Mum's anger as her daughter (four) is refused a place at same Burnley school as her brother

Alex Hoban  with her three children who are Charlie (12) (left) Esmai (four) and seven-year-old Rylee.
Alex Hoban with her three children who are Charlie (12) (left) Esmai (four) and seven-year-old Rylee.

A mum-of-three is furious that her daughter, who is due to start school in September, has been refused a place at the same one as her brother.

Alex Hoban was left devastated when she was only offered her third choice of school for her little girl, Esmai, in a year when 98% of pupils were allocated a place at one of the schools they preferred.

Single parent Alex put St Mary Magdalene's RC Primary as her first choice as her son Rylee, who is seven, goes there.

Alex' oldest son, Charlie (12) was also a student there until he went to the town's Blessed Trinity RC High in September last year.

Alex put Christ the King RC Primary as her second choice and Holy Trinity Primary as her third which she was offered.

Alex found out the news the day before Esmai's fourth birthday on Wednesday last week.

"I could not believe it when Esmai did not get her first choice when her brother attends that school," said Alex.

"It is only natural I would want her to attend the same school as her brother so they can grow up together there.

"This decision has left me fuming. Rylee is settled at St Mary Magdalene's and I don't want to move him as it would be so disruptive for him and could put him back.

"Staff at St Mary Magdalene's have been excellent with him and myself in so many ways."

Alex said it would be impossible for her to drop Rylee off at school in the morning in Wellfield Drive and then get Esmai to Holy Trinity School in Raglan Road on time.

Having children at two different schools would also impact on her job.

Alex added: "If they went to different schools it would mean having to pay extra childcare costs for one of them or reduce my working hours, something I cannot afford to do."

Alex is appealing against the decision but she will have to wait until July for the hearing.

Until then she is considering her options, which include keeping Esmai at nursery for another year although she will have to foot the bill herself.

Edwina Grant OBE, Lancashire County Council's executive director for education and children's services, said: "I can't comment on individual cases but school places are allocated fairly and objectively and every application is considered using the criteria which has been agreed for that school.

"Faith schools usually have a robust admissions policy based upon religious belief.

"Parents can also appeal against an admission decision if they are not happy with the place their child has been allocated. Places may therefore still be allocated at preferred schools as these appeals are heard and adjustments are made.

"Our local admissions teams are also available to give information and advice.

"This year 98% of pupils were allocated a place at one of the schools they preferred, with the majority getting a place at the school they wanted the most."