Most pupils get preferred primary school place

  • By Gemma Kappala-R...

Around 97 per cent of London pupils have been offered a place at one of their preferred primary schools despite continued pressure on school places, according to figures released today (Monday 18 April) by the Pan London Admissions Board.

London boroughs received 103,208 applications this year, showing that demand for places at London’s primary schools remains strong.

Almost 100,000 pupils received a place at one of their six preferred schools this year – up 1 per cent from last year. Of those, 84 per cent got into their first preference school, up 3 per cent compared to last year, and 93 per cent got into one of their top three schools.

London’s school-age population has increased at twice the rate of any other region in recent years.

Helen Jenner, Chair of the Pan London Admissions Board, said: 

“Demand for primary school places in London has been increasing for several years and remains high this year. Across the capital there are a variety of schemes in place to ensure there are sufficient school places to meet demand.

“The fact that 84 per cent of pupils have been offered their first preference, a three per cent increase on last year, reflects how proficient the London system is at matching places with children. Effective relationships between boroughs and schools, grounded in local knowledge, make it possible for capacity to be expanded where places are most needed.

“However increases in London’s primary population are now feeding through to secondary, creating a school places challenge across the education system. Boroughs need long term funding arrangements that truly reflect the costs shouldered by London schools and help them to plan ahead effectively.”

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 is to ensure admissions are co-ordinated between authorities and significantly reduce the number of pupils receiving multiple offers or no offers at all.

Ninety three per cent of applications were made online this year through the scheme – up by 5 per cent compared to last year.

A 2015 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 editor:

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.

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 third national primary offer day when all parents are notified on the same day where their child has been offered a school place.

4. For more information and a borough-by-borough breakdown of the data, see the FAQ