Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, and County Councillor Derek Hills met a group of Wheathampstead parents whose children have been refused places in local secondary schools and instead allocated places at Onslow St Audrey in Hatfield.

    Peter Lilley said: “I understand the anguish both children and parents feel on receiving this news. However, in the constituency as a whole there are far fewer children than last year without a place in a school of their choice and I am trying to find out why the majority of them are in Wheathampstead.

    “Derek Hills and I were able to give the parents of these children hope: last year a far higher number of children initially failed to get into a school of their choice, but after the appeals process, sufficient places became available to accommodate all of them. There must be every prospect that all the children affected will eventually get into a school of their choice this year.

    “The sad thing is that they have to go through this period of anguish. I very much hope that from next year this problem should be largely resolved when St George‘s School in Harpenden expands to take an extra class. But I am taking up a number of suggestions the parents made which might help make the process of secondary transfer fairer, speedier and less stressful.”