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Boy wins primary place fight
11:30am Saturday 2nd June 2012 in Local news
The parents of an Otley boy with cystic fibrosis are celebrating finally getting a place at the school of their choice.
Up until April, Michael and Petra Pickard had been all set to send their four-year-old son Michael junior to All Saints C of E Primary School – somewhere he was already familiar with and which has experience of caring for children with his condition.
But the Pickards then received the shocking news that all of Otley’s primaries were full, so Michael, along with children from nine other families, would have to travel seven miles away to Ireland Wood for his daily education.
That crisis was eventually averted after Leeds City Council approved funding to enable Ashfield Primary School to run two reception classes from September, and offer places to all the affected children.
However, the solution still wasn’t ideal for the Pickards who, stunned that their son’s serious medical condition seemed to have been discounted during the whole process, had to fight on to persuade the authority that Michael’s needs would be best met at All Saints.
Their stressful ordeal finally came to an end on Tuesday, when they were offered a place at their first choice.
Mrs Pickard said: “This is great news. We would like to thank everybody who was involved to make this happen, including our family and friends, the newspaper, MP Greg Mulholland, the All Saints headteacher, and Leeds City Council who, after several phone calls agreed that Michael has got the right to be at that school and changed their decision, even without us going to an appeal.”