A FATHER says he is happy to continue teaching his son at home until a place can be found for him at his preferred school.
Jack Blatchford was refused a place at Harton Technology College in South Shields, despite living less than 300 yards away, as he was living outside the catchment area when the application was first made.
The 11-year-old, due to start secondary school this month, is now being home-schooled by single dad Lee, 39, of Cross Way, Harton, South Shields, a plumber and also dad to Lleyton, 10.
The family moved to their current address in May, having previously lived in Biddick Hall, South Shields. However, when they first came to the area seven years ago, they lived with Mr Blatchford’s mother in Prince Edward Road, South Shields, and attended Harton Primary School, where Lleyton is still a pupil.
Jack remains keen to join friends he grew up with at Harton in Lisle Road, despite being offered a place at Mortimer Community College in Reading Road, South Shields.
He is top of the waiting list if a place becomes available this academic year and has been told he can re-apply now for next September, when his brother is also hoping to join the school.
His father has also enquired about a place at Whitburn C of E Academy, but he has not been offered one, as previously reported, as no application was submitted.
Mr Blatchford said: “I am going to give it a little while and see how the home-schooling goes. He’s determined he doesn’t want to go to any other school.
“I’m keeping my fingers crossed he gets a place at Harton. It is going to be an nightmare if the boys end up apart.”
South Tyneside Council said the correct admissions criteria was applied in Jack’s case and its school admissions team continues to advise the family.