Girl, three, victim of Sutton school place crisis

Chloe Newell missed out on all of her choices in Sutton

Chloe Newell missed out on all of her choices in Sutton

First published in Education News Kingston Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Assistant Editor

A girl has fallen victim to Sutton’s primary school space crisis, after not being offered a place.

Chloe Newell, three, who is due to start school in September, has missed out on all six of her choices of primary school in the borough.

It is feared her indictment is symbolic of the ever-increasing squeeze on school places in the borough, soon expected to begin to impact on secondary provision.

She lives with her parents in Downs Road, Belmont, just 629m from her preferred choice of Avenue Primary School, which, with a catchment area of 865m in 2011, meant she would then have secured a place.

But this year only pupils living within 582m of the school, and those with siblings already there, were offered one of 90 places.

Sutton, with one of the highest birth rates in London, has seen a dramatic increase in the number of families applying for primary school places in recent years.

It has meant rapid expansion of schools, but there are concerns the crisis may be reaching tipping point.

In October 2011, 13,927 pupils attended primary schools in Sutton, with the figure expected to rise to 15,906 by September 2014, and 16,996 by September 2016.

Plans are under way to expand five schools in preparation for a surge in applications next September.

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Chole's parents are urging the council to accept more pupils at Avenue Primary in September 2012, ahead of its planned expansion for entry in 2013.

Her dad Andrew, said: "We have spoken to many people in the Belmont area, including those in primary school and pre-school teaching, and they have all said that they had never heard of a child not being offered a place at any school at all."

"We understand that there are several other people in a similar position to ourselves this year."

Councillor Kirsty Jerome, the council’s executive member for education and schools, said: "This year has seen unprecedented demand for primary school places in all London boroughs.

"Sutton received 2524 applications, and 90 per cent received one of their top three choices.

"A number of children have yet to be placed, which isn’t unusual for this time of year, and they will all receive a place in the second round of offers, which will take place within the next couple of weeks."

Comments (9)

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8:29am Wed 16 May 12

emelem says...

why are kids starting school so early? i didn't start until 6.5 years old. i know it's off topic, i'm just curious.
why are kids starting school so early? i didn't start until 6.5 years old. i know it's off topic, i'm just curious. emelem
  • Score: 0

8:53am Wed 16 May 12

Sutton53 says...

I started school at 4 years old (in the Infants) back in the sixties in an Easter intake. I didn't think in the UK that children started as late as 6.5 years. 'emelem' did you go to school in the UK?
I started school at 4 years old (in the Infants) back in the sixties in an Easter intake. I didn't think in the UK that children started as late as 6.5 years. 'emelem' did you go to school in the UK? Sutton53
  • Score: 0

9:01am Wed 16 May 12

emelem says...

nope.
nope. emelem
  • Score: 0

11:02am Wed 16 May 12

Eeyore79 says...

I take it at 3 years old this is for a nursery place? The whole school admissions system needs to be sorted out. This has been going on for years! In 2008 my daughter was due to start reception and she was not placed at any school even though she had 2 siblings in our first choice school at the time and still would have when she was due to start in the September. I went through the appeals process and was denied. I was told that I could always look into home schooling until a place became available. What a joke! I was also told as she wasn't 5 there was no priority to get her a place and it wouldn't be a major issue if she didn't start school in the September! I finally got her a school place in January 2009 and that was only because a space came up for one of my other children in our second choice school so I moved him there and she jumped to the top of the waiting list on the sibling rule. Otherwise god knows when she would have been placed! I also had the same issue in 2010 with my eldest not being offered a high school place. I put 6 choices down and nothing was offered in the march she was finally placed in the June after some places we're declined and she moved up the waiting list. Next year my youngest will be 3 and will be due to start nursery in school I'm dreading the process! Good luck Chloe and I hope you get an offer of a place soon.
I take it at 3 years old this is for a nursery place? The whole school admissions system needs to be sorted out. This has been going on for years! In 2008 my daughter was due to start reception and she was not placed at any school even though she had 2 siblings in our first choice school at the time and still would have when she was due to start in the September. I went through the appeals process and was denied. I was told that I could always look into home schooling until a place became available. What a joke! I was also told as she wasn't 5 there was no priority to get her a place and it wouldn't be a major issue if she didn't start school in the September! I finally got her a school place in January 2009 and that was only because a space came up for one of my other children in our second choice school so I moved him there and she jumped to the top of the waiting list on the sibling rule. Otherwise god knows when she would have been placed! I also had the same issue in 2010 with my eldest not being offered a high school place. I put 6 choices down and nothing was offered in the march she was finally placed in the June after some places we're declined and she moved up the waiting list. Next year my youngest will be 3 and will be due to start nursery in school I'm dreading the process! Good luck Chloe and I hope you get an offer of a place soon. Eeyore79
  • Score: 0

3:57pm Wed 16 May 12

bdm2010 says...

my daughter is not 4 till july so she is starting this september when she is 4 years and 2 months but she can't wait to start school
my daughter is not 4 till july so she is starting this september when she is 4 years and 2 months but she can't wait to start school bdm2010
  • Score: 0

5:33pm Wed 16 May 12

theavengers says...

Thank the EU
Thank the EU theavengers
  • Score: 0

5:59pm Wed 16 May 12

mumto3 says...

I live on the shanklin estate in Belmont and my 4 yr old son was not offered any school place either in the London Borough of Sutton and there are about another 3 children that I know of in the same boat that also live on here!
I live on the shanklin estate in Belmont and my 4 yr old son was not offered any school place either in the London Borough of Sutton and there are about another 3 children that I know of in the same boat that also live on here! mumto3
  • Score: 0

8:01pm Wed 16 May 12

simmoz says...

Well I have 2 kids aged 3 and 1, I think its disgusting and it will only get worse! I can see myself - a hardworking taxpayer moving to Australia if the same thing happens to my kids.
Well I have 2 kids aged 3 and 1, I think its disgusting and it will only get worse! I can see myself - a hardworking taxpayer moving to Australia if the same thing happens to my kids. simmoz
  • Score: 0

7:18am Thu 17 May 12

emelem says...

aren't you worried about the aussies complaining about all the english coming over? ;)
aren't you worried about the aussies complaining about all the english coming over? ;) emelem
  • Score: 0

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