A MOTHER claims she was refused a free driving theory course - because of her skin colour.
Niki Trepak, 21, has written a letter of complaint after she was turned down for free tuition at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre, Thornton Lodge, because she was not from an ethnic minority.
The mother-of-one, of Blackmoorfoot Road, Crosland Moor, applied for the course after seeing a poster at her daughter's day nursery offering free lessons from a qualified driving instructor.
Miss Trepak said: "When I saw the advert I thought that's brilliant.
"I would have had help to do it which would have been great because, with my daughter only being one, it's difficult to sit down and learn when you've got a child demanding to be played with."
The advert claimed the course was available to anyone over 16 and offered to pay the cost of the theory test worth £20.50.
But when Miss Trepak called to book a place she was told she was not eligible to apply because she was white.
She said: "I was gutted because the advert said anyone could apply.
"It's not right and even my friends from ethnic minorities agree.
"It should be about all communities coming together.
"I'm furious and it is false advertising."
But the Learning and Skills Council, which granted the European funding for courses, today claimed the driving theory course should never have been offered and would be demanding the course be withdrawn.
Gary Rae, of LSC, said: "The Neighbourhood Learning Centre ought not to be providing a driving theory course using European money, nor should it have been selecting applicants based on their ethnicity.
"We will be speaking to the centre today to request they withdraw the leaflet and the course and are disappointed this has not been run past us first.
"We will be investigating."
The Neighbourhood Learning Centre declined to comment.