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Family in school places split
Updated 4:03pm Wednesday 7th May 2014 in News
A FOUR-year-old boy has missed out on his first choice primary school...despite his four siblings going there.
Harrison Simmonds, was turned down for a place at West Thurrock Academy after recent boundary changes meant the family home now fell out of the school catchment area.
Instead he has been offered a place at Harris Free School, meaning the youngster faces the prospect of being half-an-hour late for school each day while mum Vanessa drops off his brothers and sisters.
It also means the mum-of-five, who runs a small business from home, will have to spend an extra two hours a day on the school run.
Mrs Simmonds, 37, of Moore Avenue, Grays, said: “I can't be in two places at once, so, in the morning I will have to take the older four in first, which means Harrison will most likely be late each day.
“That is not fair as it stays on his permanent record and could affect his future prospects.
“Because he is only four, in the afternoon, I will have to pick him up first, meaning the other four will have to wait at the gates when school finishes.
“It means that while it used to take me 15 minutes to do the school run, it will now take two hours plus!”
Mrs Simmonds and husband Dave, 42, have appealed against the ruling, but will have to wait until July before discovering their son's fate.
The family currently have a boy in Year Five, twins in Year Four and a daughter in Year Two at West Thurrock Academy. Harrison is currently in the nursery school.
Mrs Simmonds added: "We haven't moved and the school hasn't moved so how can we now be out of the catchment area? It does not make any sense at all.
"Poor Harrison is devastated he won't get to go to school with his brother and sister or any of his friends.”
A spokesman for Thurrock Council said: “There is an appeal in process, we wouldn’t want to comment further.”
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