Ashton’s stuck at home as school rules out a place

Ashton Munro is being taught by his mum
Ashton Munro is being taught by his mum
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A COUPLE say they have been forced to home-school their youngest child because he has been refused a place at the same primary as his two brothers.

Ashton Munro, four, was refused a place at Gilmerton Primary because it could not accommodate all out-of-catchment pupils, even though it accepted his brothers Kenneth, seven, and Kyle, five, in the two previous years.

His parents Kenneth Munro and Karen Brooks say the council’s decision has left them with no choice but to keep their youngest son at home as they cannot drop three children off at two different schools at the same time.

Their situation has been made even more difficult as Ms Brooks was diagnosed with Chiari malformations – an abnormality in the area where the brain joins the spinal cord – earlier this year and has had to undergo treatment, which has left her very ill. She said she is not supposed to leave the house on her own, making the dual school run an impossibility for the family. She said the whole experience has been “really stressful” for her family.

Ms Brooks, 29, from Gilmerton, said: “If we had Ashton in another school, I would have to be running to two different schools in the mornings and after school and it would mean he would be late every day and have to leave early every afternoon.

“We are just at a dead end, there’s nothing else we can do until they offer Ashton a place at Gilmerton. I feel sorry for Ashton because he is bright enough and should be at school.

“I got some English and maths books and he is doing that every day but it’s really hard because he is in his own house with his mum and he isn’t concentrating, but it’s not his fault this is happening.”

Mr Munro, 31, said: “We thought he would get into Gilmerton because his brothers got in while we were living at the same address and we are just out of catchment.

“They want him to go to Craigour Park, which is just as far away from the house as Gilmerton Primary is.

“We don’t want to have to home-school him and we don’t want him to miss a year of school, but we can’t do anything else at the moment.”

A council spokeswoman said: “The number of P1 pupils starting school changes every year, and priority is always given to those children within the catchment area. Parents are warned when they place a child in a school outwith their catchment area that any future siblings will not be guaranteed a place at that school.”

gfraser@edinburghnews.com