Big bill for girl (11) who doesn’t want to school with boys

Wargate Way, Gosberton'Schoolgirl refused bus pass'Names: Mandy and daughter Tornee Ayriss
Wargate Way, Gosberton'Schoolgirl refused bus pass'Names: Mandy and daughter Tornee Ayriss
0
Have your say

FOCUSED schoolgirl Tornee Ayriss would get a free six-mile bus ride to and from Spalding High School had she passed her 11+.

Because she missed the pass mark by a few points – and chose her nearest single-sex school, Gleed Girls’ Technology College in Spalding – her parents must pay £487 a year for the same journey.

Wargate Way, Gosberton'Schoolgirl refused bus pass'Names: Mandy and daughter Tornee Ayriss

Wargate Way, Gosberton'Schoolgirl refused bus pass'Names: Mandy and daughter Tornee Ayriss

Tornee’s mum Mandy (43) said her daughter will ride on the bus with a friend who passed the 11+ – and the friend’s parents won’t be charged a penny.

Mrs Ayriss, of Wargate Way, Gosberton, said: “What makes me so angry is she’s going to sit right next to her friend who lives in the same village and they will be dropped off at the same stop.

“Basically if my daughter was slightly more intelligent then she would get a bus pass.”

Tornee, a pupil at Gosberton Primary School, wants to train to be a vet and thinks she has a better chance of achieving her ambition if she goes to an all-girl school rather than the mixed Thomas Cowley High School at Donington.

Thomas Cowley is the county council’s nearest “designated” school for Tornee.

Mrs Ayress said: “She doesn’t want boys to disturb her as she knows she needs to work hard to become a vet.

“It’s going to cost us nearly £2,500 for five years. It’s a lot of money. I just think it is so unfair.”

Mrs Ayress has told the county council it is unfair that Thomas Cowley should be the designated school when her daughter’s first choice of school is a single-sex school. But her appeal for free bus travel fell on deaf ears.

Her elder daughter, Indyah (13), chose to go to Thomas Cowley but Mrs Ayress said it would not suit Tornee to go there.

County council school services manager David Robinson said: “The decision in this case is in accordance with the council’s transport policy.

“If Tornee had obtained a place in the grammar school she would have been entitled to free travel to her designated nearest grammar school. Otherwise she is entitled to transport to the nearest suitable school with a place.

“Both of the above are subject to her living more than three miles from the school.

“Under the present policy, if a young person does not live more than three miles from the school – or the school attended is over three miles but is not the nearest or designated one – there is no transport entitlement.”