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A PRESTIGIOUS college has come under fire after some students seemingly had their places "dumped" the day before they were due to join, while others claim they only found out on the day of enrolment.

The setting at the centre of the controversy is Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College in Leeds.

Students set to begin their studies there for the upcoming academic year were assigned slots to enrol at the college between Monday and Thursday of this week.

But many have found themselves left in limbo as Notre Dame stopped enrolling any more candidates on Thursday due to being "full" - candidates who had seemingly been offered and accepted places.

One of those affected was a girl from Saltaire.

The father of the girl - who wished to remain anonymous - said: "She had an offer, the condition was meet the grades, she met the grades and thought she was enrolling at 11.45am today (Thursday)."

But he revealed that a "terse" text was sent out by the college at 5pm on the Wednesday that, in his words, basically said "don't bother enrolling, you've not got a place" and was like being "dumped by text".

The text in full, according to the dad, said: "Dear applicant, the college is now full.

"Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer any more places and we have cancelled your enrolment appointment.

"Please refer to your school or local authority if you need further guidance."

The dad claimed there were even those who had gone to enrol yesterday, as they had not received the text at all.

He said: "There were people there today (Thursday) that had expected, were still trying, to see if they could enrol.

"People who hadn't received a text and no one was answering them.

"People were told to register on the telephone but they couldn't get through."

He added that there were around 40 to 50 people at the college on Thursday, whether they were protesting, hadn't received any information, or simply "still had the balls to turn up for enrolment".

The first rumblings of issues arising came two months ago, according to the father.

A letter seen by the T&A, believed to have been sent in late June, said: "Enrolment will take between Monday 16th and Thursday 19th August at Notre Dame and you individual date and time is listed below. It is important to attend at this time.

"We are heavily oversubscribed and will continue to enrol students until we are full.

"Order of enrolment starts with Catholic Partner schools, followed by Other Catholic schools and Catholic students and finally other schools in order of nearest to College."

Just below this was an enrolment time and date for the parent's daughter and the father said this read to them as everything was going ahead as normal.

One thing that did concern the dad though, was the final priority criteria - "other schools in order of nearest college".

He claims this was not part of the original admissions policy and feels it was added in as a way of clearing up the mess.

In his words, it meant those from Bradford or further afield were essentially excluded.

As of 4.30pm on Thursday, downloading the admissions policy from the Notre Dame website provides a document that makes no mention of the "order of nearest to College" priority criteria.

The dad said: "Basically, if you're outside of Leeds, you haven't got a chance.

"It was new ground that hadn't been part of the policy before.

"They didn't know that before, if we'd known that we would have thought about having a fall-back."

The letter and, even more so, the text came "too late", after his daughter had already been offered a place and accepted it, according to the dad.

If they had known about the potential problems, his daughter could have asked her former school to keep a place open, just in case.

He said: "If they hadn't had an offer, you could have actually said, 'write off college then'.

"But they're having to beg for a place at a school they didn't want to go to."

"The reason why people want to go to the college is they offered a really good spread of subjects.

"The problem is now, not only are we trying to get in somewhere, it's somewhere that offers the same spread of topics, so we're phoning around.

"She's really upset, because she'll probably have to take a subject she doesn't want to do."

The T&A contacted Notre Dame for a comment, but did not receive a response in time.