FURIOUS parents have set up an action group after their children were denied places at their preferred schools.

Families in West Christchurch are now urging Dorset County Council to open another class at Twynham Primary to accommodate their youngsters.

Around 15 families have joined forces to voice their disapproval that they have been offered places at schools in Somerford and Burton, several miles from their homes.

And they have urged other affected parents to get in touch and join their newly-formed Christchurch Schools Group.

Pupils at Twynham Primary are currently housed in temporary accommodation at Twynham secondary school in Sopers Lane.

A permanent site has been identified in Marsh Lane and the school was due to move there this year.

But delays have meant it will not be ready until next year and the decision was taken to accept just 30 pupils at the temporary site, instead of the proposed 60 if the new site had been ready.

Parent Jessica Rees said: "We know that there are at least 15 children, mainly from West Christchurch, who are being redirected to schools miles from where they live. We think there may be other local parents unhappy with the schools their children have been allocated. We are urging those families to join us in our appeal for a second reception class at Twynham Primary.

Simon Dunsby added: "If this decision isn’t reversed, our children will be robbed of the opportunity to learn alongside local friends within their community. For seven years, they’ll never be able to walk or cycle to school - the roads are too dangerous.

"This is an illogical decision that will compromise our children’s welfare - they need to be educated at the new school that is being built to counter these very issues."

The parents fear that once the major road works begin at Hurn and Blackwater in September, the children’s daily travel could amount to an hour and half.

They said they believe parents in Southbourne in Bournemouth may also be interested in joining their group because Twynham is nearer to their homes than some of the schools they have been offered in north Bournemouth.

Anyone interested should contact Christchurch Schools Group at xchurchsp2017@gmail.com