Parents of young children living in central Wanstead believe a “schools black hole” has developed, with their children not being able to get school places at any of the area’s four primaries.
Children living in Nightingale Lane, Grosvenor Road, The Avenue, and Leicester Road are among those who have not got places in Wanstead primaries, instead being told they must go to other schools in the borough. Several children have been told they will have to go toÂ Barkingside, including twins in one family – though they have been placed at two different schools.
Wansteadium reader Emily O’Grady writes:
“Like all parents we want the best education for our children, so when it came to choosing a school for our daughter we listed six local schools in the community where we have put down roots. In order to provide wrap-around care we applied for a place at the local breakfast/after-school club affiliated with the nursery my daughter has attended for the past three years.
Then the nightmare began. We were told that the council had allocated our daughter to Mossford Green Primary, which we had never heard of and never considered as it is more than three miles away in Barkingside.
The journey to reach this school involves a 10-minute walk to the station, five tube stops in the opposite direction to our places of work and a further 15-minute walk. Such a journey twice a day is exhausting for any child and seems ridiculous in 21st Century in London. In addition to having a long arduous journey every day, our daughter will be separated from her existing community and we will be unable to use a local breakfast/afterschool club as these do not serve the schools in Barkingside. I am not even clear how we can get her to the school and back – we both work – but this situation means that one of us will probably have to give up our job.
This is a life changing decision for our family and we are not alone. There are numerous other families living in central Wanstead who have not been offered any of their preferred schools, including one family with twins who have been offered two different schools in Barkingside. How is it possible that all these families can effectively fall into a â€˜black holeâ€™ where we are out of catchment for every single local school? We are liaising with local MPs and local councillors to explore the possibility of expanding a Wanstead primary school to address this yearâ€™s school crisis.”
Emily invites anyone who is in a similar situation to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.