Tens of thousands miss out on first-choice secondary school

The Guardian is reporting that tens of thousands of children have failed to get into their first choice of secondary school, with almost half of children in some London boroughs losing out.

At the end of national offer day on Tuesday, when more than half a million children in their final year of primary school find out which secondary school they will be attending in September, thousands learned they had not got into any of their six chosen schools…

The situation was particularly acute in London, where schools are grappling with a 3.3% increase in demand for school places this year. According to the pan-London admissions board, 31% of children failed to get into their first-choice school, though 89% were offered a place at one of their top three choices…

The Local Government Association, which represents 370 councils, has said its members may not be able to deliver sufficient places in future because their power to open new schools has been removed.

Labour, meanwhile, has said the system is under strain, with one in six secondary schools already at, or over capacity, and 300,000 more secondary pupils set to enter schools by 2020.

The government says it invested £5bn during the last parliament to help create half a million new school places, with a further £7bn set aside to create more places over the next six years. 

The final official figures on the allocation of secondary school places in England will not be released by the Department for Education until June, but a familiar pattern began to emerge on Tuesday as local authorities began to publish their own numbers.

In urban areas of high demand there was widespread disappointment, while in areas of low demand virtually all 11-year-olds got a place in their preferred school…

Research by the Press Association, meanwhile, suggested an overall increase in the number of applications received compared with last year…

More at: Thousands of children miss out on first-choice secondary school


The original Guardian headline (above) seems to be confusing the ‘tens of thousands’ (or approximately one in seven according to other reports) who missed out on their first choice and the ‘thousands’ who missed out on any of their six choices.

Both situations are hardly ideal, but the situation for those missing all six choices must surely be much more concerning?

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  1. jwscattergood

    cherrylkd We also have the 11+ & grammar system. So a further round of disappointment for students if they don’t get in.

  2. jwscattergood

    cherrylkd Agreed, a very divided system. Often comes down to who can afford tutoring and who cannot!

  3. thatboycanteach

    cherrylkd SchoolsImprove interestingly the kids who seemed not to get first choice were the ones who only put down one choice.

  4. cherrylkd

    thatboycanteach SchoolsImprove in Blackpool everyone got one of their 3 top choices. This is billed as everyone getting their choice.

  5. Britinfloridaus

    Grammar scores were known last October. So not a further round of disappointment, that would have been known last year.

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