77 pupils fail to get secondary school of their choice

SEVENTY-seven children in the St Albans district have failed to get any of their three ranked secondary schools. The figures were released by Herts County Council after it emerged that Wheathampstead was once again the worst-hit village with 19 youngster

SEVENTY-seven children in the St Albans district have failed to get any of their three ranked secondary schools.

The figures were released by Herts County Council after it emerged that Wheathampstead was once again the worst-hit village with 19 youngsters unsuccessful in any of their three choices.

An additional 30 children in St Albans and 14 in Harpenden have been allocated schools they did not list.

Among the concerned parents is Julie Chadwick, of Caesars Road, Wheathampstead whose 11-year-old son Joseph wanted to go to Sandringham with Sir John Lawes and Roundwood Park as second and third choices. Instead he has been allocated a place at Onslow St Audrey in Hatfield


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Julie said that her son suffered from mild dyslexia and had been so inspired at the thought of getting a place at Sandringham that he had worked very hard for his SATs and on other school work.

They had chosen the school because it was particularly good with conditions like dyslexia with all teachers aware of the children's needs across the curriculum, she said.

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She described Joseph as "devastated" by the news and was concerned that his "great attitude to school" would be affected by it. She has put Joseph on continuing interest lists and is planning to appeal.

Another mum, who lives in Blackmore End and does not wish to be named, has also been given Onslow St Audrey for her 11-year-old who is one of only two at his Harpenden school not to get a place at any of his ranked secondary schools.

A single mum with another younger child at school in Harpenden, she pointed out that it would be logistically impossible to get both to their respective schools.

She was brought up in Harpenden and went to school there and said the family had no links at all with Hatfield.

She added: "It is not an option for him to go to a Hatfield school and I will do everything I can to get him into a Harpenden school."

Overall in the county 93 per cent of children have been allocated a place at one of their three ranked schools - slightly down on last year.

It is also the second year that random allocation has been put in place for over-subscribed single-sex schools such at St Albans Girls.

Parents have until March 17 to accept or reject the offer of a school place and anyone unhappy with their allocation can apply to go on the continuing interest lists of up to three county-run or voluntary-controlled schools. They can also appeal against the decision.

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