Pupil numbers bulge causes secondary catchment areas to shrink to less than 1km

The TES is reporting a new analysis that suggests England’s bulge in pupil numbers means that catchment areas of state secondaries are becoming ever smaller.

…Tuesday is national secondary offer day, when thousands of parents will find out if their children have secured their preferred place. But many are likely to miss out, despite living less than a kilometre away from their chosen secondary.

As population growth moves from primary to secondary schools, admissions cut-off distances are shrinking, new figures from the FindASchool website reveal.

The research finds that last year, at least 29 secondaries had cut-off distances of less than 1km. And in the vast majority of these (25), the distance had shrunk since 2014.

At Quarrydale School in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, families had to live within 187m of the school in order to secure a place, according to the website.

Ed Rushton, founder of FindASchool, said that such small distances were more common for primary school admissions but were still “unusual” for secondaries. But he added that he expected the trend to grow unless more schools started adopting lottery admissions systems or gave less priority to siblings or pupils from feeder primaries…

See more in the 26 February edition of TES

More at Pupil numbers bulge causes secondary catchment areas to shrink to less than 1km


I guess it is inevitable that this is happening for the most popular schools (at least while distance from school is a key admissions criteria) but it still feels odd to hear of secondary schools with such small catchment areas.

Any particular implications?

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Categories: Secondary.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove So the illusion of choice peddled for years by various MPs starts to collapse; who could have predicted that? #everyone

  2. andylutwyche

    brighton118 SchoolsImprove Quite; I rather hope (in vain?) that the general public are beginning to see through politicians’ facade

  3. andylutwyche SchoolsImprove It’s not a ‘choice’ – it’s a preference.  That said, the need for secondary school places is going to increase as the bulge moves out of primary schools.  
    But LAs’  hands are tied when it comes to satisfying this need.  They can’t direct academies to increase their Pupil Admission Number; neither can they build their own new schools.  They have to look around for a group willing to propose a free school – this takes time and the proposed free school may not be in the part of the LA where a new school is needed (for example http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2016/02/school-proposals-utter-madness-and-lack-coherent-planning-says-rugby-councillor).

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