Sharon Allen in school choice battle

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The Independent Online
Sharon Allen waits at home with her daughter Danielle knowing that she could have cheated to win a place at their chosen secondary school.

Sharon and her husband Des, both property developers, own two houses just yards from St Albans' Girls Grammar School, but missed out because they used their true home address - three miles away - to apply to Hertfordshire County Council. With just four months to a new school year, Danielle, 11, is among 44 children in the St Albans area still with no offer of a secondary school place. Now the Allens, and fellow members of a local pressure group, Parents Charter 1997, are threatening to educate their children at home unless a suitable choice is forthcoming.

Photograph: Edward Sykes