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Chafford mums take fight to Downing Street
4:51pm Tuesday 10th July 2012 in News
PARENTS battling to get their children a school place in Chafford Hundred have taken the fight to Downing Street.
Mums and dads in Chafford joined forces after 23 children from Chafford failed to get a place at one of its three primary schools.
They have collected a petition with more than 2,000 signatures demanding more school places, and staged two protests outside Thurrock Council’s offices.
Thursday saw some of the children affected knocking on the famous black door of number ten to present the petition.
While in London, the group met with Thurrock Tory MP Jackie Doyle-Price, and the New Schools Network about the possibility of setting up a new free school in Chafford.
They also met with the Harris Foundation, which sponsors the Harris Academy in Chafford, and David Evernett MP, the parliamentary private secretary to Michael Gove, secretary of state for education.
Lea Agambar, of Hodges Close, Chafford, is a founding member of the protest group.
She is confident their hard work will secure a free school in the future, but it will not be in time for her son Hayden in September.
Lea said: “It was a really good day. The Harris Foundation are excited about the prospect of having a free school in Chafford, so we came away feeling positive for the future, but it hasn’t resolved our problems for September.
“We had a meeting with Thurrock Council chief executive Graham Farrant at the end of June to air our concerns, but we haven’t heard anything back so far.”
Borough MP Jackie Doyle-Price said Thurrock Council has no excuse for not finding a solution.
She said: “I am pleased to do all I can to support the parents in getting the education they want for their children.
“I will do all I can to make sure this problem is solved for future years, but sorting out the immediate school problems is not in my gift, it rests with the local authority.
“The Government gave the council an additional £1.5million pounds to deliver more school places this year so there is no excuse for not finding a solution.”