Parents refuse to send their children to the school “dump” eight kilometers away | United Kingdom | New

Parents refuse to send their children to a ‘dump’ school five miles away (Picture: MEN)

A gang of angry parents are refusing to send their children to secondary school after they were offered places in schools miles from their homes.

The parents refuse to accept places at the school and appeal to the town hall to find them places closer to home.

All the families live in the Wythenshawe area near M22/M23 in Greater Manchester, and have applied to various schools for their Year 7 children, including Sale High, Altrincham College and Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College.

In previous years, they say families have never had a problem finding places at these schools near them.

Now dozens of them have been offered places at Manchester Academy High in Moss Side – up to five miles away, reports Manchester Evening News.

Families say not only is it unreasonable to expect their children to travel so far, but they have ‘serious safeguarding concerns’ about the school, where a 14-year-old student has was stabbed in the neck during an examination last December.

Part of the problem is the government-mandated closure of Newall Green High School, Wythenshawe, which has left fewer places in area schools.

Angela Davies, from Baguley, is among those annoyed by what happened and wishes her daughter Maisie could go to school closer to home.

She said: “We have attended all of the Trafford Schools Open Nights and have chosen our top three – Altrincham College, Sale High and Wellington School.

“I thought if we didn’t get them we’d probably get a local school closer to home, but then we were offered one five miles away in Moss Side.”

Angela has joined some online homeschooling groups and is struggling to juggle her own work to find support for Maisie and consider paying a tutor for maths and English.

Angela Davis

Angela Davies didn’t think it would be a problem for her daughter to find a school nearby (Picture: MEN)

She is one of around 60 parents who have joined a Facebook group called Campaign for a Greater Manchester Secondary Schools Allowance Review, set up by dad Wayne Cribbin, whose daughter Lilly attended the same school as Maisie.

Wayne also applied for Blessed Thomas, Sale High and Didsbury High, but Lilly was offered Manchester Academy.

Having lost their appeal, she, like Maisie, is now at home, instead of starting Year 7.

“We failed in our applications and went through the appeal process and it became very clear that if your child is from a stable home, they will go to the back of the queue,” Wayne said.

“We were assigned a school which would involve our daughter leaving an hour and a half early to ensure she gets to school on time, yet we have two high schools within a 10 minute walk of home. we.

“There appears to be a big gap in school allocations and the closure of Newall Green High School last year has not been taken into consideration and children in M22/M23 are being allocated a school which would not not in the remote admissions criteria should it be otherwise, but it seems like a fitting dumping ground for a problem of their making.

“The assigned school has real protection issues and that is one of the many reasons why myself and other parents refuse to send our children.”

A Manchester Academy spokesman said the school had “effective” protection.

They said: “The parents’ disagreement is with the council, not the academy, and we understand their frustration at not being offered places at local schools in their area.

“Backing up is effective, however, at Manchester Academy.

“We are a happy and thriving school and we are very open to welcoming families to see for themselves why we are proud of our academy and our community.

“Equally, we always speak directly to parents who express concerns, to reassure them that even though we were not the school they chose, their child will be safe and happy here and will be made very welcome. “

wayne cribbin

Wayne Cribbin called the school a ‘garbage dump’ (Picture: MEN)

Manchester City Council acknowledges the loss of Newall Green High has increased demand for school places and says this is why it has opposed the government-mandated closure in 2020.

The decision was made due to dwindling pupil numbers and a poor Ofsted record but, even then, the decision was lambasted by local councillors, parents and pupils.

The new free school coming to the area – Dixons Newall Green Academy – will now open a year earlier in September 2023, to meet demand.

For parents like Angela and Wayne, whose children are now “down the waiting list” for other schools, they feel their children have been very disappointed.

“They had all the data about the high birth rates and the projected increase in required places in secondary schools,” Angela said.

“They should have had plans in place to increase the number of places in our areas to meet those projections.

“I understand that it’s not always possible to get your preferred choices, but their lack of planning has led to many parents, including myself, being presented with a very unreasonable alternative offer.”

To help with this year’s situation, the council has created an additional 100 places at the three local grammar schools – all of which have been filled – but says that for the places offered at Manchester Academy it cannot do anything more.

Parents

Angry parents created a Facebook group to campaign (Picture: MEN)

Councilor Garry Bridges, Executive Member for Early Years, Children and Young People of Manchester City Council, said: ‘We understand the disappointment felt by families and children who have been offered a place at school who is not the one they have chosen or is closest to their home.

“Unfortunately Manchester schools are in high demand and there is a particular shortage of Year 7 high school places in Wythenshawe.

“This is due to the Government’s decision to close Newall Green High School – a decision which we fought very strongly at the time as we knew it would lead to a shortage of places for local families. We are now seeing the consequences of this bad decision.

“We have continued to lobby the DFE about the shortage of places in the area since the school closed, and as a result they have agreed that their newly approved free school for the area, Dixons Newall Green Academy , will open a year earlier, next September 2023.

“We welcome this as it will significantly improve the situation in the region, but unfortunately not in time for these students.”

He added: “When parents living in Manchester apply for a school place in Trafford or any other local authority area, we have no control over that.

“If a parent is unsuccessful in securing a place at a school outside the area and has not named a Manchester school on their application form – which we always advise parents to do – then this may mean, as in the case of many of these families, that they lose a place in their local school because places will have already been allocated to other families.

“Unfortunately, this means that while we understand parents’ frustrations, there is not much more we can do.

“We fully accept that Manchester Academy is further away than some families would like, but we have also offered free passes to help them get there.

“We do not, however, accept any suggestion that this is an unsafe school.

“It has a strong culture of care and community, coupled with strong leadership and an ambitious educational offering that is highly valued by students and their families.

“He also has a good track record of supporting students in the local community and across the city, and together with the council will do everything possible to make the transition of students to their new high school as easy as possible and to support families. in this domain.

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