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Wycombe mum blasts council after son allocated school place in Burnham
A FURIOUS High Wycombe mother has blasted the county council after her son was allocated a place at a school in Burnham.
Taya Caunt, 30, says she will either have to quit her job or arrange home education for Kyle because she will not allow him to make the 38 mile round trip on public transport to Burnham Park Academy.
The academy in Stomp Road is not served by Buckinghamshire County Council’s home-to-school transport from High Wycombe.
Meaning Kyle would have to walk from his West End Street home to Wycombe bus station, travel to Slough and then catch a second bus from Slough to the school every day - and then repeat the journey home.
Miss Caunt said she was "spitting flames" when she found out Kyle had not been handed a place at any of the five schools they had applied to.
She said: "It is an irresponsible decision and a ridiculous system.
Kyle's home (marked A above) and Burnham Park Academy (B).
"It broke my heart to see the look on his face when he realised he didn’t get into his two first choice schools and was being split from his friends.
"But how am I supposed to get my son to Burnham every day? It’s impossible unless I quit my job."
The administration clerk said West Wycombe Combined, where her daughter attends, only has a 15 minute window when its gates are open.
She added: "It’s an hour round trip, possibly longer in traffic, to Burnham - so I’d have to leave home with both children at 7.30am to allow enough time to get there and back. It’s ridiculous."
Miss Caunt said it was made worse when she found out one of Kyle’s friends only listed one school but was still handed a place at Wye Valley School in Bourne End.
She said: "I was not late with the application and I do not understand how we get to a position where, not only all of our choices are full, but Burnham is the nearest school with a place for a boy from Wycombe?"
Miss Caunt said she has been advised to appeal by Steve Baker MP but was dreading going through the "stressful and exhausting" process for a second time, after she failed to switch her daughter’s school.
She said: "I’m so angry the local authorities feel this is acceptable. I do not understand the point of having a form to choose six schools, when they withhold the right to place your child wherever they like."
BCC said it usually offers children a place at the nearest available school in the event parents fail with their preference choices.
All Wycombe schools were filled on March 3, with Kyle missing out on a place at Cressex - his catchment school - by 0.6miles and Wye Valley by 0.1miles as there were children without a place who lived closer.
It left Burnham as the closest school to Kyle with an available space, the council said.
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