Parents deliver school places petition to Tower Hamlets town hall

Councillor Joshua Peck,centre, supports parents from Chisenhale Primary School as they hand in a pet

Councillor Joshua Peck,centre, 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

Campaigners delivered a petition with more than 1,000 signatures to the town hall on Monday to highlight a shortage of primary school places in the borough.

Families showed up with banners and balloons at the reception desk of Tower Hamlets Council demanding to see Mayor Lutfur Rahman to deliver their petition in person, but were told he was unavailable.

Parents from around Chisenhale Primary School in Bow were left furious after children from further afield were given places at the school, while their kids missed out. They blamed a change to council policy and new housing near the Olympic Park for the problem.

Local parent Keeley Naylor, of Arbery Road, Bow, has helped coordinate the push.

She said: “There’s growing concern from not just us, but parents of children at lots of different stages in their education.”

They are now hoping to secure a meeting with Mayor Rahman to lobby for a review of schools admissions policy to be brought forward.

“The same thing is going to happen next year if the policy is not amended”, Ms Naylor said.

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Bow West Councillor Joshua Peck called on town hall chiefs to allow the appeals of parents affected and give children a place at their local school.

“Clearly these parents have been badly treated and impacted by an unforeseen consequence of a new policy, and the council has to make that right for them”, he said.

A council spokesperson confirmed a review of the policy would take place, but did not say when.

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

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