Frustration over school places

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CONCERNED parents have united to form an online campaign after children were refused places at local primary schools.

Record shortages of primary places in Lowton and Golborne has left the education of scores of young children in doubt.

Now families are being urged to join the Facebook group ‘Lowton School Places - Reception 2011’ after they were told they would have to travel elsewhere in the borough for their children’s education.

Group founder Louise Hill, of Turret Drive, Lowton, said: “Lowton West was our first choice school and, despite living just half a mile away, we were offered a place some two miles away at Leigh St Peters CofE Primary.

“There are many others in the Lowton area who did not receive any of their three choices and are, understandably, bitterly disappointed.”

Catherine Williams, of Lane Head Avenue, Lowton, said: “The school I was offered is St Peter’s in Leigh which is 2.7 miles away and is going to cause incredible difficulty for my son and my family, especially as my husband suffers from a chronic illness and I work full time.”

Leigh MP Andy Burnham who has been contacted by parents said: “We’re going to start urgent talks with the local authority and headteachers of primary schools in Lowton and Golborne within the next fortnight.”

Council chiefs say the demand of primary places in Lowton and Golborne has been “unexpected”, but vowed to work with parents affected.

Wigan Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Coun Susan Loudon said: “We are confident, within the Government’s funding restraints, there will be a positive outcome.”