Mum’s despair at prospect of two-hour school run

Hawks Farm School. Photo courtesy of Google Maps Street View. SUS-150821-111034001
Hawks Farm School. Photo courtesy of Google Maps Street View. SUS-150821-111034001

A child’s first day at school is often a proud and emotional occasion, but for one Hailsham mum, the prospect of her daughter starting school in September is turning into a frustrating affair.

Kim Iles is facing an exhausting trip every morning and afternoon during the school term to get her three children to school and nursery at three different establishments after her daughter’s application to attend the same school as her son was unsuccessful.

Ms Iles, of Roebuck Park in Hailsham, said: “My eight-year-old goes to Hawks Farm School and I applied for my four-year-old to go there too, but it was rejected. She got into the new school, which isn’t even built yet, so in the meantime she will be going to White House Academy, which is more than two miles away from our house.

“I have a three-year-old who goes to Bunny Run Childcare Centre too, and as I don’t drive, I will have to walk my three children to three different places every morning and every afternoon.

“To walk my daughter to White House, my son to Hawks Farm and then my three-year-old to Bunny Run will take almost two hours each time. Both my children start school at 9am but the schools are more than half an hour apart.

“It’s so frustrating. It means walking about 15 miles every day. My son had open heart surgery when he was one, and walking that far every day could make him ill.

“If he is ill and has to come home from school, it would make things so difficult having my daughter at a different school so far away.”

A spokesperson from East Sussex County Council said: “Priority has to be given to applications received by the county council by January 15.

“Unfortunately this application was received after the deadline and we were unable to offer a place at the family’s first choice school.

“As with any decision of this kind, the family have the right to appeal.

“When a school place is offered two miles or more from a pupil’s home, we offer help with transport. Options include public transport, a mileage allowance and, as a last resort, a taxi service. We assess each journey individually and will discuss the appropriate options with parents.”

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