97 per cent of children due to start primary school in London this September have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools.
Figures released by the Pan London Admissions Board on National Offer Day (Tuesday 18 April 2017) show that London boroughs received 98,944 applications for primary school places this year, four per cent fewer than last year.
86 per cent of children got into their first choice primary school, and 96 per cent got into one of their top three schools.
Sara Williams, Chair of the Pan London Admissions Board, said:
“It is great to see that 97 per cent of applicants have got a place at one of their chosen primary schools, an increase on last year.
“The demand for primary school places in London remains high, having increased by 5 per cent since 2011. Overall there has been a slight fall in demand for reception places since last year but the pressure on London schools to deliver places for children across the capital due to start school this September remains.
“We will be keeping an eye on birth rates and patterns of population growth, but we expect demand for primary school places to continue at least at current levels and demand for secondary school places to grow considerably in the years ahead.”
Cllr Peter John OBE, Deputy Chair of London Councils and Executive member with responsibility for schools, said:
“Boroughs are clearly working effectively with local primary schools across the capital to put a variety of strategies in place to expand school capacity where needed, giving London’s children the best possible chance of getting a preferred school place and having a successful start to their education.
“However boroughs need long term funding arrangements that truly reflect the costs shouldered by London schools. As councils have the legal duty to provide school places, we strongly believe that Government should work more closely with us to deliver the school places needed by children across the capital as well as devolving funding for the free school programme.”
Under the Pan-London Admissions scheme, parents fill out a single application form, even if they are applying for schools in more than one borough. This ensures admissions are co-ordinated between authorities and is effective in reducing the number of pupils receiving multiple offers or no offers at all.
95.5 per cent of applications were made online this year through the scheme – up by more than 3 per cent compared to last year.
A 2016 YouGov survey showed that 79 per cent of London parents found the process of applying for a school place easy.
Pupils who have not been allocated a place at one of their preferred schools have either been offered an alternative or will shortly be advised of their options
Notes to editors:
1. London Councils represents London’s 32 borough councils and the City of London. It is a cross-party organisation that works on behalf of all of its member authorities regardless of political persuasion. It also runs a number of direct services for member authorities including the Freedom Pass, Taxicard and Health Emergency Badge. It also runs an independent parking appeals service and a pan-London grants programme for voluntary organisations. It also handles the release of Pan London Admission Scheme statistics to the media.
2. The Pan London Admissions Board has overall responsibility for the co-ordination scheme. 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.
3. This is the fourth national primary offer day when all parents are notified on the same day where their child has been offered a school place.
4. In 2011 there were 94,000 applications for primary school places in London.
5. For more information and a borough-by-borough breakdown of the data, click here to download the FAQ.
6. Figures listed in this release are final but on some occasions they may need to be updated.