Call to split nursery times to free up places

Tracey Fisher and son, Luke, who was refused a place at the local nursery in Donaghcloney. INLM17-214.
Tracey Fisher and son, Luke, who was refused a place at the local nursery in Donaghcloney. INLM17-214.

A Donaghcloney grandmother has called for nurseries to split into morning and afternoon sessions to cater for all children after her grandson failed to be accepted.

Luke Fisher, who will be three in June, was not accepted into the nursery unit at Donacloney Primary School despite the fact that the family live just 500 metres from it.

Mum Tracy Fisher said she is angry that her son was refused a place even though her brothers and sisters have children at the school and other families from outside the village had their children accepted.

She said it seems they got accepted because they have older siblings in the school, which is very unfair on the only child.

Tracy’s mum Caroline said the school just can’t cope with the growing number of children wanting to go to there because the village has grown so much.

She said all her family have gone to this school and nursery unit and this is the first child in the family to be refused entry. And she called for split the times so that some children could go in the morning and others in the afternoon to accommodate all the children wanting to go.

Scott Gardiner from Avenue Road, Lurgan said he was gutted when his two year old son Olly was turned down for a place at the nursery unit at King’s Park Primary School.

He said his wife Emma was very emotional when she spoke to the principal who had explained that after following all the criteria, the school had to make a final decision based on age with the oldest children being accepted first. Olly will be three in May.

Scott explained that Olly had also been turned down for his second choice Harrison which only accepted children who had put the school down as their first choice and their third choice Dickson PS also turned them down.

Scott said he had been very optimistic that Olly would get into Kings Park as he lives so close on the Avenue Road and when he opened the letter on Saturday he said: “I was absolutely fuming.”

“When we told Olly that he wasn’t going to be able to go to nursery he said he promised to be good,” said Scott, adding that the toddler didn’t really understand why he had been refused but thought it was because he was naughty.

He added that he had been offered places at Tullygally, St Brendan’s and an Irish language nursery but he didn’t want his child going there.

“I am so cross and I will be appealing,” said Scott, who works for the Education Authority.