AN 11-YEAR-OLD from Winsford is being forced to travel miles away from his brothers when he starts high school in Northwich.
Ryan Banks has been told he can't go to Verdin High School when the summer holidays end because his family moved just outside its catchment area at Christmas. Instead he was offered a place at Woodford Lodge High School by Cheshire LEA.
But all Ryan's pals from High Street Primary School are moving on to Verdin, while his brothers, Richard, 16, Stephen, 15, and Adam, 13, study there and older sister Sarah, 18, is a former pupil.
Now his parents have decided to foot an £11-a-week bill to bus Ryan to Leftwich County High School in Northwich - where they say at least he will have a handful of friends in the same class.
'It got to the stage that Ryan was so worried about starting school in September at Woodford Lodge that we got him a place at Left-wich, because at least there he knows a few people, so he won't be totally alone,' said mum Kay.
It was either that or have him not enjoy his summer, because it was really getting to him.
'He is still asking me about school and it is not what he wants, but it is better than going to a new school where he doesn't know anyone.'
Ryan's old house on Grassmere Close fell within the Verdin catch-ment area, yet even though the new family home in Over Hall Drive is just a few hundred yards over the border into Woodford Lodge High School territory, he has been denied a place.
A spokeswoman for Cheshire LEA said the authority was sympathetic, but added: 'There were 245 applications from parents who chose that school [Verdin] as their first preference.
'A rule was made that pupils who lived in the catchment area would be accepted first.
'Thirty-six applications were turned down, of that 13 were siblings of pupils already at the school, four were from feeder primary schools and 19 lived out of the area.'