A single mum-of-six says two of her children have been without an education for over a YEAR – because she cannot find them a suitable school place.
Keegan Bradley ,30, had two of her kids booted out of school after claiming she couldn’t afford to pay their bus fare to get them there.
She said her £500-a-month benefits could not cover the cost of getting Kasta, nine, and Kydon, seven, to lessons on public transport after she moved house.
Keegan and her children, including Klissaya, five, K-laya, four, 18-month-old Konan and four-month-old Keon, moved to a four-bedroom house in Radford, Nottingham last October.
They originally lived in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Notts., which is around 15 miles away.
Unemployed Keegan had wanted all of her children to go to Mellers Primary School, in Radford, but only K-laya was accepted.
Meanwhile, Klissaya remains at Jeffries Primary School, in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, where she stays with her grandmother four days a week.
But Kasta and Kydon were expelled from Jeffries Primary School last November – after they missed over 20 days of term.
It means her two eldest children have been without education for more than a year and now Keegan claims she cannot get them a suitable place.
However, Nottingham City Council said a place had been offered at another school in the city – but the the mum had turned it down.
Today (Wed) Keegan said she didn’t want to send her kids to a school that was further than walking distance away.
She added: “I need it to be nearby, otherwise it’s just not practical.
“They keep telling me to apply to other schools, but I don’t want to spend my life just applying for places. I’ve got six kids to look after so I’m busy most of the time.
“I want them to go to Mellers Primary School as its nearer. I had a car accident a couple of years ago so I relied on public transport for a long time.
“But it cost me £120 a week for their travel to Jeffries as it’s about 15 miles away, so I stopped taking them to school. As a result they lost their place.
“My child tax benefits has to cover the rent, shopping and bills and I just couldn’t afford to take them on the bus.
“But now I can’t find them a school, I’m on a waiting list for a couple of them but nobody can offer them a place.
“The county council is responsible for the Kirby schools while the city council is responsible for the Radford ones – so I’m locked in battle with two authorities.
“I’ve been trying since last October and I’ve got nowhere. I’ve applied to three other schools but I’m on the waiting list for them all.
“The city council aren’t helping. Every way I try to go, it feels like the door is shut in my face.
“Obviously, I want all my children to go to the same school but it’s not being allowed to happen.”Nottingham City Council say Miss Bradley’s home falls in the catchment area for Radford Primary School, not Mellers.
Nick Lee, head of access and learning at Nottingham City Council, said: “Ms Bradley came to us in October last year when her family moved from Kirkby-in-Ashfield.
“The school year had started and, despite advice to the contrary, she applied for places at a number of schools that she wasn’t in the catchment area for.
“We were, however, able to find a place for her youngest child at one of these, Mellers Primary, but there was unfortunately no space for her two older siblings.
“Ms Bradley applied again in June this year for Mellers Primary and was unsuccessful. Her two older children remain on the waiting list for this school but as they are out-of-catchment, priority is given to pupils who live within the catchment area.
“We found a place at another school nearby and Ms Bradley has turned this down.
“Nottingham City Council will continue to do everything it can to help resolve the situation, but we must prioritise parents who live within the catchment area.
“We strive to make the application process as simple and accessible as we can.
“Nottingham remains one of the few areas of the country where parents can still get a face-to-face meeting to discuss applications and we have recently upgraded our admissions website.”