A CROUCH End family have been told they must home-school their daughter after Haringey Council said there was no primary school place for her.

Christine and Ben Phillips were told in June by the council that they stood no chance of getting four-year-old Seren into any primary school school in the borough - and have failed to respond to the couple's repeated complaints since then.

The family, who have lived in Claremont Road for four years, have been told they are 35th on the waiting list for Coleridge Primary School – just 700 yards from their house.

They are now considering legal action against the council, as the delays and lack of response has left them with no time to apply for schools in neighbouring boroughs.

Mrs Phillips said: “Haringey has not communicated with us at all about providing us with a school place, except when we have complained.

“Council staff have been rude, unhelpful and unsympathetic – in marked contrast to Islington staff who have been very helpful throughout.”

The couple, who both work full-time, are now faced with the prospect of having to cut their working hours or pay out for schooling.

Mrs Phillips added: “Clearly, this is having an enormous emotional and economic impact on our family – my daughter is all too aware that she is not the same as other children and that we are having to battle to get her into school, even though we have tried to keep it from her.

“She is worried that she doesn't have any friends, and knows that the children at her nursery are all a year younger than her. She is a bright, articulate child and is very frustrated about not having a school place.”

The family have appealed to the Local Government Ombudsman over the case and are considering legal action, as they feel the council has failed in its duty to Seren.

They also claim that Coleridge Primary School has four empty classrooms and can afford to admit one more pupil – although the council denies this.

A report by all 33 London councils in 2009 warned that inner-London boroughs would lead to “an extraordinary demand for new reception places” and called for urgent investment.

In a statement, Haringey Council said: “The issue is being looked into.”

The Haringey Independent is investigating the crisis in primary school places. Do you have a story? Call the newsdesk on 0208 359 5906.