Scores of parents have signed a petition to revamp the way primary school admissions are handled in Reading.

The online campaign, set up by a Caversham couple, calls for youngsters to be guaranteed a place at one of their three chosen primary schools.

It also requests that the Government provides children with enough schools in their catchment area and expand existing schools or build new ones to provide more places in line with housing growth.

Roger and Dawn Springer launched the petition – which they will eventually take to Downing Street – last week after their son Lucas was refused a place at their first choice school, Caversham Primary.

The youngster was also turned down for a place at his second and third choice schools, The Hill Primary and Emmer Green Primary, both in Emmer Green.

Instead council officials offered him a place in either Thameside Primary or Micklands Primary – both in Caversham.

Mr Springer, 39, of St Peter’s Avenue, said: “We took the usual route of applying to three schools which are in our catchment.

“But the council has decided to turn down all three of our choices. I just assumed Lucas would get a place. I’ve lived in the area for 39 years and attended Caversham Primary School.”

So far the petition, available by visiting and entering “more catchment school places” in the search engine, has generated 50 signatures.

But it is expected more people will sign the petition as the problem is far-reaching. Previously the Evening Post reported on Tracey Hayward whose twin children Phoebe and Charlie had also been rejected by the school.

And in 2005, the parents of 15 children won a High Court battle to send them to Caversham Primary.

This forced Reading Borough Council to install an extra classroom to accommodate them.

Mr Springer, who is married to Dawn, 37, and dad to Evie, one, and Isobel, five months, added: “Getting down St Peter’s Hill in the traffic will be awful. I have to get Lucas to school and get our other children into childcare and get to work on time. It isn’t going to work so we have put in an appeal.”

He added: “Through the petition we want to raise awareness. With all the extra housing in Caversham we need more infrastructure.”

Jon Hartley, lead councillor for education and lifelong learning, said: “It is perfectly legitimate to gather people’s views on important issues, and a petition to the Government is a well-established means of doing so.

“However, we as a local council have to operate within the current national system and continue to administer it in the best interests of all the children who enter Reading schools every year.”

Source: First printed in: Reading Evening Post