'Pay for your own GCSEs' Romford girl told
PUBLISHED: 11:04 08 October 2010 | UPDATED: 11:30 08 October 2010
A 15-year-old girl has been repeatedly failed by Havering Council, according to her family who borrowed cash to pay for her final school year.
Great grandmother Mary Dixon, of Romford, has even saved the education department £20,000 educating Chelsea Daddie at home for three years, but it is refusing to pay for the girl’s place at Havering College.
The family claim Chelsea has been let down so often they now plan to take action against the council for failing in its statutory duty.
Havering Council insists it has taken every step to help.
Mrs Dixon said: “This child has been let down so many times. We’ve borrowed money to pay the fees, which are around £1,300 a term, because we didn’t want it happening again.
“We want to fight the council.”
Chelsea, who lives with her grandmother, was taken out of school three years ago after struggling and has flourished with home schooling.
She dreams of being a dancer and hoped to take her exams at a Havering school.
After failing to get into Marshalls Park she was offered the former Kingswood School in Harold Hill.
Chelsea initially refused and was offered a vocational hairdressing course, which she accepted after some family persuasion and was due to start in September.
Mrs Dixon said: “Then we were told ‘apparently there’s no funding and you can’t do the course,’ this was after they built her up. She was really upset.”
The next blow came shortly after she was advised to take any school place.
Mrs Dixon said. “She [Chelsea] said: ‘Tell them I’ll go to Kingswood,’ but then we got an email saying they had decided against that as it wouldn’t be fair to the school. So, that was another slap in the face for her.”
Then out of the blue an appointment was arranged at a place for children who “are out of control”.
Mrs Dixon said: “She screamed when she saw what it was on the internet, she said: ‘I’ll kill myself if I have to go there’. It really depressed her.”
The family took charge and Chelsea was accepted at Havering College after comfortably passing the entry test.
“We got a call from the college saying Havering won’t fund her and they don’t know why.”
The family have now had to pay for her tuition.
A Havering Council spokesman says there is no more money in the pot at this late stage.
“We offered a choice of two fully funded places at the start of the 2009 school year, but these were both refused,” he added.
“Ms Daddie had the option to appeal for one of Chelsea’s original choices but she chose not to.
“In July, her family asked if they could take up one of the places originally offered, but as it was so far into the academic year it was too late to begin a two-year GCSE course.
“Her family have now found a place for Chelsea.”