School places row

SIR - I fully concur with your editorial (Herts Advertiser, July 2) concerning the allocation of secondary school places. As parents of one of the two remaining children in Wheathampstead who were not allocated a ranked school we, alongside other local fa

SIR - I fully concur with your editorial (Herts Advertiser, July 2) concerning the allocation of secondary school places.

As parents of one of the two remaining children in Wheathampstead who were not allocated a ranked school we, alongside other local families, have had to endure four harrowing months of stress and anxiety. Our son's final term at primary school, which should have been a very happy and memorable one, has been overshadowed by uncertainty. Finally, with less than two weeks of the summer term to go, we have been given a ranked school for our son.

Following the independent appeals for Sir John Lawes and Roundwood Park schools in May, imagine our surprise to learn that all the families from Kimpton, Whitwell and Breachwood Green (18) were successful at appeal while none of the Wheathampstead families' (seven) appeals were upheld.

On the last day of the hearings, the county council officer reported that the Wheathampstead children would be offered "dedicated" transport in order to facilitate their travelling to and from Francis Bacon School. Our appeal was turned down but we were then invited along to a "continuation" of the appeal in order to address the specific issue of "dedicated" transport and this time we were successful at appeal.

Our experience over the last four months has left us wondering; what is the point of the independent appeals process if it is focusing on where a child lives rather than on the specific needs of each child/family?

I would like to thank fellow parents, our local community, our councillors especially Judy Shardlow, and those who have supported us through prayer at such a stressful time.

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TERESA STEBBINGS

Dawes Lane

Wheathampstead

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