Bow parents secure victory in school places campaign

Councillor Joshua Peck,left, supports parents from Chisenhale Primary School as they hand in a petit

Councillor Joshua Peck,left, supports parents from Chisenhale Primary School as they hand in a petitition to Tower Hamlets Town Hall for more school places in the borough. - Credit: Archant

Tenacious parents have won their battle to ensure their children are given a place at a local primary school.

Chronic school place shortages meant children had faced missing out on a spot at their local primary – as pupils from other parts of the borough were given priority.

Parents living near Bow’s Chisenhale Primary School raged at Tower Hamlets Council as a change in admissions policies - coupled with the Olympic development boom – meant their children faced having to travel miles for an education.

After they delivered a petition carrying more than 1,000 signatures to the town hall calling for a change in policy, cabinet members agreed to amend the criteria for the 2014/14 intake – but not in time to help them.

The parents refused to take no for an answer, and appealed to help four of their own children secure places at the school in Chisenhale Road, yards away from their homes.

And last week they were told their campaign – which they started in April - had paid off, allowing their children to start there in September.

Parent Keeley Naylor, of Arbery Road, said: “It’s great news and a massive relief.

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“They just realised we weren’t really going to go away – we were ready to put up a bit of a fight.

“We finally got there in the end,” she added.

Tower Hamlets Council’s new admissions policy means schools which receive too many applications must give first choice to those children living nearest.

A spokesman confirmed the appeals had been successful, adding: “Responding to parents’ concerns, the council has agreed to adjust its tie-break criterion so that families already living close to a school are not unduly disadvantaged.”