More concerns over school proposals

Claire Minto's two children Thomas (5) and Lily (2) might not be able to go to same school if catchment area changes,
Claire Minto's two children Thomas (5) and Lily (2) might not be able to go to same school if catchment area changes,

PROPOSED changes to a school catchment area has left Horsham parents concerned over the future education of their children.

Last week Caron Porritt, 38, of Comptons Lane said she was ‘incensed’ with a county council proposal which could mean her daughter may not be able to go to her first choice.

Now Claire Minto, 36, of Pollards Drive and Claire Mittendorfer, 40, of Crawford Gardens are both worried that their children would not be able to attend the same school as their older siblings.

Mrs Minto and her husband, Colin, decided to send their son Thomas, aged five, to Heron Way Primary School in Heron Way due to its low catchment in-take, very good Ofsted report and the ‘wonderful feeling about it’.

They also kept in mind that in three years their daughter, Lily, aged two, would be starting her education so they looked at the possibility of her also getting into the same school.

“We learnt that Heron Way had never turned away a sibling, in or out of catchment so we felt comfortable that this was the best choice,” she said.

However, 18 months later she is ‘fearful’ that her daughter may not be accepted because of the proposed changes to the catchment area.

Mrs Mittendorfer, meanwhile, already has two children at Heron Way but is concerned her two year old will not be able to get in.

The boundary change will run along the centre of Depot Road to Orchard Road and will include all of Orchard and Bennetts Road, to Brighton Road in the south.

This change means that a further 20 families will have first priority for places at the school.

These proposals form part of West Sussex County Council’s annual consultation on admission arrangements.

The authority is consulting parents on a number of areas including a proposed change to the boundary line between the catchment areas of Kingslea and Heron Way primary schools in Horsham.

The consultation period is due to end on March 1 and any changes would have an impact on September 2013 admissions.

Parents are now left with the agonising dilemma of what to do.

Both Mrs Minto and Mrs Mittendorfer are considering drastic action to keep their children at the same school.

Mrs Mittendorfer said: “I am now facing the decision of whether to move house at great expense, consider the unthinkable and move my happy and settled two ‘Heron Wayers’ or ride the storm knowing potentially only a few months before term starts that I may have to get to two different primary schools with young children at exactly the same time each morning and afternoon.”

Mrs Minto said that the alternative for her was to move her son out of the school he has become ‘settled in’. She said: “It is hardly very fair on him, he has done nothing wrong so why should he be punished?”

Mrs Minto is asking for ‘out of catchment’ families to have the same priorities as ‘in catchment’ families if a sibling is already at the school.

A meeting explaining the catchment review is being held at Kingslea Primary School, Kings Road on Tuesday January 31 at 7pm.

The full consultation can be seen at www.westsussex.gov.uk/admissions and there is an response form to submit views.

For a printed copy contact 0845 075 1007.