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‘Bulge year’ blamed for a dozen youngsters being unable to attend Hamble Primary School
Parents say they do not know how they are going to get their children to school after a dozen were refused places at their village primary.
Families of youngsters who were hoping to get their children into Hamble Primary School say they have been left devastated as they have been unable to secure a place despite living in the catchment area.
Education bosses in Hampshire say that due to a “bulge year” there have been a lot more children applying for places than there are those available.
It means that families now face more than a half-hour round trip to take their children to Bursledon where 12 children have been offered places after failing in their appeals.
However, many of the parents cannot drive and with one family also having a sibling already at Hamble, they fear they physically will not be able to get their children to school on time due to the lack of public transport.
Education chiefs are willing to provide a taxi service but parents have rejected this.
One mum told the Daily Echo she is now considering moving to Bursledon just to ensure their child is able to arrive at school on time.
Cheryl Mislebrook said: “I am just devastated. I don’t drive, there is no public transport and the solution is apparently to put my four-year-old in a taxi and wave him off to school.
“I am seriously looking into moving to Bursledon to make sure I can get my son to school.”
Fellow parent Fiona Best said she too did not anticipate any problems getting into Hamble, living just over half a mile away.
The group is calling on education bosses to expand Hamble Primary School to cater for the extra numbers which they say will continue to grow in light of the increasing development in the village.
Mrs Best said: “We have worked out that the money the extra children would bring in would pay for an extra teacher and we believe there is space to accommodate them for this year giving them enough time to move on an expansion plan for the coming years.
“Our children are being overlooked and something needs to be done now.”
Hampshire’s education boss, Cllr Peter Edgar, said while he sympathised with the parents the pupil numbers did not justify expansion.
“According to the forecasts which we have to work and plan to, there isn’t this bulge in numbers coming through in future years. This means if we expanded the school now it would destabilise other schools in years to come and there would be spare places in Hamble which could have knock on effects at other schools in the area.”
Hampshire offered 97 per cent of families one of their first three choices for schools this year and is currently undertaking a £150m expansion programme across a number of schools in the county.