Disabled son's mum forced to 'badger' Merton Council for school place

Wimbledon Guardian: Tracy Eaton with husband Raymond and 11-year-old Samuel, whose place was turned down by a Tooting school Tracy Eaton with husband Raymond and 11-year-old Samuel, whose place was turned down by a Tooting school

The mother of a child with Down’s Syndrome has blamed bureaucrats for months of stress after they were unable to allocate her son a school place until seven days before the end of the school year.

Tracy Eaton, of Aylward Road in Merton Park, was left fighting to find a place for her 11-year-old son Samuel after he was rejected by Garratt Park School in Tooting.

Merton Council had told Mrs Eaton in December that Samuel’s place was guaranteed, but a month later the school said it could not take him after all.

But then, in an apparent breakdown in communication, Merton was unaware Samuel – who currently attends Joseph Hood Primary – had been rejected and Mrs Eaton was not told until June she had to find a new school for him.

She said: “The way we have been handled by the school and the council was not nice.

"They knew they weren’t going to take him and they should have told us they were not going to take our son.

“The organisation of it doesn’t seem right at all.

“Unless we badgered the council, to the point of getting the Wimbledon Guardian involved, Samuel probably wouldn’t have a school place next year.”

Last Friday, the council offered a Samuel a place at Cricket Green school, Mitcham, after what Mrs Eaton described as “the hard sell”.

A Merton Council spokesman said: “Our top priority is for all children in our borough to be placed at a school, which best meets their educational needs.

“We are pleased we have now been able to offer a place in one of our outstanding schools.”


Got a story for us? Call 020 8722 6333, tweet @WimbledonNews or email: newsdesk@wimbledonguardian.co.uk.

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