Olympic developments mean Tower Hamlets kids miss out on places at local primary schools

Parents and children at Chisenhale Primary School are furious at the council admission policies and

Parents and children at Chisenhale Primary School are furious at the council admission policies and the lack of new places at their local school. - Credit: Archant

Chronic shortages in school places after the Olympic development boom have left dozens of children without a place at their local primary school - as kids from further afield were given priority.

Families were left “shocked and confused” after children from neighbouring streets missed out on places at their local schools, after catchment areas were widened to cater for extra demand.

Parents from near Chisenhale Primary School in Bow claim broken promises to build schools to deal with influx of families to new flats near the Olympic Park means their children must instead travel miles for an education.

Charlotte Joy, of Driffield Road, Bow, slammed Tower Hamlets Council’s admissions policies after her child missed out on a place at the school, yards from her home.

“Breaking the link between the school and the immediate community will have long term negative consequences both for the school itself but also for the social cohesion of the local community”, she said.

“It is a pretty damning indictment of the government and the local council that the lasting legacy of the Olympics for them will be one of disenfranchisement.”

Almost 200 people had signed an online petition to give local children priority for school places within two days of its launch this week, as school governors echoed parents’ criticisms.

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But Tower Hamlets Council insisted it had consulted on plans to expand school catchment areas to cater for growing demand.

A spokesperson added: “The council continues to work to address the need for more primary school places, particularly in the areas of Tower Hamlets in most need.

“Strategies continue to ensure that as many children as possible are able to access a local school place”.

For a link to the petition, see the right hand side of the page.