Birstall mums’ fury at school system

Angry Birstall mums have raised concerns after being told their children will have to travel two hours a day to attend school.

Thursday, 9th April 2020, 2:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th April 2020, 2:02 pm
Elizabeth Callaghan, 31, with neighbour Claire Gillbert, 42

Elizabeth Callaghan, 31, said she feels “let down” after her son, Charlie Przybyl (circled), 11, was told he cannot attend three nearby schools during the next academic year, after being given Castle Hall Academy, in Mirfield, which will be a two-hour round-trip by himself everyday.

Ms Callaghan, of Briarmains Road, said her son was a keen rugby player and “extremely bright”, but is aware if he attends the Mirfield school he will not have time to partake in extracurricular activities due to his long journey.

She said: “I feel let down and angry at the system because since the news Charlie’s been suffering with stress.

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Ms Callaghan with her son Charlie

“He feels like he’s not able to get involved with any of the conversations with his current classmates, who are going to the schools he chose.

“The main purpose of all his dedication and hard was with the hope of getting into the BBG Academy school.

“They have a huge rugby scheme set up where they can also train and learn about rugby as an option.

“But he’s stopped trying in school because he’s so upset and confused.”

Ms Callaghan’s neighbour Claire Gillbert said she is ‘angry’ after her daughter Georgia Squire, 11, was also not accepted at her three school choices, but had been informed she has been given Castle Hall Academy too.

A spokesperson for Kirklees Council said: “Kirklees families applying for a school place can name three preferences, and they are always advised to include the school which is in their catchment area.

“When this does not happen - as was the case for both of these families - they will be allocated a place at the school which is nearest to their home address and which also has places available.

“We’ve already been in touch with both families and offered the support they need in lodging an appeal, which will be heard by an independent panel.

“It’s important to note over 94 per cent of Kirklees families that have been allocated a place at one of their three preferred secondary schools for September this year,” added the spokesperson.