I WRITE after reading a letter in the Bury Times (April 22)about the difficulty one lady experienced in getting a high school place for her grandchild in Prestwich.

I live in Crumpsall with my partner and my two children have attended Heaton Park CP school since they were five. This year my daughter Natalie is due to leave for high school and wanted to go to the same school as her friends. Her brother is still at Heaton Park and will be for the next 16 months, therefore we needed to have them both in schools in close proximity in order to be able to drop them off and pick them up. Both my partner and I work full time.

We were sent paperwork from Natalie's school regarding Prestwich High School, which would have been ideal as it is only a short distance from Heaton Park CP. We attended an open evening in September and had a good look round and both Natalie and Haimish (my son) really enjoyed the experience. We all found the pupils to be polite and friendly and the presentation by the headmaster was really positive. Teachers informed us that Prestwich was the main school for children in the Crumpsall area, so we never thought that we would have a problem in getting a place for her.

I filled in the forms and in the new year received a letter from Bury LEA advising me that a place was not available for Natalie and that we would have to attend an appeal. We did this but to no avail.

Bury LEA informed us that there were school places in Radcliffe but this was completely unacceptable. There is no way their father could get to Radcliffe to drop Natalie off, then Haimish to Heaton Park on time, and then me into Manchester to work. Bury LEA did advise me that Manchester would have to give Natalie a school place, but all her friends are in Prestwich and then there was the travelling problem.

Because of all this we applied for a place at North Manchester High School where I am happy to say she was offered a place, but we have the problem of getting from Crumpsall to the school in New Moston where the school is situated. It looks very much like we will have to remove Haimish from school and try and find him a place in a Manchester primary school, which I feel is really unfair.

We too pay all our taxes, and even though our council tax goes to Manchester we still feel that our children should not be put through all the stress and worry of not being given a suitable school place. My daughter has had many a sleepless night worrying about whether she would get into a suitable school.

Surely Bury LEA must have known there would be a problem in allocating high school places and yet nothing was said. We were never given a hint that there would be no place available for Natalie; if they had we could have addressed this problem a lot earlier, even moved them both sooner in order to cause them less stress. Presumably we are going to be faced with the same problem when Haimish comes to leave primary school.

I agree with the letter from the "Angry Grandmother" and I too have written to Ivan Lewis MP in the hope that this matter can be addressed.