Council denies discrimination

Emma Parker with daughters Charlotte and Melissa. ANL-160407-142629001
Emma Parker with daughters Charlotte and Melissa. ANL-160407-142629001

A Billingborough mum is considering lodging a complaint over sex discrimination and equal opportunities for her 11-year-old daughter in a row over school transport funding.

Primary school supply teacher Emma Parker, 42, wants to send her daughter Charlotte to Bourne Grammar School in September but feels that because her child is a girl, she is unable to get funding for her transport.

She said: “Our area for schools is Sleaford and the (Lincolnshire) county council has argued all along that the school we wish our daughter to attend is not within the designated transport area, being approximately 0.1 miles further than our allotted ‘girls school’ (Kesteven and Sleaford High School) in Sleaford.

“Charlotte has passed her 11-plus and we wish her to go to a mixed grammar school. When I rang the county to let them know this I was asked: ‘Is your child a boy or a girl?’ Once I replied ‘a girl’ they said that they wouldn’t pay transport.

“Bourne Grammar is approximately 0.1 miles further than the girls’ school in Sleaford, but it is closer than the boys’ school in Sleaford (Carre’s). Therefore if my child was a boy I would get funding to either Sleaford or Bourne, but because she is a girl they will only fund to Sleaford.”

They offered to top up the funding but the council have refused to consider this.”

The bus to Bourne would cost the parents £575 a year for Charlotte, a pupil at Billingborough Primary School.

A statement from David Robinson, school services manager for Lincolnshire County Council, said: “This issue isn’t a case of sex discrimination in any way and the council would never condone anything of that sort. The designated and nearest grammar school for this student is in Sleaford, as is the nearest non-grammar secondary.”