Padiham mum keeps her twins off school in bus passes protest

FUMING: Hermione Holt who says she is unable to send her twin girls to school because she cannot afford their bus passes.

FUMING: Hermione Holt who says she is unable to send her twin girls to school because she cannot afford their bus passes.

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A FURIOUS Padiham parent is refusing to send her children to school over a row involving bus passes.

Single mum Hermione Holt said she will not be sending her twin 11-year-old girls back to St Christopher’s CE High School because she can no longer afford to get them there.

Lancashire County Council is refusing to issue Kamara and Xariah (11) with passes because St Christopher’s is not the nearest school to their Burnley Road home.

However, Miss Holt said she chose to send her children to the Accrington school because she wants them educated in a faith school.

“At first when I contacted Pupil Access in Preston in June they said they couldn’t have passes because they had been christened Catholic,” she said. “I appealed, showing them evidence that we had converted to Church of England in 2008. They rejected the appeal though and said I should send them to Shuttleworth College because it is the closest one to our home. We appealed again but were told the same thing.

“They fit the criteria for bus passes because they are in receipt of school meals and St Christopher’s is the nearest school to us of that faith. That is actually the main reason I sent them there. They would have been happier going to St Wilfrid’s in Blackburn but I read the guidelines and made sure I chose the school that was the nearest to us. They had absolutely no problem getting into the school so I don’t know why there is a problem with this,”

Miss Holt said she had now been left with no other option than to keep them at home.

“It’s £30 a week and I just can’t afford that when I am on income support,” she said. “I’ve contacted Pupil Access again but they’ve told me the person that is dealing with it is not in again until next week so there is nothing they can do. I just feel like I’m being fobbed off.”

Mr Paul Bainbridge, county Pupil Access manager, said: “We don’t normally discuss the details of individual cases. However, we can say that new evidence recently came to light and this case will now be reassessed. We have notified the family.”