Families applying for their child’s first primary school place have received their offers today with thousands of the city’s children being given a place at their first preference school from September 2015.
A total of 85 per cent of children will attend their first preference primary school, which is the same as last year - while overall 95 per cent will attend one of their five preferences. A total of 9854 reception places have been allocated this year, which is 80 more than in 2014.
For parents and carers, choosing a school for their children is one of the most important decisions they will make.Coun Judith Blake
Alternative places have been offered to 550 children who did not get any of their five preferences (5.5 per cent). Families are recommended to always include their nearest school as one of their preferences and to make sure they use all five preferences to get the best chance of being offered a preferred school. In fact of the 550 who were not allocated any of their preferences 427 did not follow the guidance to include their nearest school.
The volume of applications makes the admissions process one of the biggest tasks in the education calendar, and this year, the number of applications was especially high, with 500 more applications this year than two years ago. The council’s school places planning team has worked hard with schools to ensure there are sufficient places for the increase in pupil numbers in the city.
Coun Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said: “For parents and carers, choosing a school for their children is one of the most important decisions they will make. I am pleased we have been able to offer 95 per cent of families one of their preferences.
“However, we do understand how disappointing and distressing it is when people aren’t allocated their preferred school. We encourage parents to make sure they include their nearest school and use all five preferences to increase their chances of obtaining a place at a local school.
“In a very difficult environment we will continue to do everything we can to ensure parents have a full understanding of how the process works so that as many as possible receive their highest possible preference.”
Places will begin to be offered from waiting lists in May, and parents wishing to make sure they are considered in this process at the earliest opportunity must return their requests by 30 April. Anyone who has not applied should contact 0113 222 4414 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.