12/03/2015 09:33 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Parents Spend £2,000 On School Run Because Son Was Denied Place At Local Schools


A mum and dad spend an astonishing £2,000 a month getting her four-year-old son to school because he was denied a place at four local primary schools.

Mother-of-two Louise Beard, 26, from Orpington, South London, says she spends around £100 a day to get Archie to his school – 25 miles away in Kings Hill, Kent.

Louise then drops her two-year-old daughter Poppy at a nearby nursery, before parking at the closest train station and getting the train to work as an accounts manager in south Bromley - just a few miles from her home.

Then at the end of the day, she has to do the entire journey in reverse to pick her kids up from a childminder near to Archie and Poppy's schools. She eventually gets the children home at around 8pm - 13 hours after they leave the house every morning.

Louise told her local paper: "It's awful at the moment. We are under a lot of stress.

"The kids are always sleeping in the car on the way. Archie is just exhausted."

Louise and her husband Byron, 30, who works as a recruitment manager, have already spent around £12,000 on the school run since Archie started in September.

They say they spend the money on petrol, train tickets, parking, a childminder, breakfast club and nursery fees.

Now the couple are so fed up with the daily grind that they have decided they have no choice but to sell their £400,000 home and move closer to the school.

A spokesman for Bromley Council refused to comment on the case specifically.

The spokesman said: "Bromley Council is responsible for ensuring that children applying for a Bromley school are offered a school place.

"In common with the rest of London we have had exceptionally high demand for reception places and have worked hard to provide all parents who applied on time with an optimal school place.

"The high demand means that proximity to school criteria may have a small radius, particularly in a year with large numbers of siblings.

"The pan-London admissions scheme distributes places in a scrupulously fair and transparent way based on the eligibility criteria including the applicant's permanent address and the number of places available at each school.

"Many schools are over-subscribed and cannot offer to all who apply, and only reach limited distances under the proximity criteria."


More than 50 miles worth of petrol: Costing £5 to £10 a day

Parking at West Malling Train Station: £4

Return train ticket from West Malling to Bromley South: £21.70

Childminder: £20 at approx. £5 per hour

Nursery: £35-£50 per day

Breakfast club for two children: £5

TOTAL: Minimum spend of £95 per day

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