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VIDEO: Parents’ petition for new school places

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Parents have vowed to fight for the expansion of a primary school which is at “crisis point” after it turned away catchment children.

38 children have been refused a place at Oxley Park Academy in September because they do not live within 320 metres of the school. Now their parents’ campaign is being backed by senior Tories at Milton Keynes Council, and 171 people have signed the petition.

Mum-of-four Liz Morris launched the campaign after her four-year-old daughter was denied a place. She will now be forced to go to a different school to her siblings.

Liz said: “It means I’ll have to drive to two 
different schools at similar times, whereas I currently walk every day.

“It will add enormous stress levels to an already 
impossibly tight schedule.”

The petition suggests relocating the neighbouring community centre, expanding onto adjoining land in 
Westcroft, or providing 
temporary classrooms.

But parents want urgent action to be taken, with 
fellow mum Sarah Watson 
facing the prospect of having three children at three 
different primary schools.

She said: “The effect that has on us as a family, with 
both of us full-time working parents, is unacceptable.

“The issues I have raised are obviously personal to me, but the petition gives us a united voice. It’s had a massive effect on the community.”

The parents’ plight is backed by Conservative councillors Edith Bald and Geetha Morla, who want a thorough review into the city’s demand for school places.

In five years Milton Keynes Council has seen a23 per cent increase in demand for school places.

Council cabinet member Councillor Sarah Betteley insists options are 
being identified. She said: “We have a large number of schemes underway to address this growth in demand.

“However, there is a ‘hot spot’ at Oxley Park and North Kingsmead. Although we have created additional places at the nearby Priory Rise School in response, we recognise that further places will be needed.”

The petition will be presented at a full council meeting on Wednesday, July 16.

Sign it here.

 

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