Cardenden mum’s school places relief

Cohen and Siena Bell will be able to go to school together
Cohen and Siena Bell will be able to go to school together

A Cardenden mum who feared her two eldest children would be forced to go to different schools has told of her relief that they will be kept together.

Michelle Johnstone’s oldest child, Cohen Bell (7), is going into P4 at Strathallan Primary School in Kirkcaldy, where his younger sister Siena (5) was due to start in August after attending the school’s nursery.

But, after the family moved out of the catchment area to Cardenden, Michelle was told by the school that Siena would not have a place in P1 because the school was full.

However, this week, the worried mum was told extra places would be added to the P1 intake after the summer and Siena would be included.

“We lived within the Strathallan catchment until last year when we moved to Cardenden to a bigger house, because I was pregnant with my third child,” explained Michelle.

“I didn’t think about the school situation, as the kids were already attending Strathallan. I was really upset when I was told there was no place for Siena because we didn’t live in the catchment.

“Then, on Tuesday afternoon, the headteacher asked to speak to me as I was collecting my son. She told me my daughter and all children who had been told there were no places have now been accepted into P1, as they are opening the library. I’m glad the stress is over.”

Another mum, Kellyanne Clark, whose two older children are at Strathallan also expressed her delight that her youngest would be able to start in P1 after being told the school was full.

“It would have been a nightmare, as I work full time. My eldest is starting at Balwearie, I would have had another at Strathallan, then I would have had to take the youngest to Capshard,” she explained.

Shelagh McLean, head of service, said: “In areas where there is high demand for schools, parents may be told their children have been refused. However, that’s only one of the steps in the process. From there, parents can appeal the decision. Following this process, parents at Strathallan have been told their children have been granted a placing request at the school.”