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Councils meet rising demand as 88,000 London children secure preferred school place

  • By Gemma Kappala-R...

92 per cent of children due to start secondary school in London this September have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools - equivalent to just over 88,000 children.

86 per cent of London pupils were offered a place at one of their top three choices of secondary school, with 66 per cent getting into their first preference school, according to figures released on National Secondary School Offer Day by the Pan London Admissions Board.

The number of applications made for secondary school places this year was 95,305, a 3 per cent increase compared to last year. Over the past two years there has been a 7.4% per cent increase in the number of applications received for places at London secondary schools.

Rising pupil numbers in London continue to put pressure on London boroughs and secondary schools to expand school capacity and recruit more teachers and support staff.

Cllr Nickie Aiken, London Councils’ Executive member for Schools and Children’s Services, said:

“London has some of the finest schools in the country - 94 per cent of the capital’s schools are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted - and parents are incredibly positive about sending their children to school here in the capital.

“Today’s figures show the number of pupils starting secondary school in London is growing. While there has been a 3 per cent increase in applications compared to last year, an additional 2,796 applications, boroughs have successfully delivered a place at a preferred school to 92 per cent of children - and there is a school place available for every child in the capital.

“It is vital that all children in London have access to a high-quality education and London boroughs are working with their local schools to respond to increased demand across the capital for both mainstream school places and those for children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND). We are also committed to working with central government to continue our good work in addressing school place pressures.”

Sara Williams, Chair of the Pan London Admissions Board, said:

“In London school places are distributed in a transparent and impartial way by the Pan-London Admissions Scheme, taking into account the number of places available at each school and eligibility criteria.

“I can reassure parents that there are sufficient places in London schools to meet overall demand. The scheme ensures that parents receive a school place offer at the school which is highest in their list of preferences for which they are eligible under the admissions criteria.

“We advise parents to read the details of their child’s offer carefully and consider their options fully before making a decision. Each London borough has an admissions team and staff are happy to help if they have any queries.”

In London, offers will be sent out by email and either the ParentComms app or text during the evening of Friday 1 March 2019.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

For more information and detail on London's secondary school admissions statistics, please download our FAQ document - click here.

The Pan London Admissions Board has overall responsibility for the school application co-ordination scheme in the capital. Membership includes representatives of the Association of London Directors of Children’s Services, the London Inter Authority Admissions Group and the London Grid for Learning.