tries to get him into Hungerhill.

"To try and cope with this situation I've had to drop my work hours from 44 to 22 per week to be with Bailey, not what I want at all. It's taken me long enough to secure a full time job."

Laura works a as a delivery driver for Andrew Page ltd on the Guildhall Industrial Estate. She is determined to get Bailey back into the school with his friends, for both theirs sake's.

She said: "I have lost 3 stone during this period of time, not trying to may I add. .Also, I have been prescribed antidepressants, these have been doubled during this time. I've also made an appointment at our Doctors for Bailey because I fear he is going the same way as myself."

A spokesman for Doncaster Council said: “We are sorry that Bailey was unable to get a place into his first choice school, however if parents and carers do not complete and hand in the forms before the deadline date then these issues will occur. This is especially true of the more popular and oversubscribed schools in the borough."

“Parents and carers have a responsibility to ensure that they inform their school with any changes to their circumstances, including a change of address. Even in cases if the forms were delivered to an old address because the records were not updated. If this happens then the forms could still have been downloaded from our website and completed online."

“We are committed to making sure that every child in Doncaster has a place at a good local school and whilst we recognise that unfortunately there are instances where parents do not get their first choice schools, an alternative offer is made at the nearest school with available places.”