No primary places for Hampstead family who live 200m from school

A family have been left without a primary school place despite living 200m from their nearest school in an example of the continuing squeeze on places across the capital.

Nearly a quarter of Camden children missed out on their first choice of primary school after offers were made last Thursday, while one in five children in Barnet and Westminster did not receive their top choice.

Meanwhile, about 3 per cent of applicants in Camden and in Haringey are without any offer of a school place – including the Frydman-Orsteens, of Hampstead, and their four-year-old son Oscar. The family lives roughly 200m from their nearest school, the popular free school St Luke’s Church of England School in Kidderpore Avenue, Hampstead. But they were left without any offers at all on Thursday.

Mother Jasmin Frydman, 39, a personal trainer of Briardale Gardens, said: “If Camden want my taxes, I want them to provide me with a school place, where I don’t need to struggle to get him there and where I’m happy to send him.”

The family’s first choice for Oscar was St Luke’s, which last year was classed as one of the most popular schools in the UK by the Department for Education. The school is heavily oversubscribed, and has received 132 applications for its 15 reception places for September 2015.

Camden Council has pledged to work hard to secure all children a reception class place for September.

A Camden Council spokesman said: “In the coming weeks, as families accept or decline these offers, we expect this picture to change significantly and are working hard with families to secure all our residents a reception place for September 2015.”

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This year has seen an unprecedented pressure on school places, with a record 103,387 applications for places received by London boroughs this year, up 900 from last year.

Despite the increased pressure, the number of offers has not dropped significantly since last year.

In Haringey, more than 84 per cent of children received their top choice of primary school – smashing the London average of 81 per cent.

And a total of 83 per cent of Camden children received offers for their first and second choice of primary school - a similar figure to last year.