This problem would not be as bad if the crazy system of parents having to waste time applying for places in schools for their youngsters was abandoned, and instead send them to the local school, which was the rational policy in the days of school catchment areas. Quite often applications are declined, and the youngsters may have to travel past their nearest school to reach the one allocated. An unnecessary bureaucratic and expensive system.

At present many youngsters have to be bussed or ferried in cars to schools far from their homes, which of course has an environmental impact, as well as transportation costs. Additionally such youngsters often find few of their classmates live near them, meaning there is a degree of isolation from school mates when they go home.

R H Douglas.

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Fortunately, I don't have school age children any more but my daughter does and, although she comes under Buckinghamshire, her situation won't be unique. Where she lives, masses of new houses have been built close to the school for which her children were in the catchment area. Now, the children from those new homes will get priority because of their proximity to the school and children like my grandchildren will have to go elsewhere. This will probably mean that, if a similar system were to be implemented where she lives, she would have to pay for school transport since the boys will no longer be going to a catchment area school. Their finances are already on a knife edge, they just won't be able to afford the £1000 ( or whatever the charge) to pay for transport. Given that new houses are going up just about everywhere, there will be a lot of parents who'll fall into this trap.

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