SOUTHEND Council’s deputy leader has accused some parents of getting their children into schools by moving into an area and then moving out again once a place is secured.

John Lamb, a ward councillor in West Leigh, said during a cabinet meeting this week that admissions policies which allow siblings to follow their brother or sister into a school are allowing spaces to be taken up by students in many cases who are no longer local.

He said: “People who move into the area to get a child into a school, and then move away means their sibling can go to the school because their older sibling is already there.

That is something which needs to be looked at.

“In West Leigh a number of people move into the area to get a school place, then move out.”

Southend Council is reviewing its future primary school provision, and cabinet gave the green light to expanding six schools at the meeting.

Councillor responsible for education, James Courtenay, said he did not know if the practice of parents moving into an area was having a particularly large impact, but he said a committee looking at future school places would consider the issue.

Council leader Nigel Holdcroft, also a West Leigh councillor, said the area was a particular problem because it is furthest away from Southend itself.

“If there was one council in south east Essex made up of Southend, Rochford and Castle Point, as there should be in my view, then there would be one education authority as well and students in West Leigh could go to their next nearest school in Hadleigh,” he said.