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Davinia Chalkley blames lack of places at nearby schools for problems
A mother has vowed to have her day in court after being fined over her daughter’s persistent lateness for school.
Davinia Chalkley, of Torrington Road in South Woodford, was ordered to pay £240 after repeatedly failing to get seven-year-old Ellie to Roding Primary School on time.
But she believes the fine is unjust as she was unable to get her daughter a place at schools within walking distance of her home and the current journey takes 20 minutes each way, with unpredictable traffic.
The 34-year-old mother-of-two said: “I have to make six journeys across the borough each day due to my work and taking children to school and it inevitably means they will be five or so minutes late sometimes as traffic is unpredictable.
"Also my daughter can't get into more conveniently located schools. We are on the waiting list for schools but we are being continually pushed out by people moving into the area.
“I am not refusing to pay, just disputing the fine. I have been advised to take my daughter out of school if I can’t get them there on time, but this is just not an option.
“Being five minutes late is not affecting her education. It is not my fault there was terrible roadworks earlier this year.
“There are not enough school places and it is a real issue for people living in the area. I worry there are more people in my position.
“It just seems to be a money making situation, it is despicable to be honest.
“I want to win at court and show everyone that something has to change.”
Ms Chalklley is due to appear at Romford Magistrates Court on June 10.
A spokesman for Redbridge Council said: "The council will not comment on individual cases but can reassure residents that every effort is made to give parents their first choices when they apply for schools. Sadly this cannot always be the case."
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