VIDEO: Parents rage at school place shortage after Olympic building boom
PUBLISHED: 12:14 03 May 2013 | UPDATED: 15:27 03 May 2013
Parents have gone digital in their campaign ensure children get places at local primary schools with the launch of a video and hundreds of signatures to an online petition.
Furious families from around Chisenhale Primary School in Bow produced the video after the Olympic development boom left dozens of children without a place at their local schools.
Instead, kids from further afield were given priority after Tower Hamlets Council extended catchment areas to deal with the influx of new families.
The video includes interviews with parents, who were left “totally devastated” after their children missed out on places at their local schools.
One said: “In Tower Hamlets there’s been an unprecedented house building programme. But where’s the infrastructure? Where’s all the new schools?”
The online petition launched last week calling for local children to be given priority for places at nearby schools has already gained hundreds of signatures.
Another parent added: “It looks to me that the council are just moving children around to hide the fact that they haven’t made enough provision for school places in certain areas of the borough.
“This admissions policy is destroying communities”, he said.
But Tower Hamlets Council insisted 93 per cent of applicants were given a place at one of their top three choice schools – a rate above the London average.
A spokesperson added: “The council’s new policy on primary school admissions is designed to ensure that families in parts of borough not yet served by nearby schools are able to access a place, as well as ensure as many children as possible are admitted to a local school.”
For a link to the online petition, see the right hand side of the page.