Secondary school admission figures announced

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Lancashire schools are bucking the national trend with more pupils than most other areas getting a place at a secondary school of their choice.

As secondary school allocations are announced today there are fears that tens of thousands of youngsters across the country won't be going to a high school of their choice this September because of a shortage of places.

However, data released by education chiefs in Lancashire today shows that 95.3 per cent of pupils will be attending one of their preferred schools or academies.

According to Lancashire County Council, secondary school admissions allocations show that 83.6 per cent will get their first preference, 8.7 per cent will go to schools which were their second, while three per cent will attend their third preference school.

However, as many as four out of every 100 11 year olds won't be moving up to the high school they want in September as 4.7 per cent have been allocated a place at other schools.

But, County Hall chiefs say that figure can change as appeals take place later in the year.

Every pupil who applied within the deadline has been awarded a place at a secondary school.

Nationally around 115,000 youngsters are expected not to get into their first choice school as a demand outstrips places.

Councillor Susie Charles, Lancashire's cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: "Waiting to find out which secondary school you've been allocated can be an anxious time, for both parents and children. I have first-hand experience of this, so I know exactly how parents feel at this time.

"I'm pleased to know that 95.3 per cent will be getting one of their three preferences and 83.6 per cent have their first preference. Importantly, every pupil whose application was received on time has been allocated a secondary school place.

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

She added: "Our admissions team do a good job advising parents how to use their preferences wisely and, what to do if they are unhappy with the place they've got. There's still a lot of movement with the allocation of school places between now and September."

Parents will receive details about who to contact for advice and information on school admissions and appeals in the offer letter or email they receive.

Appeals are heard locally and will take place during the summer term.

For more information, visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/schools.

Parents can also call on 0300 123 6707.