11:00PM, Friday 19 March 2021
Theresa May and Wokingham borough councillors are helping almost 60 ‘disappointed’ families who did not receive their first choice secondary school.
At the start of the month, 58 families in the borough who had opted for The Piggott School as their first choice received the news that their children had not secured a place.
Discussing the situation, Cllr Stephen Conway (Lib Dem, Twyford) explained that instead youngsters are being offered schools such as Waingels School in Woodley and Emmbrook School in Wokingham.
He said that as the school is an academy, it is in control of its own admissions process and the council has ‘no direct influence’ over the admissions at the school.
But he added the distance from the proposed schools in comparison to The Piggott School is a ‘concern’ for parents.
He said The Piggott School has been a popular choice for a long time with some parents missing out on it as their first choice every year, but this year the scale has been ‘very large’.
A meeting was held to discuss the issue on Friday, March 5, with council leader John Halsall and MP Theresa May among those who discussed the problem.
Following the meeting a letter was sent to all of the parents affected, explaining the situation and assuring them ‘this isn’t the end of the process’.
Cllr Conway said: “Almost certainly more places will emerge that will mean that the numbers deprived the opportunity to go to this really good school are much smaller than they appear to be now.”
He added: “The process is not over, there’s lots going on to try and help the parents and children involved, and we’re doing everything we can.”
Mrs May said: “I am aware of the considerable anxiety that has been caused among parents in Twyford whose children have not been offered a place. I have already discussed this with councillors and officers at Wokingham Borough and following their letter to parents, I will be raising the issue further.”
Cllr UllaKarin Clark, executive member for children’s services, said: “Our school admissions team continue to work with schools, families and other partners to deal with the challenges in availability for September 2021. We will provide updates to families who have requested wait list places as promptly as possible.”
The Piggott School has been contacted for comment.
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