‘My daughter isn’t going to school in taxi’

Helen Redman with her daughter, Chloe.
Helen Redman with her daughter, Chloe.

A mum is battling to find places at a school in Spalding for her two children in spite of a new one being built to meet growing demand.

Helen Redman, who moved to Shearers Drive from Gosberton in August, said she has been encouraged to apply for a place for her three-year-old daughter, Isabella, at the primary academy in Wygate Park which opens in September next year.

She said: “But there isn’t a place for my five-year-old Chloe because the new school is only opening its reception class in the first year.

“Chloe is still going to school in Quadring although I’ve been offered a place at St Bartholomew’s Church of England Primary in West Pinchbeck, but it’s hardly any closer - maybe five minutes.

“The problems will really start when Isabella starts school – how do I do the school run then?

“It’s been suggested that I put Chloe in a taxi, but she’s not the kind of little girl who would be happy doing that and I certainly wouldn’t.

“It’s such a waste of resources to have most of a school standing empty when parents are stuggling to get a place at their local school.

“The Government is promoting walking or biking to school, but it’s going to be impossible for me.”

Debbie Barnes, director of children’s services at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The new Spalding academy is proposed to be reception only so that we don’t have a potentially negative destabilising impact on the role of other schools and because the pressure on places is significantly in the reception year and not for all year groups.

“The school will gradually be phased in for reception intake year on year to meet growing demand due to increased birth rates and new housing, as has been the case for all new primary academies in Lincolnshire. The pressure on mid-year admissions continues to be monitored.”