D Day for Chafford mums looms as still no school places
Date posted: 03-09-2012
YOU MAY not be conversant with Section 444 (1) of the Education Act, 1996 but the Chafford Hundred parents embroiled in a school place boycott row may soon be.
The statutory offence refers to failure to send your child to school. Over the years, hundreds of Thurrock parents have and continue to find themselves in the dock, including Tilbury councillor, Clare Baldwin.
Weeping mothers have pleaded their case from the dock, often detailing how they have walked their child to the school gates but their offspring has then sprung their escape moments later.
Initially, 23 students from the area were not allocated a place at either Tudor Court, Warren or Harris Academy primary (formerly Chafford Hundred).
The 23 have been whittled down to six. But according to the council, there are still no places.
The most vocal of the parents has been Lea Agambar who claims that the school she has been offered is close to an hours walk away.
It could well be that come later on in the week, Ms Agambar and her colleagues may blink first and take their children to one of the school places on offer.
But it looks like council leader, John Kent is unlikely to bend and with the Chafford parents cases becoming a political and ideological battlefield, it may well be that this matter will go all the way to the courts.