No place at Sanbdridge village school for girl who lives within half a mile

A MOTHER whose daughter failed to get a place at her village school has joined forces with a county councillor to urge the powers-that-be to rethink their decision.

Claire Pender’s daughter Ruby is one of six children who were not offered a place at Sandridge Village School. Four-year-old Ruby has instead been offered a place at Wheatfields Infant and Nursery school.

Her mum has appealed against the result but says she is worried that her daughter will struggle to adapt to the larger school as she is so settled within the smaller community of the village nursery.

She said: “It’s upsetting for me and for Ruby because she won’t go with many of her friends to the school. My family have lived in the village for a long time and our house is just 689 metres (0.43 miles) away from the school – it’s crazy that we haven’t been offered a place.

“How have the county failed to predict the number of places needed? It’s surprising that a girl from the village cannot get into her village school.”

The family live on the High Street just 10 minutes walk from the school but if Claire’s appeal is not successful, it will be a 30 minute walk with her one-year-old son in tow every morning.

County Cllr Geoff Churchard, who has represented Sandridge on the county council for 14 years, says it is “unprecedented” for local children to fail to get into the village school.

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He said: “It’s another symptom of the pressure on school places in the district which is spreading out from the city centre to the villages.

“I have brought this to the attention of the county council and I am urging them to reconsider increasing the places at Sandridge Primary School and make the numbers up to a full one-form entry primary school from the current intake of 22 children each year.

Cllr Churchard said he was supporting Ruby’s family in their appeal.