Record number of children to miss out on first-choice secondary school places, analysis suggests

The Independent is reporting that some 115,000 pupils in England will not be offered a place at their preferred option, according to analysis by the Good Schools Guide, which warned some parts of the country “simply do not have enough places to satisfy local demand”.

Headteachers have called on the government to “sort its act out” and said there was a “desperate need for long-term planning” to cope with a growing school-age population.

Families learn on Friday where their children will start school in September.

A shortage of places, particularly in large cities, and high demand for the best-performing means more disappointed parents than ever, analysis of government figures suggests.

Councils in half of London boroughs, as well as parts of Greater Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham, are thought to have received more applications this year than school places available.

Councils in half of London boroughs, as well as parts of Greater Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham, are thought to have received more applications this year than school places available.

Bernadette John, director at the Good Schools Guide said: “Secondary school can be key to unlocking a child’s potential, so no wonder parents are dismayed when the place they get is for an undesirable school.

“It has been known for a long time that secondary schools would need to accommodate increased pupil numbers but little action seems to have been taken.”

Last year 104,000 children, or 17.9 per cent, missed out on their first choice, an increase from 2017.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT headteachers’ union, said: “Until the government sorts its act out and comes up with a national strategy to guarantee there are enough school places for every child in England, the annual anxious wait for families will always be a problem.

“It’s an issue which isn’t going away. There is a desperate need for long-term planning that spans all sectors.”

Read the full article Record number of children to miss out on first-choice secondary school places, analysis suggests

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Comments

  1. Anonymous

    If people sent their children to their nearest school then we shouldn’t encounter these issues so long as there are enough places. And so long as they were adequately funded based on the demographic ie poor area schools get a lot of funding and good teachers and head teachers. But people need to acknowledge that those bad schools have to be filled. Those schools that aren’t good enough for your child are presumably good enough for some other child? The gap as far as I see it is inadequate school places for clever disadvantaged children and inadequate provision for other special needs, because being clever is a special need.The children of the middle classes will do well even in poor schools so long as they do not have special needs because they have parents with resources and knowledge.This isn’t about adequate spaces per se it is about adequate spaces at schools that you want for your child. Someone else’s child has to go to those rubbish schools. They have no choice always.

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