Village pupils given secondary places at school which is due to close

PUBLISHED: 16:41 30 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:15 06 May 2010

FIVE children from a village have been given secondary places in a school which is to close in three years time. The youngsters at Kimpton JMI were allocated places at Heathcote School in Stevenage which is scheduled to merge with Nobel School on the latt

FIVE children from a village have been given secondary places in a school which is to close in three years time.

The youngsters at Kimpton JMI were allocated places at Heathcote School in Stevenage which is scheduled to merge with Nobel School on the latter's site which is further north.

To travel there at the moment, the children face catching the first of several buses to school at 6.30am from Kimpton with the prospect of not getting home again until early evening - a journey which will be longer once the merger takes place.

Mrs Coral Lambert, of Claggy Road, Kimpton, is the mother of Eloise, the only girl affected who she hoped could have gone to Sir John Lawes school in Harpenden where her older sister was a pupil until last summer.

She is on the continuing-interest lists for Sir John Lawes, Roundwood and Sandringham in St Albans and is also going to appeal in a bid to get a place for her.

She said she had looked at Heathcote because she had a hunch that Herts County Council would look towards Stevenage this year for children from Kimpton who were unsuccessful in getting places at a Harpenden school.

And while she described it as, "a sweet little school" she felt that as an engineering college it was not suitable for Eloise and would be closing in three years anyway.

She particularly wants a place at Sir John Lawes because it has a full-time nurse on the premises which is especially important as Eloise, who is asthmatic, suffers severe nosebleeds and has to keep her blood/sugar levels up.

It is also her nearest school and she wants to retain the continuity of her children going there and give Eloise the same chance as her sister.

Mrs Lambert, who holds down two jobs, said the county council had offered her free bus travel but not a taxi. "It is just ridiculous. I walk her to school now because it is across the road and collect her so what idiot thinks I would put an 11-year-old on a bus at half-past six which she would have to change in Hitchin and Stevenage.

"After having seven years with a child in my nearest school, I can't do that."

Eloise is currently up to nine on the continuing-interest list at Sir John Lawes and 12th at Roundwood but she is languishing at 102 on the list at Sandringham.

A county council spokesperson confirmed this week that 53 children in the district out of the original 77 who did not get a place at any of their three preferred schools were still on continuing interests list.

Thirteen of those were in Wheathampstead where families have been particularly unsuccessful in getting places at schools of their choice. Continuing-interest places are released on a fortnightly basis.

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