A FIVE-YEAR-OLD girl has been out of school for nearly six weeks because of a paperwork delay.

Michelle Pavitt, 39, fears her daughter Holly Bennet will struggle to catch up after being stuck at home without any work since the end of March.

The mum sent forms to Essex County Council asking for her daughter to transfer from Janet Duke Primary School, in Markhams Chase, Laindon, to Briscoe Primary, in Felmores End, Pitsea.

The family downsized from their home in Armada Close, Laindon, to Ashfields, Pitsea, because of the controversial “bedroom tax’’.

However, Miss Pavitt has only just been given the go-ahead for Holly to start today, after a six week wait.

Mother-of-eight Miss Pavitt said: “If it was me keeping her off for this long, I would end up in a lot of trouble. There is no way I could afford the journey from Pitsea to Laindon every day.

“I don’t drive, sowould have to rely on a taxi, or public transport, and it would work out to be a 30-mile round trip.’’ Miss Pavitt added: “We had to move house because three of my older children moved out, and I couldn’t afford to pay for our spare room.

“I was phoning the council every day to find out what was happening about the school move, but they just kept saying paperwork takes time.

“I even asked for some work for her to do at home, but they refused.

“I feel like Holly has missed out. She’s behind anyway, and because of this she’ll have difficulty catching up.

“Every day she was asking when she could start her new school and it broke my heart to see her so upset.”

The county council has been cracking down on parents who take children out of school without permission.

Latest figures released in February show 647 Essex parents were fined a total of £23,100 for unauthorised absences in the first five months of the academic year.

Miss Pavitt has kept her older daughter Kareena, 14, at Mayflower High School, in Stock Road, Billericay, because she is in the middle of her GCSEs.