Appeals over pupil allocations at St Albans faith school

Nicholas Breakspear School

Nicholas Breakspear School - Credit: Archant

Parents of disappointed children are appealing against their school places after they were denied any of their four preferred choices and placed in a faith school instead.

Residents of Colney Heath were unhappy when their children were allocated a place at Catholic school Nicholas Breakspear even though they had not listed it as one of their preferred schools.

The families, who are either not Catholic or don’t believe in faith schools, are said to be extremely frustrated by the outcome of the secondary transfer process.

Colney Heath councillor, Chris Brazier, said: “Nicky B is a good school, a very good school, but if you are not Catholic, or have something against faith schools, why are you being given a place without consultation? This is not right, this shouldn’t happen.”

Four families came to Cllr Brazier about the problem with two of them set to appeal against the decision.

He added: “It is a very stressful time for parents and children, faith schools with some parents are a major concern.”

A Herts county council spokesman said: “We have always used faith schools in cases where there are places available and the school in question agrees.

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“Appeal panels are always informed if the allocated school was not one that had been applied for and was a non-ranked allocation.

“If a family has been allocated a faith school as a non-ranked allocation and do not wish their child to attend for any reason they do not have to accept the offer.

“They can apply for any school with a vacancy on the published list while continuing to pursue a place at the original schools of preference.”