A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD boy is travelling 20 miles a day to attend school after being refused a place at his local one.
Riley Palmer, who lives in Wheldrake, south-east of York, is driven daily to and from Woodthorpe Primary School by his mother Kara.
She said Riley started attending the school because they originally lived in Woodthorpe, but when they moved to Wheldrake almost two years ago,she applied for him to transfer to Wheldrake With Thorganby CoE Primary School.
She says she was told the Year 1 class was at its statutory maximum of 30, but he would be able to go there when he reached Year 3, which didn’t have the same cap on numbers.
Kara was offered a place at Elvington, but kept Riley at Woodthorpe to avoid him having to change schools a second time when a place became available at Wheldrake.
She claimed she had now been warned that as things stood, because the number of pupils at Wheldrake was so high, Riley still wouldn’t be able to have a place unless several children left, and he was now on a waiting list.
“I’m at the end of my tether,” she said. “Because he isn’t at school in the village, it makes it hard for him to mix with other village children out of school, and it’s too far for his schoolmates to come to play.
“I think the stress of driving to Woodthorpe each day, being stuck in traffic, may have contributed towards a miscarriage I suffered recently.”
Head teacher Alison Shaw said she was disappointed Riley and a number of other village children were unable to attend the school as it was full. “I really wish all of them were able to come,” she said.
She said the school administers its own admissions policy and uses a series of criteria to decide applications, including the distance of a child’s home from the school. She said parents could appeal to an independent panel but and an appeal on Riley’s behalf was turned down.
A City of York Council spokeswoman said it was meeting the costs of Riley's travel to Woodthorpe.