St Neots boy denied place at school 600 metres from his home

A FAMILY has been left angered after their son was refused a place at a secondary school just 600 METERS from home because the council says the paperwork was late. The Ho family live just round the corner from Longsands College, yet their youngster son Ga

A FAMILY has been left angered after their son was refused a place at a secondary school just 600 METRES from home because the council says the paperwork was late.

The Ho family live just round the corner from Longsands College, yet their youngster son Gavin, 11, will have to travel 1.9 miles to St Neots Community College from September.

Gavin's mother Ying and father Chi said they could not understand why he was not given a place at his preferred school as the paperwork was on time - albeit at the last minute.

"We are really, really upset," said 40-year-old Mrs Ho. "We live within the catchment area and already have our eldest son Nicholas in Year 8 at the school.


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"All of my son's friends will be going to Longsands and it's not right that he shouldn't be allowed to. I'm just so disappointed and angry."

She said Gavin, who is a pupil at Priory Park Junior School, had been left upset by the decision.

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"It's not fair that he should be treated in this way. It's not his fault," said Mrs Ho. "We want Gavin to be with his friends and to be able to walk to school with his brother."

Mrs Ho, of Grebe Way, said her son's school application had been submitted at the last minute because she had been dealing with a "family crisis".

The family had been flying back and forth to Hong Kong to see Ying's father who died of pancreatic cancer in December. "It was a very difficult time," she said. "I admit I left it until the last minute but it was on time."

She is adamant that she met the November 6 deadline but Cambridgeshire County Council said it did not receive the application until November 13.

A CCC spokesman said: "The application was late. There has to be a cut-off point. The school is oversubscribed and the places have been allocated."

Mr and Mrs Ho, who have lived in St Neots for 10 years and run a Chinese restaurant in the town, said they will fight to get their son into Longsands.

Mrs Ho said CCC had failed to take into consideration her family situation, despite sending the council a letter.

The family has already been through the appeal process but still Gavin has not been offered a place.

They have also spoken to mayor Cllr Gordon Thorpe and are planning to write to Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly.

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