PARENTS from across Warrington say they are furious after their children have missed out on their top three primary school choices.

Children found out on Tuesday whether they had been granted a place in their first-choice primary school.

Figures show that nine out of 10 infants in the town got into their first-choice school, however 59 children did not get a place in any of their top three choices.

One of these parents is Woolston resident Chelsea Massey, whose son Jacob was given a place in a Catholic school despite their family not being religious.

“Our first choice was Bruche Primary School, second choice was Woolston Community and third was Woolston CofE,” she said.

“We didn’t get in any of these which we are annoyed about, but we’re even more angry that we’ve been told Jacob will be going to St Benedict’s which is a Catholic school.

“As a family, we’re not religious at all so we will definitely be appealing the decision.”

Chelsea was also annoyed that the council had not considered the reasons behind her school choices and said she may be forced to leave her job to ensure her son can get to and from school.

“My husband rang the council yesterday to find out about the appeals process,” Chelsea continued.

“We chose those schools as I work, my husband works shifts and is away a lot, and there are only a few schools our childminder can get to due to their other commitments.

“If we can’t overturn this decision, I will have to quit my job as there is no way we will be able to make it work.

“What is the point in filling out the application forms with reasons for wanting particular schools if they are going to be processed by someone who doesn’t understand the system?”

These frustrations are shared by Rachel Ward, whose son Jude also missed out on his top three choices and was instead given a place in a Catholic school.

“We applied for Jude to go to go to Bradshaw Primary as our first choice and then Stockton Heath Primary and St Thomas’ CofE as second and third,” said Rachel.

“Now we’ve found out that he will be going to St Augustine’s, which is a Catholic school and none of our family are religious.

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“All his friends from nursery are either going to the same school or got into their first choice.

“When we get the letter giving us the reasons why he hasn’t got a place in our first choice, we’ll have a look to see if we can appeal it.”

A Warrington Borough Council spokesperson said: “In Warrington, we consistently perform well above the national average for both primary and secondary school admissions.

"When completing the school admissions application, parents/carers should be aware of each individual school’s published oversubscription criteria. Where the reasons provided do not meet the criteria, it may result in their child not being offered a place at any of their preferred schools.

“All local authorities are required to operate an equal preference system for dealing with school applications. Under this system the three preferences named on the application form are treated equally. If we are not able to offer a child a place at any of their preferred schools, they will be offered a place at the nearest school to the home address, which has a place available.”

Parents unhappy with the result of their child’s application have the right to appeal, and the letter explaining the school decision will include an appeal form and details about what to do next.

Appeals lodged by Tuesday, May 14, will be heard within 40 school days of this date.