School places fear for returning mum

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A Preston mum relocating from France fears her young children won’t be able to start school.

Mother-of-two Lisa Gregory has lived in France for the past 12 years and her young daughters were both born there.

However, because of family issues , Lisa, a former Fulwood High School and UCLan scholar, is coming back “home” and intends to stay with her parents in Longfield, Fulwood.

Attempts to get the girls, Charlotte eight and five year old Manon, into local schools have drawn a blank because County Hall rules mean they cannot be considered for a place until they arrive in the UK.

Lisa said: “ Our move back to my family and Preston is being hindered because I cannot get a place in school for my two daughters until the French authorities have a certificate from a school to say that they have a place.

“The problem is that I have been in contact with the LCC and they cannot do anything for my children until they are in England, so I find myself in a no win situation, no school, no certificate and stuck between France and England, with places at these schools being filled up as quickly as “gold dust”.

“Especially with my oldest who has learning difficulties I need to set up a statement/programme for her as soon as possible but is impossible until I have a school.”

Ideally Lisa would like the girls to join their cousin at Sherwood Primary in Fulwood so her parents can help out with the school run.

Paul Bainbridge, Lancashire County Council’s pupil access manager, said: “We do not discuss individual cases. However, for someone to be offered a school place, they would need to provide a permanent address within Lancashire. We cannot offer places unless we have confirmation of this, otherwise it would disadvantage parents who already live here.”

This year 380 families didn’t get a school of their choice.