“I cried daily because I was so stressed about where my son would attend high school,” are the words of Rynfield resident Lisle Thatcher, whose son (13) had not received placement until January 26.
According to Thatcher, she initially applied at Benoni High School (BHS) on May 15, but was told by the Department of Education (DoE) in an email that her admission was late because the school had reached maximum grade capacity by May 2.
“I was told that the school was full, however, my application could not be deemed as late when applications closed in June,” Thatcher said.
Thatcher then made claims that children from Springs were accepted at BHS and were told before applications opened online that they have been placed at BHS.
“I was told that evidence from the back-end of applications and acceptance would be sent to me, but I am still waiting,” Thatcher told the City Times on January 29.
Thatcher continued to send several emails to the DoE, which the City Times has seen, asking for assistance regarding her son’s placement.
“I have been in tears for a week now as my son’s application is still pending on the website,” were Thatcher’s words in an email to the DoE on November 28.
“I have sent numerous emails and the dispute form. It was my son’s graduation from Farrarmere Primary last night and I still have had no correspondence.”
On January 17, Thatcher emailed the DoE again stating that she had still received no formal school placement for her son and received a response stating that the matter would be looked into urgently.
Finally, on January 26, more than a week after schools opened, Thatcher’s son was offered a place at Crystal Park High School to which she declined.
“Thank you but no thank you – my son’s father has made alternative arrangements at his cost,” Thatcher said.
The 13-year-old now attends a school in Rynfield called Tutoring For Success Education Centre.
“We applied for placement at the school after Christmas,” Thatcher said.
“I wanted my son to attend BHS. My daughter graduated from the school a few years ago and we live nearby.”
Nevertheless, Thatcher is more bothered about the competency of the DoE in placing her son.
“I am telling my story because I want parents to be aware of the processes and what they are getting into,” she said.
Thatcher said she followed the procedure for school placements, but found an alternative school because no response was received by the time schools opened.
The City Times has asked the Department of Education for comment, but none was received at the time of publishing.
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