THE YOUNGEST child of four has been denied a place at the same school as her siblings after her mum was unable to visit church due to illness.
Stephanie Weaver, from Olton, was a regular parishioner at St Margaret’s Church of England for over 13 years until she was struck with personal difficulties and illness this year.
Despite ‘a difficult year’, Mrs Weaver still attended church with her children 22 times so was outraged when her youngest child was denied a place at St Margaret’s CofE Primary School, simply because she had not made the minimum of 30 church visits.
“There was no compassion,” she said. “They haven’t taken into account my personal difficulties, which they were fully aware of, or the effect on my daughter. They know what a year we’ve had. It isn’t Christian.
“You can be part of a community for 13 years, and you can’t get your numbers up for one year and that’s it. You’re out.
“I admit I don’t go to church every week but that’s not what being a Christian is about. I go, as a family, when I can. I’ve got letters from long-standing members of the church who are mortified at this.”
Mrs Weaver appealed the decision but says she was told she had not met the admissions policy and it was refused.
She has now had to find a place for her youngest at the nearest church school, a 25-minute drive away, and has been forced to take her other daughter out of St Margaret’s, and away from her friends, to attend the same.
“There’s been no apology, no humanity. I’m shocked that a small church school can show such a total lack of empathy.”
In a joint statement, headteacher Jane Martin, and director of education for Church of England, Birmingham, Rev’d Jackie Hughes, said St Margaret’s had a strong admissions policy which was followed ‘rigorously.’
“The school, alongside the Church of England in Birmingham, takes seriously those appealing but St Margaret’s is highly oversubscribed and was regrettably unable to accommodate 51 applicants this year.”