Bucks children re-allocated schools after Sikh school admission

Bucks children re-allocated schools after Sikh school admission

Bucks children re-allocated schools after Sikh school admission

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

ALMOST 20 children who were given a place at a Sikh school in Stoke Poges have now been reallocated to other schools.

Students were given places at the Khalsa Secondary Academy despite not selecting it as one of their preferred choices.

The Pioneer House site was purchased by the Department for Education last year and they hope to be allowed to home the school their permanently, although an original planning application was refused this year.

A Bucks County Council spokesman said: “These were either late applications, or cases where parents had only listed there favoured (oversubscribed) school or schools instead of a full list of preferences.

“In 19 cases the offer was not accepted, and these pupils went onto the waiting lists for their preferred schools. In the other case, the place was accepted, but the pupil is also on the waiting list for preferred schools.

“After the second allocation round, all but three of the 20 pupils had been offered places in other schools. The remaining families had decided to hold on in the hope of getting a place at their preferred school, though alternatives are available if they so choose.”

Despite uncertainty still surrounding the school’s future, they have been taking on new admissions ahead of September.

However, with a permanent planning application being refused it is unknown what will happen if the DfE’s appeal against the decision is also dismissed.

A school response said: “We are confident that the planning application will be successful as it complies with planning policy and therefore the school could open in Pioneer House for this September.”

However, despite the school’s confidence, concerns still exist over what would happen if permission if refused.

A DfE spokesman said: “There is a severe need for secondary school places in the area.

“We have submitted an appeal to the local planning authority against the refusal to use Pioneer House as a permanent site for Khalsa Free School, and await the result of that appeal.

“We are confident a permanent home for the school will be secured.” A new BCC statement added: “The county council has a responsibility to find sufficient school places for the pupils who live in the county.

“As part of this role, when a school closes or in the event it changes in a way so that parents no longer wish their child to attend, then we will find alternative school places for the children.”

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