A LITTLE girl was heartbroken when she was told there was no place for her at her new school one hour before she was due to start.
Autumn McDonald was in her new uniform yesterday morning, all set to go to St Vincent’s VC Academy in Hull.
But with just sixty minutes to go, the seven-year-old’s mum, Cora Norton, got a call from the school to say there had been a “mix up”.
Autumn’s five-year-old sister Esme was alright to start, but the place for Autumn had been withdrawn.
The sisters had left Marfleet Primary School in Hull at the end of last term, ahead of a house move by the family.
Cora, 27, said both girls were granted places at their new school, St Vincent’s Academy, in July.
But at 7:40am on the day term started, St Vincent’s phoned to say the parents of a child who left at the end of last term had “changed their minds” during the summer holidays.
They wanted their child to continue at St Vincent’s, meaning there now wasn’t a spare place in Year Three for Autumn, although Esme’s place was still secure.
Mum-of-three Cora said “I can’t believe I was not told sooner.
“It’s especially hard for Esme who has autism and struggles with change.
“I filled out the transfer forms two weeks before the summer holidays started.
“Our place was confirmed so I contacted the school directly and they told me their new teachers’ names, they told me about the SEN things they have, told me the uniform, the date they go back, there was no problem whatsoever.
‘LEFT IN LIMBO’
“I have spent the holidays explaining to my five-year-old who is autistic about the huge change of a new school, not to mention going out to Rawcliffes buying the new and correct uniforms.
Cora added: “They are saying it’s the councils fault and saying they should have contacted you.
“I was annoyed, angry, I cried.
She was ‘left in limbo’ because although Autumn could have gone back to Marfleet Primary School, she didn’t want her daughters at different schools.
“Autumn can’t go back to her previous school because it’s the other end of Hull and I don’t drive so I can’t drop two off at the same time in different places.
“I don’t know whether to send Esme to the new school or not because I don’t want her to get settled then have to move her again if two places come up at another school.
“I rang admissions to complain and they told me I will have to appeal, but it could take weeks” said Cora, who also has a three-year-old, Emilie.
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But mercifully there was good news last night when Hull City Council rang Cora and informed her they would be able to offer Autumn a place at St Vincent’s, without the need for an appeal.
“Admissions have rung me and they’re honouring Autumn’s place. I’m just relieved the school have honoured the place and allowed it. It wasn’t the schools error, it was the council’s.”
A council spokesman said “We have received confirmation from the school that a place has been allocated for the student concerned. The parent has been advised of this.”
The school declined to comment.
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