The father of a child with learning difficulties is angry after she failed to get a place at his chosen school.

Michael Steels picked Seahaven Academy in Newhaven for his daughter Jasmine, ten, because he felt it was the only place that could meet her needs.

Mr Steels, from Telscombe, says she has now been left without a suitable place to go.

But the trust that runs the school said it had followed its admissions policy correctly.

Jasmine has a number of learning difficulties including ADHD and dyslexia and is currently registered with children’s mental health services.

Mr Steels said he chose Seahaven for her because of its “excellent” reputation for teaching children with learning difficulties.

The school’s website says its admissions policy gives priority to children with learning difficulties or special needs, or those who are in care.

But Mr Steels was shocked and upset when he found out Jasmine had not been offered a place.

He said she should have been treated as a higher priority, given her complex needs.

He said: “My daughter doesn’t have a school to go to now.

“Her junior school, Telscombe Cliffs Community School, felt she would struggle so much to

transition that they needed to get a psychological expert to evaluate her.

“I just want my child to be in the right education for her.

“I’m not asking for something we’re not entitled to.”

Mr Steels appealed against the decision but the appeal was rejected.

He said Jasmine was offered a place at Peacehaven Community School but the family declined it as they did not think the school would be able to handle her special educational needs.

Mr Steels said the family had only applied to Seahaven because of its good reputation for teaching children with such learning difficulties.

He said: “Seahaven Academy was not our preference as a school, it’s where we applied because of my daughter’s needs.

“Now we are still looking for a school for Jasmine to go to next year.”

A statement from United Learning Academies, which runs Seahaven Academy, said: “Every admissions application is carefully considered on a case-by-case basis, in line with our admissions policy and that of the local council, and banded accordingly.

“Where a child is not awarded a school place and chooses to appeal the decision, this is dealt with by an independent panel which always considers the full extent of evidence provided.

“Only the independent panel has the authority to decide

whether an appeal is upheld or dismissed.

“It is always disappointing for families that do not receive a place at their school of choice, which is why there is a strict process in place to ensure that these decisions are taken fairly and correctly.

“In this instance, the case went to appeal and the independent panel, having considered all the evidence presented, was

satisfied that due process had been followed and upheld the original decision.”