London secondary school places continue to rise – for third year running

  • By Jourdan Wong-Mu...

Ninety three per cent of children due to start secondary school in London this September have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools.

Figures released today on National Secondary School Offer Day by the Pan London Admissions Board, the body with overall responsibility for the co-ordination of school admissions in the capital, show that 87.3 per cent of pupils were offered a place at one of their top three choices of secondary school in London, with 66 per cent getting into their first preference school.

The number of applications made for secondary school places this year was 92,509, a 4.4 per cent increase compared to last year. Over the past two years there has been a 6.4 per cent increase in the number of applications received for places at London secondary schools.

Rising pupil numbers in London will continue to put pressure on secondary schools to expand capacity and recruit more teachers.

Cllr Peter John OBE, Deputy Chair of London Councils and Executive member with responsibility for education, said:

“The number of pupils starting secondary school in London is growing, and with 94 per cent of the capital’s schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, it is no surprise that parents are keen to send their children to school in London. 

“London boroughs are working with their local schools to respond to this increased demand so that all pupils have access to a high quality education. Despite a 4.4 per cent increase in applications compared to last year, equivalent to 3,908 additional applications, boroughs have successfully offered 93 per cent of children a place at one of their preferred schools.

“As well as managing rising demand in schools, councils are also dealing with a rise in the number of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). We remain keen to work with government and with schools to ensure that all pupils have access to a high quality education in London.” 

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

“The Pan-London Admissions Scheme distributes places in an open and fair way using eligibility criteria and taking into account the number of places available at each school. Where parents and pupils have not been offered their first preference, it is because in some schools the demand for places outstrips supply.

“There are however sufficient places in London schools to meet overall demand and the scheme ensures that parents receive an offer for 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 are sent out by email and either the ParentComms app or text during the evening of Thursday 1 March 2018.  

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Download Pan London Admissions Board 2018 briefing

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.

Of the 6,442 secondary school applicants without a preference offer, 5,822 will be offered an alternative school on 1 March. A further 126 applicants will be advised to apply for alternative school places which are available in their borough. 

Of the remaining applicants: 

35 already have a Year 7 place in an all-through school on 1 March.

201 will receive an offer on 1 March from a Free school operating outside of pan London co-ordination in its opening year. 

Applicants without the firm offer of a place on 1 March will be advised of places that will become available shortly due to withdrawal of successful applicants in favour of other options. 

Overall, there were an additional 1,300 (1.4 per cent) places at schools included in the pan London co-ordinated process this year. An additional 900 places are available at five Free schools opening across London in September 2018. As these schools are legally permitted to operate outside of pan London co-ordination in their first year, applicants who have successfully applied to these schools will receive a second offer of a place via the co-ordinated process. Once they have decided which place to accept more places will become available.