Mile Cross girl’s first choice school unavailable

The family of a four-year-old girl fear her education will be harmed after their appeal to get her a place in the primary school next to the nursery she attends was turned down.

Debbie Baldwin's granddaughter Angel Leeper, four, attends Mile Cross Nursery School and wanted to move to the adjacent primary school in September. But she has been told that Mile Cross Primary in Brasier Road is over-subscribed and she will have to attend a school further away.

The family assumed that when Angel, who lives in Parr Road, started at the nursery school she would automatically move to the adjacent primary school when she left. The family appealed against the decision not to find her a place at the school, but were unsuccessful.

Mrs Baldwin said: 'Angel is a very shy, quite little girl who has always found it hard to mix with other children, but due to a lot of perseverance from her mother and the extra help and support she has had from the wonderful staff at the nursery, we have seen a different child blossom.

'Angel has now made friends at the school and settled and is now going to be torn away from them. She is really upset.'

The family is also worried that Angel's mother Gemma might have to give up her work as a hairdresser to take Angel to her new school, Heather Infants, which is about a mile away.

Richard Snowden, Norfolk County Council's head of admissions, said Mile Cross Primary was over-subscribed and children living closer to the school than Angel had taken the available places.

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He said: 'Heather Avenue Infants School is just over a mile in walking distance from her home. When the independent appeal panel looked at Angel's case, it decided that all of the admission rules had been properly applied and that there were no other exceptional circumstances that could be taken into account.

'Although 93pc of children in Norfolk did get their first preference primary school place this year, we understand that for the small minority that don't, it can be upsetting. But Heather Avenue is rated by Ofsted as a good school with some outstanding features and we hope that when the new term comes, Angel will settle in well.'

Have you struggled to get your child into a school? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email