The Evening Standard is reporting that education experts have predicted that more than 28,000 London children will miss out on their first choice of secondary school this year.
It means that record numbers of 11-year-olds will start in September at schools that are not their top preference, according to the Good Schools Guide, which warned that there were not enough secondary schools in London to cope with the number of children needing places this autumn.
Last year, around 27,000 children were not given a place at their preferred secondary school, and the Guide has calculated that this year’s figure will rise by roughly 1,000. Families will be told what school their child has been allocated on national offer day next Tuesday and children in London are expected to be the least likely in the country to get a place at their preferred school.
Susan Hamlyn, director of The Good Schools Guide’s Advice Service, said: “There needs to be a plan so that we have enough schools, enough places and enough teachers in every borough. A number of schools that were guaranteed to London for 2016 still haven’t opened their doors — some haven’t even found a site to build on.”…
A London Councils spokeswoman said: “It is important to recognise that not all parents and pupils can be offered their first preference, because there is simply not an unlimited number of places in London’s schools.
“Demand is growing, as we are beginning to see the pressure on primary schools transfer to secondary.” Children applying for secondary school can choose up to six schools in order of preference…
As demand goes up in advance of available places, it is inevitable fewer children will get there preferred choice but is this necessarily a problem or should there perhaps be a greater emphasis on managing expectations?
Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…
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