Dad’s anger as son misses school place by narrow margin

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WHILE 90 per cent of Wigan children will start at their parents’ first choice primary school after the summer holidays, that still means many will not.

In fact more than 270 four-year-olds have not been able to secure places at their number one preference, according to figures released by Wigan Council.

And some are missing out by the smallest of margins.

One dad, who asked not to be named, told the Wigan Observer that he hoped for his little boy to start at Westfield Community Primary on Montrose Avenue, Pemberton, in September. But despite the youngster’s attending the nursery there since he was two, he was refused a place because he lives 0.409 miles away from the school when the catchment limit is 0.310 miles. The Pemberton dad described the decision as “stupid.”

This has been echoed throughout Greater Manchester by parents of those who missed out on their preference due to the strict observance of selection criteria.

Across the region, more than 3,000 children, out of almost 29,000 applications, missed out on their top choice.

In the borough, 199 (5.32 per cent) of children at least got into the school that was second on their list, 68 (1.82 per cent) their third, and 78 families didn’t receive any of their preferences.

Last year 176 (4.80 per cent) had to accept their second choice, 42 (1.14 per cent) their third and 67 (1.83 per cent) received none of their preferences.