Parents in Newhaven are calling for an extra reception class at Denton Community School to cope with a recent increase in demand.
A petition set up by Sarah Butler claims more than half of 2016 applicants for Denton Community School were unable to get a placement.
“With the demand so high and with the children all living within the catchment area for this school, there is clearly a need for a second reception class, which the school has the capability of doing if the council would agree,” the petition states.
“Instead, the children living in the Denton and South Heighton community are being sent to a school around three miles away, with no public transport available, which will cause a lot of unnecessary difficulty and stress to all the parents having to get their children to and from school.
“The council must have been aware of the growth in the community and really should have prepared by making sure the community schools are prepared to be able to accept all the children within the catchment area.”
An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We plan well in advance to ensure we have sufficient places to cope with any anticipated increase in the number of school places needed. “We did speak to Denton School last year about the possibility of the school taking a ‘bulge’ class to allow it to take more pupils for September 2016. The school made it very clear it was against the idea, believing it could undo the work it has put into achieving a good Ofsted rating.
“While we do understand the disappointment of parents who have been unable to get a place at Denton, it’s important that where possible we take into account the views of schools.
“Given those concerns and the fact Newhaven Academy were keen to take extra pupils, a decision was made to ask Newhaven Academy to take the additional class.
“Due to careful planning, we were able to offer a place to every child in Newhaven who needed one.”
Visit www.change.org/p/east-sussex-county-council-a-second-reception-class-at-denton-community-school-for-2016 to sign the petition.
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