Ministers blamed for chaos on placings

VICTORY in a sheriff court for eight sets of parents over West Lothian Council should trigger an immediate review of the placing request legislation and parental choice, Judith Gillespie, development manager at the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, says.

Parents were told they could not send their children to the magnet Linlithgow Academy because it was full. The school has the best results in the authority and most of the parents were in the catchment area. The sheriff insisted there was space in S1, forcing the school to redraft its timetable.

Mrs Gillespie said the SPTC had warned ministers three years ago to bring in set capacities or a limit on pupil numbers for each school. There were two sides to choice, she said.

"We get parents phoning up to complain their school is so overcrowded because politicians are not prepared to grasp the nettle. One of the reasons parents put in appeals is because they have been misled. The situation has not been explained to them.

"The authority has a duty to see that a school's capacity and catchment area are in balance. If it's not, it either has to change catchment areas or expand the school."

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