Brothers sent to separate schools after application blunder
A MUM says is having to keep her son at home after he was refused a place at the primary school attended by his brother.
Lisa Whelan says she is at a loss as to what to do after education chiefs said there was no room for four-year-old Joe Burgoyne at Red Lane Primary School, where his brother Jack Williams, aged eight, is a pupil.
The 34-year-old, who lives in Breightmet, said: “I just feel lost at the moment. I was offered a place Tonge Moor School, but that isn’t an option for me as I don’t drive and cannot be at both schools at the same time to see them safely to and from school.
“Red Lane is a 20-minute walk and Tonge Moor Primary is 45 minutes away.”
Miss Whelan appealed the decision but it was rejected.
She said: “I had bought his uniform and he was so excited to be starting school with his brother. He is missing out in his schooling.”
Miss Whelan’s plans to go to university have had to be put on hold because of the situation.
She believes she has suffered because she posted the application form rather than filled it online.
Miss Whelan insists she sent in her first application which the council said it had not received. She then sent another by recorded post.
Miss Whelan said: “I was told that they hadn’t received that one either until I told them to check and it was found.
She was sent a letter from the council offering Joe a place at Bolton St Catherine’s CE — which she claims was dated September 4, the postmark on the envelope was September 10 and she received it on September 12 — with a reply needed by September 11.
She added: “I was shocked when it was suggested I should take Jack out of the school he is settled in and put them both into another school.”
Bolton Council says the first application it received from Miss Whelan was on June 13 by phone and the closing date was January 15 with places allocated by April 16. Joe’s name is now on a waiting list.
And the council said Tonge Moor CP School was the nearest school with places available to Miss Whelan’s home.
A Bolton Council spokesman said: “At the appeal Miss Whelan also stated she believed she had posted two applications to the council but had not had an acknowledgement for either. She did not state or provide evidence of any recorded delivery.
“The appeal panel refused the appeal as there was no evidence to support maladministration by the council.
“Following the appeal Miss Whelan was offered a place for Joe at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy which is located close to Red Lane School.
“To this date she has not accepted but it is still not too late for Joe to join the Academy.”
Miss Whelan said she had not been told that a place was still available.
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