Calls for answers in Leeds school places row

Parents from the Roundhay area claim they are living in a school place blackhole.
Parents from the Roundhay area claim they are living in a school place blackhole.
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More than 70 Leeds parents who claim they are living in a primary school places black hole have demanded answers from council bosses, at a packed public meeting.

Campaigners say there are at least 86 families in Roundhay, Moortown and Alwoodley who were not allocated places at any of their preferred schools.

They have joined forces on a social media campaign to put pressure on Leeds City Council to find a solution.

They have warned that they plan to appeal unless alternative places are offered.

Parents voiced concerns at a public meeting at Oakwood Lane Medical Centre attended by politicians and council officials. They say they want to know why they were not given prior warning that so many people in their neighbourhoods were likely to miss out on their chosen schools.

Coun Judith Blake, Leeds City Council’s executive member for children’s services, said she understood parents frustrations and that the local authority was making every effort to find a solution.

She also highlighted the removal of local government powers to be able to open new schools as part of the problem.

Parents were told at the packed public meeting that discussions about taking on extra pupils were on going between the authority and local schools.

Earlier this month parents found out which school their four-year-old children had been allocated on what has become known as National Offer Day.

Of the 9,854 applications in Leeds 85 per cent were given their first choice by the city council.

The authority said that there were 550 parents not given any of their preferences but that of those 427 had not followed the advice to include their closest school.

The YEP revealed last week a group of north Leeds parents have joined forces after choosing their nearest schools and yet still being deprived any of their preferred places.