A YOUNG boy from Wantage has missed three weeks of school after the council allegedly failed to allocate him a spot.

Matt Farmer and his wife Samantha moved to the Kingsgrove estate from Manchester at the end of August with their two sons, aged eight and five.

They applied a month prior for their boys to attend Wantage Primary Academy, in Rutherford Road, which is about a minutes’ walk from their home.

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However, while their eldest son was provided a spot in the primary school, his younger brother was denied due to a "lack of space" and was left waiting for three weeks after term started for a position elsewhere.

He now attends Millbrook Primary School in Grove which has presented an issue for the family as Mrs Farmer is unable to drive due to a medical condition and Mr Farmer still spends half his time working in Manchester.

Mr Farmer, who works for a software company, said: “It was the Friday before term started and will still hadn’t heard whether either of my children had a space in the school.

“We couldn’t get through to the council, it was just an automated message. The headteacher of Wantage Primary Academy has been absolutely brilliant and rang my wife and said to send my eldest in on the Monday as she knew she had space.

“She was really apologetic and said she couldn’t take my youngest as the council hadn’t given permission to break the class size limit.

“So my eldest has been going to school for three weeks unofficially. We kept calling the council and found out on Friday that he has officially been allocated a spot but my youngest has to go to Millbrook Primary School which is three miles away.

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“It doesn’t make any logistical sense and the stress has been unbelievable.”

As Mrs Farmer is unable to drive, the council has paid for a taxi for her to be able to take her youngest to school.

The couple said this is a “waste” of taxpayer’s money and they are aware of other couples with similar issues.

“It’s not good for the children as they’ve just moved to the area and don’t know anyone,” said Mr Farmer.

“My youngest has been chomping at the bit to go and play with other children. I wanted to raise awareness as the setup is not good.

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“It’s ridiculous they’ve paid for this new housing estate but the council don’t have enough school places. It’s just a huge inconvenience and a waste of taxpayers’ money.”

Oxfordshire County Council have been asked to comment.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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