Four-year-old girl denied place at school her three siblings attend
Casey-Beth Kitson was excited at the thought of joining her brother, Jayden, five, and sisters, Jessica, eight and Rebecka, nine at Throston Primary School in Hartlepool.
The little girl had already been attending the nursery at the school, and her parents assumed she would have a place, but her local authority said the school was 'heavily oversubscribed' and Casey-Beth would have to go elsewhere on the basis she lives outside the catchment area.
Her parents, Steven and Yvonne, lodged an appeal against the decision, but it was rejected. Now, the little girl goes to a school which is nearer to her home, but away from her brother and sisters.
Her mum and dad say they are shocked by the local authority's ruling.
'We were told it was because we live outside the catchment area, but we have always lived here,' said Yvonne.
'My son, Jayden, only started at Throston last year and there were no problems then with catchment areas. Casey-Beth has been going to nursery there since she was three, she has all her friends there.
'She can't understand why she can't go to school with her older brothers and sisters. She thinks it's something she has done wrong. We're just gobsmacked by it all.'
Yvonne takes Casey-Beth to her school each day, whilst her husband, Steven, takes their other two children to Throston Primary. The couple then repeat the process at the end of the school day.
Yvonne says the stress of the situation has left her other children saying they want to change schools to be with their little sister. She added that Casey-Beth was very upset at being separated from her siblings and says she wants to go back to her old school.
A spokesman for Hartlepool Borough Council said: 'Although Casey-Beth attended the nursery at Throston Primary School for over a year, this did not guarantee her a place at the school under admissions rules.
'Throston Primary School, Mrs Kitson's first preference despite her living outside of the admission zone, was heavily oversubscribed with 125 equal preferences for 60 places.
'Mrs Kitson was, therefore, offered a place for Casey-Beth at her second preference of Jesmond Gardens Primary School, the family's zone school.'
What do you think?
Should this little girl be a priority for a place at her parents' choice of school as her siblings are already there?