94 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 by the Pan London Admissions Board on National Secondary School Offer Day show that 89 per cent of pupils were offered a place at one of their top three choices of secondary school in London, with 68 per cent getting into their first preference school.
The number of applications made for secondary school places this year was 88,601, an increase of 2 per cent compared to last year. Over the past two years there has been a 5 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 meet increased demand so that pupils are offered a good quality school place. Despite a 2 per cent increase in the number of applications this year, boroughs have offered 94 per cent of children a place at one of their preferred schools, maintaining the same rate as last year.
“As well as expanding existing schools and building new ones to create additional capacity, London also needs to recruit more teachers to meet the rising demand for places while maintaining our high standards. It is therefore deeply worrying that the majority of London’s school budgets are set to shrink in the next few years as the new national funding formula is implemented and schools face additional costs such as pensions and the introduction of the new apprenticeship levy.”
Sara Williams, Chair of the Pan London Admissions Board, said:
“The Pan-London Admissions Scheme distributes places in a fair and transparent way based on the eligibility criteria and number of places available at each school. It is important to recognise that not all parents and pupils can be offered their first preference, 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 Wednesday 1 March 2017.
Notes to Editors:
- The Pan London Admissions Board has overall responsibility for the admissions co-ordination scheme. Membership of the board includes representatives of the Association of London Directors of Children’s Services, the London Inter Authority Admissions Group and the London Grid for Learning.
- For an explanation of how the scheme works and a breakdown of data showing how preferences were allocated across the capital, please see the FAQ document.
- To find out more about the impact of the new National Funding Formula for schools on London, click here. London Councils is calling on Government to invest £335 million to ensure no school loses funding as a result of the introduction of the new formula.
- A 2016 poll, carried out by YouGov on behalf of London Councils, showed 79 per cent of parents said the system for applying for school places was ‘easy’.
- A number of factors have an impact on National Secondary School Offer Day statistics in London. As all schools listed on the form are considered equally, parents may decide to use their first preference to rank a school which their child is less likely to be offered and put their more realistic options lower down the list.
- In London, the proximity of schools to good public transport means that there is more pupil movement across local authority boundaries than anywhere else in the country, with 20 per cent of secondary school pupils in the capital crossing a council boundary to attend school.
- Some boroughs might not be offering as many first preferences to the people living in their area as others, but they may well be meeting a high proportion of first preferences of pupils from neighbouring boroughs. Local authorities are prohibited from giving their own residents priority.
- From May 2017, all local authority grant maintained schools will have to contribute towards the apprenticeship levy for public sector bodies. For more information on the apprenticeship levy and target, click here.