Many pupils will go to a school of their choice. Here are the Lancashire figures

According to the latest data more families are sending their children to a school of their choice - but hundreds are still having to go wherever they are sent.

Friday, 3rd July 2020, 2:53 pm
Most children will go to a school of their choice

Department for Education and Lancashire County Council figures show that more than 88 per cent of children due to start primary school in the county this September received an offer from their first-choice school – down from 90.4 per cent last year.

It means though, that more than 1,500 families missed out on their top choice as the number of applications to primary schools in the area rose by 1 per cent to 13,450 while 2.8 per cent were allocated a place at other school.

County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: " Lancashire has some excellent schools that are very popular. The vast majority get a place at the school they wanted the most, and over 97 per cent of pupils were allocated a place at one of the schools they preferred. Importantly, once again we've been able to offer every child in Lancashire a school place.

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Coun Phillipa Williamson

"School places are allocated fairly and objectively and every application is decided upon using the criteria which have been agreed for that school."

Appeals are currently taking place. The Department for Education announced a temporary relaxing of the rules around school admission appeals at the end of April, meaning they do not have to be held face-to-face during the coronavirus pandemic.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of National Association of Head Teachers, said: “The anxiety families are feeling, and the disappointment for those not getting their first choice, will only be heightened by the confusion and uncertainty caused by coronavirus.

"It is vital that no child going through the primary admissions process this year should be disadvantaged.

“For those families not getting their first choice of school, the appeals process must be as robust as ever and be made clear to parents.”"

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: "The vast majority of parents have again received an offer from one of their top three preferences of primary or secondary school for the next academic year.

"We will be supporting primary schools that have capacity to bring back more children – with reduced class sizes of 15 – to do so if they can before the summer holidays, and we will be working with the sector to bring all children back to school in September."