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Holyport mum hits out at Royal Borough over school places

James Harrison

A mum-of-three has blasted education bosses over the lack of choice in the Royal Borough.

Milica Gay, of Springfield Park, Holyport, has hit out at Cllr Natasha Airey (Con, Park), cabinet member for education, after she boasted of a surplus of school places in Windsor and Maidenhead.

Instead, the former Newlands Girls’ School pupil, who has been forced to accept her eight-year-old twin daughters Hannah and Lucy are unlikely to follow in her footsteps and attend the school, says parents in some areas are struggling to get their youngsters into good schools due to a squeeze on places.

“I feel that the children of Holyport, particularly the girls, have been disadvantaged,” she said.

“Being closer to Desborough College [in Shoppenhangers Road] means the boys have it a bit better, but [the catchment area for] Newlands [in Farm Road] doesn’t come out this far. It feels like everything is against us.”

She added: “You can’t get into the local secondary school, you can’t get buses to the others and every time they build more houses we get further away and there’s a lot of concerned parents.”

As well as concerned, parents in Holyport are also angry, she says, about what they see as preferential treatment for Windsor families by Holyport College, in Ascot Road.

Due to Windsor’s middle school system, parents are able to make two applications to Holyport College, for year seven and year nine, gaining an advantage in the admissions stakes over their counterparts in Holyport.

The situation has provoked so much concern that in July she and other parents in the village had a meeting with the Royal Borough’s director of children’s services.

“A lot of what was talked about was homes, and that if they build on the golf course that would warrant a new secondary school – but not building on the smaller sites,” she said.

“So a lot depends on what happens in what order.

“It’s all so nebulous and it doesn’t help the children now. There’s children who can’t wait for houses to be built on the golf course to have a school they can actually get into.”

Cllr Airey has been contacted for comment.

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