Teenager’s six week wait - and counting - for a school place

A WOMAN who moved to North Somerset six weeks ago is still waiting for her son to get a start date at school, despite a long battle with the admissions service in which he was promised a place at three different schools.

Wendy Hill’s 14-year-old son Toby Rodwell is supposed to be in year 10 this year, which is vital year because it is the start of the GCSE syllabus teaching.

Ms Hill, aged 45, and her three children moved to Bleadon on September 1.

The next day, she put down an application to get her youngest child, Toby, into Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College.

Ten days later, she rang the school admissions service, who told her that Broadoak was full and that Hans Price Academy was accepting applications.

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Council staff failed to contact Ms Hill, so she rang the service again and was then told her son would have to go to a school in Clevedon, despite being miles from the caravan park where they live in Bleadon.

She said: “Toby was not happy and neither was I. He would not know anyone and wouldn’t get the chance to make any friends in Weston.”

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Then, despite previously being told Broadoak was full, Toby was offered a place at the school after Ms Hill complained about having to go to Clevedon.

She was told a letter would be sent to her address, but it never arrived, and when she called the admissions service she was again told that the place had been refused because she had moved – which she had not.

Ms Hill also asked for her son to have some work to do while he waited for his place so that he didn’t fall behind, to no avail.

After six long weeks, Toby has now been told he definitely has a place at Broadoak – but still has no start date confirmed and has been asked to contact the school to arrange one.

Ms Hill said: “Toby just wants to get started in school and learn and make friends.

“I am so angry about what has happened and I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.

“If you are trying to get your child a place in a school in Weston, make sure you give at least six weeks notice.”

A spokesman for the council said: “Toby has now been confirmed to have a place at Broadoak after a letter was sent to Ms Hill last week. She now needs to arrange a start date with the school.”

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