Hitchin girl, 11, given school requiring three hour round trip

Pictured is Rebecca Reidy with daughter Lia, 11. Lia has been allocated a school in Letchworth, even

Pictured is Rebecca Reidy with daughter Lia, 11. Lia has been allocated a school in Letchworth, even though she lives in Hitchin. - Credit: Archant

A MOTHER whose daughter may have to make a three-hour round trip to school each day after being allocated a secondary school in another town has hit out at the local authority’s admission policy.

Rebecca Reidy, who lives in Hitchin, was disappointed to find daughter Lia was allocated Fearnhill School in Letchworth GC.

It means Lia, who currently attends Hitchin’s Our Lady Catholic Primary School, would either have to walk an hour-and-a-half there and back each day, or leave at 7am to walk into Hitchin to get a bus to Letchworth GC, before walking to school at the other end.

Mrs Reidy, who lives in Spellbrooke and put down Hitchin Girls’ as Lia’s first choice, said: “I can’t drive and we wouldn’t be given any funding for travel because we both work full time.

“My mother is going to look after her after school, but she has problems with her knees and can’t walk for more than 20 minutes.

“We have a 45 year family history with someone being at Hitchin Girls’ and we have family there currently.”

Mrs Reidy put down John Henry Newman as Lia’s second choice, because she would have had access to travel there, as well as The Knights Templar in Baldock as the third choice.

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If none of those options were available, she assumed the county council – which allocates places – would have given Lia a place at The Priory, Hitchin.

“It makes me sick,” said Mrs Reidy.

“They don’t explain how it works. I can understand there are lots of people ringing, but no one will speak to you on the phone.

“There’s a girl at my daughter’s school who lives next to Hitchin Priory and got Hitchin Girls’. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Mrs Reidy has officially appealed against the decision and will find out next month if she is successful.

A county council spokesman said it could not comment on individual cases.

• Were you allocated a school which you’ve had to appeal against? Get in touch with the Comet by visit editorial@thecomet.net

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