Sheffield school places: Parent's frustration after daughter is placed in school over six miles away

A Sheffield parent says she finds it “ludicrous” her daughter has been allocated a secondary school six miles away.

Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 8:20 pm

More than 6,200 pupils were allocated their secondary schools this week across Sheffield’s 29 academies.

However, The Star revealed this week how some schools were oversubscribed by more than a hundred places each, and up to 1,121 allocations have now been placed on a waiting list.

Now, one parent has shared how she plans to lodge an appeal after her daughter was told she would need to travel more than 12 miles every day to get to and from school.

Parents in Sheffield have until the end of March to appeal their child's secondary school placements

Rivka Smith, from Millhouses, says after being turned down for both catchment schools and her feeder school, her daughter Nancy, 11, has been allocated to Chaucer School in Parsons Cross – six and a half miles away.

Going by public transport will take at least an hour in either direction, compared to the 10-minute walk she would otherwise take from home to her preferred school.

Rivka told The Star: “I feel it is absolutely ludicrous that they expect my 11-year-old to travel on public transport twice daily across the city, six miles each way. She has never even caught a bus.

“The situation is making me ill and is leaving me with little option but to home educate.

“This is representative of I’m sure many other families, some of whom I know are in the same boat.”

The three schools Ms Smith applied for through catchment areas and feeder placements were also the three most oversubscribed schools in Sheffield – Mercia School in Millhouses, Silverdale School in Bents Green, and Tapton School in Crosspool.

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When is the deadline to appeal my child’s secondary school allocation?

Many parents face frustration each year when their children are turned down from schools in their catchment area and must make arrangements for how to reach their new schools.

Parents are being advised they have the end of the month to appeal or lodge a complaint against their child’s allocation.

Parents have until March 29 to appeal their child’s year 7 placement with Sheffield City Council.

The council has warned the appeals team will will be “very busy” between March 1 – 7.

Appeals must be made by writing to the council. You will then be given a date for your appeal hearing, at least 14 days in advance.

To learn more about how to appeal the decision with Sheffield City Council, visit the council's website.

Your child will remain allocated to the school named in your letter unless they are offered an alternative place from the waiting list or by the appeal panel.

Council data has revealed Sheffield schools now have a combined waiting list of more than 1,121 places due to oversubscription.

Over 40 per cent of those oversubscribed places come from parents applying from outside catchment areas, do not have siblings at the school or do not come from a feeder school.

The most oversubscribed school in Sheffield this year in Mercia School in Millhouses, which allocated 185 places but now has a waiting list of 156 applications.