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Girl, 4, told to travel THREE miles to school - when she lives 900m from two others

Kirklees council says 97.6% got school preference choices but some will have to travel further

Zoey Akins and daughter Arriannah

A four-year-old girl faces a three mile journey to school – despite living 900m from two other schools.

Arriannah Hussein was given a place at Linthwaite Clough JI School – three miles from her Meltham home.

It wasn’t any of the three preferences selected by mum Zoey Akins.

Her first choice was Meltham Moor, the nearest school which she is in the catchment area for.

The second choice was Meltham CE School, where Zoey’s older son attends, and her third choice was Brockholes, which meant she could drop Arriannah off minutes away from her youngest son who attends Honley Daycare.

Ms Akins, a student, also asked why there are not enough school places in Meltham when there are two new housing developments underway on Helme Lane and Mill Moor Road.

Zoey Akins and daughter Arriannah

Ms Akins said it was “extremely upsetting” adding: “I am a single mother of three, attending a full-time university degree. As my youngest child will be continuing his nursery place at Honley Daycare, the school is in the total opposite direction.

“It will be a near impossible for me to drop my son off at his daycare, my daughter off at school in Linthwaite and be in my university lecture for 9am-9.30am in the morning.”

Kirklees told Ms Akins her daughter “did not qualify for a place.”

There are also huge housing developments in Linthwaite, which could put pressure on school places there and affect where her young son is allocated a place in the future.

Ms Akins had already put Arriannah’s name down for local breakfast and after school clubs and had the support of fellow parents and family to collect on days she was studying.

She has since discovered at least six other Meltham parents are in a similar situation.

A spokesman for Kirklees Council said around 7,000 children will be starting school for the first time, or transferring to junior or middle schools, and 97.6% have been allocated a place at one of their preference schools.

The spokesman said: “This year’s figures show that 6,401 families (91.6%) secured a place at their first-choice school, with 323 (4.6%) and 95 (1.4%) gaining places at their second and third choices respectively.

“When a school is over-subscribed certain published criteria are used to allocate the available places.

“The places at Miss Akins’ three preferred schools – all of which were over-subscribed – have been offered to families in line with the criteria or who live nearer to them.

“However Miss Akins was offered a place at the nearest school with available places and we are also helping her to look at different options. These include other schools which may be more convenient, while we will also advise on how to appeal for a place at the preferred schools.”

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