Schools appeal rejected

AN independent adjudicator has refused to change the admission policy for schools in Cambourne, despite pleas from parents. Parents are concerned that when a third primary school is built, the new catchment area could force some children to attend a diff

AN independent adjudicator has refused to change the admission policy for schools in Cambourne, despite pleas from parents.

Parents are concerned that when a third primary school is built, the new catchment area could force some children to attend a different school from their brother or sister.

Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC), on behalf of The Vine Inter-Church Primary School and Monkfield Park Primary School, asked the schools adjudicator to alter the admission policy and continue with location as the prime factor for admissions.

However, adjudicator John Simpson refused the request, saying that the "variation is out of his jurisdiction".

He added: "While the pressure on places and the attendant difficulty of securing places for siblings is a serious matter for many families with more than one child, it is not unexpected.

"Furthermore, the admission process for 2008 has already started. The code states that referrals for variations must not be made to the adjudicator once parents have been asked to make their decisions unless a major change in circumstances makes this unavoidable."

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John Vickery, clerk to Cambourne Parish Council, said: "This has upset the county council, residents and the schools. It goes against what everyone in Cambourne wanted."

A spokesman for CCC said it was "disappointed with the adjudicators ruling but respected his decision."

CCC has yet to obtain planning permission for the third school.

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