Mum's anger over school placement

IPSWICH: A frantic mother is today preparing an appeal against a decision to place her daughter at a school where she feels threatened by her peers.

IPSWICH: A frantic mother is today preparing an appeal against a decision to place her daughter at a school where she feels threatened by her peers.

Theresa Spink, of Foxhall Road, is battling with education chiefs at Suffolk County Council after they ruled there was no room for 12-year-old Sacha at any of her preferred schools.

The family moved back to Ipswich in March after living in Canada for three years and since then Sacha has not attended any school at all.

Her sister, 13-year-old Jessica, started at Colpleston High School in July but Sacha was turned down from there, Northgate, Kesgrave and St Albans.

Mrs Spink is now “pulling her hair out” after bosses offered Sacha a place at Holywells. The 12-year-old is “absolutely terrified” of going to the school after a group of her peers, who are now in her year at the school, attacked her in 2006 when she was nine and they were at primary school together.

Mrs Spink said her daughter has told their GP point blank she would “rather die than go to that school (Holywells)”.

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In the attack a group of boys pinned Sacha down and kicked her repeatedly in the head.

“She won't go out of the house, she has very low self-esteem and no confidence and I think she is becoming depressed. She is absolutely terrified,” she said.

“She is all right around people she knows but gets very uneasy around strangers. She has never been to school without her sister.

“I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall.”

Two weeks ago Mrs Spink was warned that if her daughter does not attend school she faces legal proceedings.

She said: “They can take me to court.”

Have you faced difficulties securing a school place for you child? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said it was legally bound to follow a published schools admissions policy.

The spokesman continued: “This policy helps to ensure that decisions which are made are consistent for all young people, wherever they may live in the county.

“Where it is not possible to offer a young person a place at one of the schools listed on their application, because the year group is already full, they have the right of appeal against these decisions.

“It is important to remember that parents/carers have a legal obligation to ensure their child receives the necessary education.”