A TEENAGER has missed six weeks of school and counting after academies used their freedom to deny him a place.

Callum Brock should be almost a half term into his GCSE studies, but the 14-year-old is in limbo on a waiting list while officials scramble to find him a place.

His mum Tracie Puiu-Brock, who said she is 'disgusted' by the delay, relocated with her family to Bicester to be closer to relatives.

The mum-of-five applied for school for her children just before the summer holidays and Oxfordshire County Council, which oversees admissions, found places for her four youngest.

However, Callum is not yet enrolled anywhere - despite the academic year having started on September 3.

ALSO READ: Deadline looms for secondary school applications for 2020

Mrs Puiu-Brock, who moved from Milton Keynes, said: "He's missed out on the beginning of his GCSE learning.

"There was a meeting to see if schools can go over their limits to fit him in, but I haven't heard anything since.

"He's missing out. I just want him to get in anywhere, I just want them to get him into school."

Academies are run by multi-academy trusts rather than local authorities, and have more flexibility over their own admissions.

At least six have said they are at capacity and cannot fit Callum in, and the council said it has no power to compel them into making an exception.

A spokesman said the authority is treating the case with the 'utmost urgency.'

In emails to the council, Mrs Puiu-Brock wrote: "I'm disgusted with the way this is being dealt with - I feel you have forgotten about him.

"The system is letting Callum down."

ALSO READ: Thousands of county pupils crammed into over-sized classes

In a response seen by the Oxford Mail, a council officer said The Cooper School in Bicester, The Bicester School and Bicester Technology Studio all refused Callum a place.

Heyford Park School near Bicester, Gosford Hill School in Kidlington and The Marlborough CE School in Woodstock also told the council they were full.

The email added: "Unfortunately, because all of the schools mentioned are academies and responsible for their own admissions decisions, the council has no authority to compel them to admit students.

"We have been regularly engaging with the secondary schools mentioned above to try to resolve the issue.

"It has become so acute in the Bicester area that [we] will be discussing the situation and seeking a resolution for Callum and a number of other children, at a meeting due to take place on October 1.

"We are sorry that we have not been able to find a solution yet."

Mrs Puiu-Brock said she has not yet heard back about any progress made at the meeting.

ALSO READ: Rise in Oxfordshire pupils on reduced school timetables

All but one secondary school in Oxfordshire, Carterton Community College, are academies.

When an academy cannot agree with a council over the admission of a child, only the secretary of state for education can force the academy's hand.

Government guidance states: "Where a local authority considers that an academy will best meet the needs of any child, it can ask the academy to admit that child but has no power to direct it to do so.

"The local authority and the academy will usually come to an agreement, but if the academy refuses to admit the child, the local authority can ask the secretary of state to intervene."

There are also rules known as fair access protocols to ensure that unplaced children are offered a school quickly.

ALSO READ: Fresh controversy as more Oxfordshire schools become academies

Oxfordshire's protocol states: "An application to the secretary of state to direct a child’s admission to a specific school will only be made as a last resort.

"Any child without a school place is the responsibility of the local authority up until the point at which they are taken on roll at a school."

One of Mrs Puiu-Brock's children was placed nine miles away at Gosford Hill School in Kidlington, as that was the only one that agreed to accommodate her, but the council is funding transport.

The council emailed the mum at the end of September, revealing that 'several children' in the Bicester area had not yet been placed at secondary school.

A county council spokesperson said: "We have a very cooperative relationship with schools and academies, which is why we are persevering and treating this case with the utmost urgency.

"It is extremely important to the County Council that all young people in Oxfordshire gain convenient access to education."

In order to apply for a place, parents have to supply local authorities with proof that their child's permanent address is in that area.

If moving into the county, this means they have to wait until they have a document such as a solicitor’s letter confirming exchange of contracts, or a tenancy agreement.