PARENTS have welcomed a promise by the council's education department to look into alternative ways to admit pupils to the only single-sex comprehensive school in the borough.

Waldegrave School for Girls in Fifth Cross Road, Twickenham has been an over subscribed school for many years.

Parents have been dissatisfied with the way the admissions policy for the school works and have been calling for a rethink on admission procedures for some time.

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Last week Tory education spokesman, Cllr Geoffrey Samuel, urged the borough's education department to look into ways of improving the admissions system to guarantee fair play for girls who live in the Hampton area.

He said: "At my request the Education Department convened a meeting of local councillors to discuss the issue. At the moment there are years when not a single girl from Buckingham or Hampton Junior School is successful in obtaining a place at Waldegrave.

"This is so unfair that it must not be allowed to continue. I put this to the meeting and other councillors agreed. Just one small section of the local population is permanently at a disadvantage.

"What makes matters worse is that Hampton parents who want single-sex education for their girls are wrongfully denied that choice. At least in some other areas there is a nearby girls' school in a neighbouring borough."

A council spokesman said: "The response to the consultation demonstrates that schools in other parts of the borough perceive that their pupils are similarly disadvantaged. Because Waldegrave School is so oversubscribed any arrangements would be bound to lead to disappointment for large numbers of parents. The council will explore some suggested alternatives and model the outcomes in time for possible implementation for September 2004."