More than 100 primary school admission appeals rejected in Burnley

Joanne Elliott and her son Josh (4) is disgusted at Primary school refusal.
Joanne Elliott and her son Josh (4) is disgusted at Primary school refusal.

IN EXCESS of 100 primary school admission appeals have so far been rejected in Burnley, the Express can reveal.

This year, 161 appeals were placed with Lancashire County Council, after Burnley parents did not get offered the school of their choice for their children.

Andrea Blackwell with four-year-old twin daughters Hayley and Nicole who are having to travel to school in Read despite applying to three schools in Padiham.

Andrea Blackwell with four-year-old twin daughters Hayley and Nicole who are having to travel to school in Read despite applying to three schools in Padiham.

From that figure, 104 applications have already been rejected, meaning that approximately 65% of Burnley appeals have been unsuccessful. 52 cases are still yet to be heard, 23 have been withdrawn, and only five have been granted.

Appeals were made by people who didn’t get their first preference, people who didn’t get any of their three preferences, late applications, and people who are new to the area.

Only 15 appeals were made for secondary school appeals, and out of these, ten have been accepted.

Lynn Mappin, head of pupil places at Lancashire County Council, said: “Admissions appeals for places at Burnley primary schools are currently still being heard, as representations must be listened to and weighed carefully. We understand this is a stressful time for parents and panels do their best to ease the process.

“The role of appeal panel is make sure that the admissions criteria have been properly applied and that parents’ circumstances have been taken into account. However it is important to remember that there are strict laws on infant class sizes which affect how flexible the independent appeal panel can be.”

The Express has been covering a number of cases of parents who have been left devastated by the school admissions process.

This includes the story of Joanne Elliott and her four-year-old asthmatic son Josh, who will face a 40 minute walk to school after being offered an unwanted place at Stoneyholme Community Primary School, and Andrea Blackwell whose four-year-old twin daughters were not offered a place at any of their top three choices.

» If you have been affected by the primary school admissions process then contact Rebecca Cohen on 01282 478158 or e-mail rebecca.cohen@jpress.co.uk.