School admissions: up to 12 pupils compete for each place

The Telegraph is reporting that the latest figures show that some of England’s top state secondaries are being flooded with applications amid intense competition to get into leading grammar schools and academies…

Tens of thousands of pupils face missing out on their favoured secondary school after the most sought-after institutions were flooded with as many as 12 applications for each place.

One in seven children in England – around 76,000 – are likely to be forced to accept second, third or even fourth-choice schools amid mounting competition between pupils.

Demand for places is most fierce at an elite band of grammar schools and state-funded academies which often draw applications from families living several miles away.

Figures obtained by the Telegraph show that more than 10 pupils were chasing each place at some schools, rising as high as 12 in one case.

The disclosure is made before “National Offer Day” on Monday when the parents of around 530,000 English 11-year-olds will discover which state secondary school they have been allocated for September.

In total, some 1,863 pupils sat the entrance exam to get into Tiffin School, Kingston upon Thames, for just 160 places.

Harris City Academy Crystal Palace, in south London, was the most sought-after comprehensive, with 2,016 applications for 180 places – a ratio of just over 11-to-one.

Competition is most fierce in parts of London and the south east where parents can traditionally choose between dozens of easily accessible schools.

But data shows that some schools outside the capital are also being inundated with applications this year.

William Hulme’s Grammar School in Manchester has received 1,191 applications for just 120 places – almost 10 pupils for each spare desk.

The sheer number of applications for England’s top schools has led to the introduction of more lottery-style admissions policies this year designed to stop wealthier parents moving into the catchment area to secure places.

Janette Wallis, senior editor of The Good Schools Guide, said parents were going to extreme lengths to get their children into top schools, including tutoring children for grammar entrance exams, cheating on application forms and feigning religion to gain access to top faith schools…

Experts said an estimated one-in-seven would miss out on their first choice this year – around the same as in 2013. Some 3.5 per cent – 18,500 – will probably be rejected from at least three schools.

Research by the Telegraph shows the Government’s academies – state-funded institutions run free of local authority control – have received some of the largest numbers of applications this year…

Large numbers of pupils were also enrolled in entrance exams for England’s 164 remaining grammar schools…

More at: School admissions: up to 12 pupils compete for each place

Your thoughts on these figures from the Telegraph? Is it a good thing that some schools are becoming so popular a concern? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

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  1. carlgomb

    nrcantor SchoolsImprove cd mb b counteracted somewhat if there were better informal trust networks existing parallel to crude ‘rankings’?

  2. carlgomb

    nrcantor SchoolsImprove simply networks of ppl who trust one another, talking together about what they value.

  3. nrcantor

    carlgomb SchoolsImprove Got it now. How are you thinking that might help? You think people have values that don’t align w school rankings?

  4. carlgomb

    nrcantor SchoolsImprove yes. Tho ofc we chat already w friends etc think wider, more open convos cd counteract some worst ranking effects.

  5. nrcantor

    carlgomb SchoolsImprove I’m not convinced those conversations wd balance out an org whose stated purpose is to determine school quality :/

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