Nov 26 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
A FATHER is concerned about his daughter’s education after she has been without a school place for the last six months.
Munawar Jeelani, 47, moved to Brent with his wife, Aliya, and five children early this year from east London, but his nine-year-old daughter Imama has still not been placed in a school.
The former Leytonstone resident, who now lives in Gilbert Scott Close, Wembley, said: “She had high hopes that she could go to school here.”
The family were moved to Brent after being left with no choice by a housing association, Mr Jeelani said.
There was a short wait to find a place for his other children earlier this year, but two are now at Wembley Primary School, East Lane, and the two eldest are at Preston Manor School, Carlton Avenue East, Wembley.
Imama was offered a place at a school in Harlesden, but Mr Jeelani said this was too far to travel, particularly as he is disabled and his other children are all at schools in Wembley.
Mr Jeelani, a part-time aviation security officer, said she had also been offered a Wembley Primary School place but when he presented the letter from Brent Council he was told none were available. The council has also failed to offer his daughter tuition in the interim period, he claims.
He added: “She has been out of school nearly six months since March this year. They haven’t given us any response.”
The borough has a massive shortage of school places, with bulge classes recently created at nine primary schools as an emergency measure to cope with demand.
A Brent Council spokesperson said: “Information held on the admissions database indicated that Wembley Park had a vacancy but unfortunately this information did not tally with the figures at the school and understandably the family were upset over the confusion.
“We have made changes to the system to ensure this kind of mistake does not happen in the future. While we understand that the family have a school preference, we have met our statutory duty and offered a place at Furness School at the beginning of October, which the family have turned down.”