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Mother: Why can’t my son go to school with eight cousins he lives with?

Katie Garner with her son James and his cousins. James was refused a place in his nearest school even though all his cousins he lives with goes to the school. Katie Garner with her son James and his cousins. James was refused a place in his nearest school even though all his cousins he lives with goes to the school.

Thursday, June 26, 2014
3:29 PM

A mother has attacked a decision that means her son will go to a different school to his eight cousins who live nearby.

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Katie Garner with her son James.Katie Garner with her son James.

Katie Garner, 26, is due to give birth in September and said that if her three-year-old son does not go to Engaynes Primary School, Severn Drive, Upminster, she will be unable to take him to school.

She learnt this week that her appeal was turned down by Havering Council and her son, James Tibbs, will have to go to The James Oglethorpe Primary School, Ashvale Gardens, Upminster, which is farther away.

She lives with her son on the same plot of land at Laburnham Stables, Laburnham Gardens, as James’s eight cousins.

They are either going to or will be going to Engaynes Primary.

She said: “His cousins are more like brothers and sisters. He sees them every day.

“He’s going to feel left out being the only one not to go.

“By the time he goes I will be nearly giving birth.

“I have got other mums here who are able to take James to school for me when I am unable to. I won’t have any support – either I won’t be able to go to work or he won’t be able to go to school.”

A council spokesman said that her complaint was “carefully considered” but the appeal did not meet the criteria for an “unreasonable decision” so the originally school choice was upheld.

Miss Garner said: “I’m outraged by the appeals process. I don’t see the point in it. We are working parents and they are making it impossible for us to do what’s right.

“I don’t think it’s common sense at all.”

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