Council blasted for sending girl to school miles away – when there’s one 38ft from her house

The Mirror is reporting that a dad has slammed a Scottish council’s “crazy” decision to send his daughter to a school nursery almost two miles away – when she lives just 38ft from their nearest primary…

Bonkers education officials have sent Ella Ramsay packing to a school 1.6 miles away – bizarrely claiming the decision was made by picking names from a hat.

And a walk of just seconds has turned into a 32 minute hike for the three-year-old and her father Howard.

Their home in Troon, South Ayrshire, is in the very shadow of Troon Primary which her elder brother James, 9, attends.

Ella was relishing attending the school’s nursery just like her brother until the family were left dumbfounded by South Ayrshire Council’s pathetic “policy.”

Howard, 43, told the Daily Record : “Ella just doesn’t understand why she is not going to the nursery where her friends are. We have heard kids from outside the town have got places and that is why the class is full.

“This policy is crazy and it has caused us no end of hardship.

“The council will say they have complied with their policy – but that policy is absolute nonsense. Ella had to start at Muirhead Primary’s afternoon nursery class last week.”

Howard wrote direct to Douglas Hutchison, the education director, who lives in the town, to challenge the buffoons.

Instead he got a reply from a mandarin acting for complaints officer Katrina Magill on a piece of paper headed “Listening To You.”

And the letter said: “Though you live close to Troon Primary unfortunately distance is not currently a priority within the Early Years Admissions Policy.

“After twelve criteria have been applied, and when there is still no possibility of distinguishing between groups of children, a ballot is used to allocate the remaining places.”

…Troon Councillor Nan McFarlane has called for a review of the council system.

She said: “The basic point is there are not enough nursery places in Troon. Like any mother I sympathise with this situation and I am encouraging the family to keep in touch with the nursery. But I”d like to see the same catchment rules for nurseries and their respective primaries so families can have continuity.”…

More at: Council blasted for sending girl to school miles away – when there’s one 38ft from her house


And this is the kind of story that will also appear where lotteries are used for admissions. How do you react? Should schools and local authorities do more to explain why a lottery-based approach might be fairer overall or do parents like those in this article have a valid point? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Local authorities, Pre-school and Scotland.


  1. nrcantor

    SchoolsImprove Unfortunate, but as I’m from a place where kids were bussed miles for integration, this walk doesn’t seem too onerous.

  2. edujdw

    SchoolsImprove I’m surprised they didn’t say it was a means of tackling child obesity. Sometimes common sense just deserts some officials.

  3. StevoLaughton

    SchoolsImprove Sadly, due to many councils under provision, many children allocated school miles away, ballot or not

  4. StevoLaughton

    SchoolsImprove 300 places within 2km of our house, daughter offered place 5km away. 80% (and growing) our local schools faith discriminate

  5. acet2001

    SchoolsImprove Stark raving bonkers. No common sense whatsoever. What else do you expect from the non-entities running services these days

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