Wigan mother decides to home-educate son after he failed to land a place at any of their first three choices of school

A furious Wigan mum has blasted the high school admissions system and says she will have her son taught at home rather than him be sent to his allocated place.

Monday, 29th July 2019, 7:35 am
Updated Monday, 29th July 2019, 8:35 am
Mum Lindsay Howarth with 11-year-old son Corey

Lindsay Haworth, from Higher Ince, was left deeply unhappy after 12-year-old son Corey was only offered a spot at Dean Trust Rose Bridge, his family’s fourth choice.

She had been hoping Corey would get his preferred option of Hindley High School as his older sister Jessica has just finished her secondary education there and another older sibling went there too.

However, Corey did not get into the Mornington Road school and was also not offered a place at St John Fisher RC High School in Beech Hill or St Edmund Arrowsmith RC High School in Ashton.

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Mum Lindsay Howarth with 11-year-old son Corey

An appeal process failed and Lindsay, of Falkirk Drive, has now hit out at what she feels is the lack of help parents who do not get their choice of school places receive.

Lindsay, 42, said: “The education system is absolutely shocking, I’m fuming about it.

“There is no help. Nobody listens to you. There is nothing you can do. He’s not going to Dean Trust Rose Bridge so now I’ve got to apply to home school him and hope I don’t get fined.

“I went through the appeal process and that was awful, sitting in front of a panel making you feel tiny. A week after that I found out I didn’t win it.

“It has been awful for Corey, he was really upset for the last week of primary school. All his friends were really happy they are going to high school and he’s the only one in his group who’s not got into Hindley.”

Lindsay and her husband Guy, 38, are now looking at the major step of home-schooling Corey, with Guy having to take on the role of teacher while Lindsay continues with her job as a support worker.

Lindsay described the situation as unfair, especially as Corey had gone to Hindley Junior and Infant School.

The family is the second in Wigan to step forward and say they want to home school children rather than accept a place at the Holt Street school in Ince, after Steph Pugh said she would rather do that for her daughter Maisie who had also been denied her preferred places.

Wigan Council has sympathised with those parents who do not end up sending their children to the school they would have preferred.

However, the local authority also made clear that it is up to each establishment to run its own criteria for selecting pupils and it does not have any influence on the appeals process either.

Cath Pealing, assistant director for education at Wigan Council, said: “As a local authority it’s our responsibility to co-ordinate admissions on behalf of schools and ensure that all children are offered a secondary school place.

“However, individual schools determine their own admissions criteria.

“We do understand how upsetting and frustrating this can be for our families when they are not allocated a place at their preferred schools and we will offer support and advice to any parent who needs it.

“Parents do have the right to appeal but the panels are independent and the local authority cannot overturn these decisions.”