By Carl Jackson 05/07 Updated: 06/07 20:02
A BROMSGROVE mum has launched a campaign for her four-year-old daughter to be allowed to attend the same school as her big sister after being denied a place by Worcestershire County Council.
The Standard reported in May how Holly, four, had been told she could not join older sister Sophie, six, at Lickey End First School in September because she lives one house outside the catchment. The ruling was particularly tough on Holly because she lives a two minute walk away on the Birmingham Road - a lot closer than some of her 16 friends from Abacus Nursery granted a place.
Now an appeal date with the council is set for July 25 and mum Helen Prosser, who also works herself at Lickey End First, is rallying support from all corners and urging people to sign an online petition.
WCC reiterated the 30 class spaces had been filled by children who all lived within the catchement, whereas only 24 from within the area applied in 2009 when her sister Sophie was accepted.
However this response left Helen unimpressed.
She said: "I don't want facts and figures, I just want them to come out of their office and try and think how I feel in my position and realise how stupid this is.
"I appreciate there has to be a catchment, but the area for Lickey End doesn't make sense.
"I'm not the last house on the road and I live two minutes away.
"Birmingham City Council accounts for siblings and that's next door."
Holly was offered a place at Blackwell First School instead, but this would add two miles to Helen's morning school run.
Lickey End First School headteacher, Ann Hill, sympathised with Helen, especially considering her heavy involvment with the school.
Mrs Hill said: "This is a very emotive subject.
"We are dissapointed for Helen as we are for all parents who couldn't get their children in.
"Lickey End has a very linear catchment area and there were three children from within it that applied and also didn't get.
"There's absolutely nothing we can do, it's very much a county issue.
"Both Lickey End and Blackwell are outstanding schools that are over subscribed."
Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid is also on the case and has contacted WCC himself.
"I fully understand Mr Prosser's disappointment with the decison.
"I hope that a satisfactory conclusion can be reached for everyone concerned."
The e-petition to back Holly's application to Lickey End First School is available at: www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/gethollyintoschool
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