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Boy, four, told not to come back after first day at school; The school and council are trying to sort out the confusion.

Byline: Neil Shaw

A four-year-old boy was sent home after his first day at school and told not to come back - because there's no room for him.

Teddy Nettleton was sent to his local school on the first day of term last week - but looks unlikely to be let back into the school, which is oversubscribed, and will now have to wait until the local authority can find him a place.

Teddy went to William Alvey School in Lincolnshire or the first day of school, but the headteacher says there is no record of Teddy having been allocated a place, reportsLincolnshireLive.

Dad Wesley said: "We didn't get his first place school, which was William Alvey. "However, we appealed the decision and we got another letter through which was a receipt of the appeal and then another one which said he had received a school place.

"It didn't have a school name on it, so we rang up the county council to find out which school it is. We asked 'is it William Alvey he's been given a place at?' and the man at the council said it is. This was in early August.

"So we've been told he's got his place at William Alvey and as we didn't hear anything more we got his uniform."

Teddy's parents were called by the school on the first day. Wesley said: "The school said the council shouldn't have told us he'd got a place because he doesn't have one.

"They've kept him there all day, but had no paperwork on him. The only reason they were able to ring us after the day had ended was because they've got our details is because his older brother, Mylo, goes there.

"He's been told he can't go back until September 19 and even then there's no certainty he'll have a place."

"It makes me angry and upset for him," he said. "All the other kids are going to be back there. If he goes back later he's the new kid again.

"When we picked him up he was all excited. He burst out crying when we told him he couldn't go back.

"It's a big thing for a kid to start school. He'd been looking forward to it, he's nearly five years old so he's ready for school. It's shocking."

John O-Connor, Head of Admissions at Lincolnshire County Council, said the family did have a place for Teddy at his second choice school.

"Although we recognise that the family are disappointed that their son did not get his first choice school, and that they are waiting on a decision for their appeal for a place, we've always been very clear with the family that he has a place at his second choice school," he said.

"We made every effort to contact the family to find out their intentions of taking up this place, but did not hear back. We have, and will continue to, keep the place available at the second choice school.

"Like other children who weren't successful in getting into their first choice school, we've added their son to the waiting list for William Alvey.

"We'd like to reassure parents that we have a robust application process in place, where parents are clearly told the options for their children."

He added that the council was not sure if the parents had been told over the phone that Teddy had been given a place William Alvey.

"At present, we can't confirm that this call took place or if our customer service centre gave out this information," he said.

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"To be clear though, all offers of a school place would be in writing from the school admissions team, and at any time parents can log on to the website to see information relating to their children."

Stephen Tapley, headteacher at William Alvey School, said he understands the family's frustration.

"I really do feel for any children who aren't offered a place at their first choice school," he said.

"We are not in a position to discuss an individual case but what I can say is that we are a very popular school and are generally oversubscribed.

"I can confirm that after a late primary application, when all places had been allocated, a pupil unfortunately attended the school under a misapprehension that they had been offered a place."

He added that the school makes every effort to remind parents of reception aged children to apply before the January deadline to avoid late applications.

"An appeal against the decision to offer a child place can be made by any parent and this appeal would be decided by an independent panel," he said.

"We are not permitted to take children over our published admissions number, however we know that Lincolnshire County Council Admissions have a duty to ensure that every child is offered a school place and we understand that an alternative school placement has been offered.

"Sleaford is a rapidly expanding town and we are becoming increasingly aware of the current strain on school resources."

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Credit: Wesley Nettleton
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Publication:Get Surrey (Surrey, England)
Date:Sep 9, 2019
Words:848
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