A SINGLE mum whose daughter has been denied a school place alongside her sister is taking her plight to the Government watchdog.
Fleur Hay was looking forward to September when her four-year-old daughter Millie would join her big sister Madeleine, five, at the local primary school.
However, due to Millie’s application forms being submitted two weeks late to the local authority she has not been allocated a place at Moorlands Primary but instead offered a place at Cowlersley Primary.
Fleur, who lives in Lindley, said: “I appreciate that the admissions process is a complex one but due to a culmination of factors including my longstanding depression, my initial application for Millie was not received in time.
“I appealed against Kirklees Council’s decision because I believe it places unreasonable demands on my family’s life.
“It has been a very traumatic time for me. My husband left us when Millie was 18 months old and I needed to move from part-time work to full-time work to remain in the family home.
“My father sadly passed away six months later, further exacerbating my depression, and leaving me a very limited support network.
“This all led to me not being aware of the school admissions timetable in January.
“Madeleine is currently in reception at Moorlands Primary School which, during rush hour, is a 20-minute car journey from home. Madeleine is now very settled in her school and has made some very good friends.
“Madeleine really enjoys the one day a week when my working pattern enables me to take her directly to school and collect her. The school Millie has been allocated is approximately a 20-minute car journey from my home – but this is in the opposite direction.
“This situation renders it impossible for me to take both my children directly to school and collect them both one day a week.
“My girls have had a lot to endure and I have now been put in an impossible position because of this mistake.”
On the other days of the week Madeleine is taken to school by her childminder on three days and her father on one.
Fleur has now appealed Kirklees Council’s decision to the Ombudsman on the grounds that her appeal papers were not received in the required time.
She added: “I believe it is particularly disappointing that they have breached the regulation in terms of their timetable, with what appears to be no consequence or even concern, yet my application was late due to my severe depression.”
Fleur is now awaiting the Ombudsman’s ruling but is mindful that a decision may not be made by September.
“I know that they are unlikely to come back and just give her a place but there could be a re-appeal.”
A Kirklees spokeswoman said: “The parent applied late and did not get a place at Moorlands.
“Her appeal was refused by the independent appeals panel.”