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Devastated mum claims son, 4, ‘forgotten’ after missing out on school place

A devastated mum says her four-year-old son has been “forgotten” after he missed out on an invitation to apply for primary school.

As overjoyed parents took to social media when their children’s school places were confirmed last Friday, mum Jade Drakeley started to panic.

She had not been told to apply on behalf of her son, Jack Johnson.

She phoned the local council and was informed their mailing lists are provided by other departments and “can be incomplete or out of date”.

The Hull Daily Mail reports that East Riding Council told her the system could not “capture every child” who is due to start school.

Jade hasn’t told her son the bad news yet, and said she will be worrying until she knows Jack has a place at school

Jade, from Goole in the East Riding of Yorkshire, said she has been left “really upset” – and hasn’t yet brought herself to tell her son the bad news.

She said: “I called [the council] on Friday and was put through to pest control and then waste management. His dad went to the council offices and they said he was missed off their database.

“It seems he’s just been forgotten.”

She has been told that she will need to wait until May for a decision.

Jade said: “My two other children excelled at Boothferry Primary, and he thinks he’s going there. When we’ve picked up his big sister, we talk about how he will be going there when he starts and he’s really excited.”

Jade said her first choice would have been a school one minute from their home, Boothferry Primary, but fears little Jack could have to trek 20 or 40 minutes to another school if he isn’t accepted.

She said: “I didn’t get notified about when I was meant to apply, and my childminder didn’t get any information either.

“When my two other children were little I got an email telling me to apply, and so I thought I would be notified by the council again this time.”

She added: “I’ve since rung the head at the school I want him to go to, and he said they have 50 places and 48 confirmed, so it depends if anyone else has applied since I formally applied this weekend.”

Jade said she will be worrying until she knows Jack has a place.

She added: “If he has to go to one of the other two schools, neither of them will be able to get him there, as my mum works nights and wouldn’t get time, and my childminder already picks up at Boothferry Primary and can’t be in two places at once.”

She said: “I haven’t told Jack the bad news yet, I’m going to wait until I have the final decision.”

In an email to Jade from a member of staff at the council, she was told: “Although letters are sent to a very large number of parents whose children are due to start school the following year about the need to apply for a school place, the information which forms the basis of our mailing lists is provided to us by other departments, both internal and external, and as a result can be incomplete or out of date and without any means to keep it updated.

“This means that the process will never capture every child who would be starting school and therefore it is not possible for the council to compel every East Riding resident parent/carer to apply at the appropriate time.”

A spokesman for East Riding Council said: “While it is the responsibility of the parent/carer to ensure they make their application for a school place, the council does endeavour to contact families where we believe children of the relevant age group are resident.

“Unfortunately, there are families who are either not registered with an early years provider or are no longer resident at the same address on our records and therefore, despite our best efforts are not know to us or are not able to be contacted.

“Information is also provided for parents through the council’s website as well as to schools and early years providers throughout the application period as well being publicised across the council’s many social media platforms.”


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