Mum’s battle for a school place

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A Leyland mum has blasted education bosses who refused who let her two children attend the same school.

Pauline Reucroft, of Nookfield, Leyland, has just moved back to the town from Dubai where she and son James, seven, and daughter Robyn, four, have been living for the past two years. James previously attended Moss Side County Primary School on Paradise Lane and was offered a place back at the school on his return.

But the family were upset to find their application to get little Robyn into the same school has been turned down on appeal by Lancashire County Council.

Single mum Pauline says she now faces a 30 minute walk to St Anne’s Catholic Primary, her third choice, while also taking James to Moss Side.

She said: “I’m absolutely gutted. I just can’t understand why they won’t let her in.

“I have no car and do not understand how anyone can expect me to be in two places at one time to drop my two children at separate schools.

“We moved back from Dubai and contacted the school at the very beginning of March about trying to get James back in.

“Because we have been abroad we were not around at the time other applications were going in so we had to go straight to appeal for Robyn.”

Pauline says taking her two children to two different schools is going to be a struggle after she split with her partner after they moved to Dubai.

She said: “It was a really hard decision to take the children away but we wanted to keep the family together.

“Me and my partner separated so I moved back with the children and he has subsequently lost his job.

The children have been through enough emotional upheaval and we have now been told that we can’t appeal against the final decision not to let Robyn in.”

Pauline says she hasn’t yet told little Robyn that she can’t go to school with her brother.

She said: “It’s completely ridiculous. She’s my daughter and I will do anything but I can’t traipse two children to two different places.

“She thinks she is going there because she goes to pre-school nearby and all her little friends are going there.”

Paul Bainbridge, admissions officer for Lancashire County Council said: “The closing date for primary school applications for September 2011 was 15 January 2011. Offer letters were sent out on 26 April.

“Moss Side Primary School received more applications than there were places available, so unfortunately places were not available for applications received after the closing date.”