Record number of London pupils offered preferred primary school place


  • By Gail Anderson

More than 95 per cent of London pupils have been offered a place at one of their preferred primary schools despite unprecedented pressure on places, according to figures released today by the Pan-London Admissions Board.

London boroughs received 103,387 applications for places this year – a record number of applications for the capital and up 900 from last year. This indicates the on-going demand for London schools.

Around 99,000 pupils received a place at one of their six preferred schools this year – up 1,100 and half a percentage point from last year. Of those, 81 per cent got into their first preference school and ninety-three per cent got into one of their top three schools.

London has seen the school-age population increase at twice the rate of any other region in recent years. In response, London boroughs have been working with local schools to increase places.

Helen Jenner, Chair of the Pan London Admissions Board, said: “Despite the fact that boroughs received a record number of applications for primary school places, more pupils have been offered a place of their choice than ever before.

“The fact that 81 per cent of pupils have been offered their first preference, even though boroughs received 900 more applications this year, reflects how proficient the London system is at matching places with pupils.

“It is also testimony to the hard work boroughs have been doing with local schools to expand provision in recent years.

“As London’s pupil population continues to grow, creating more places will become increasingly difficult. Long-term planning and funding is needed to help avert a crisis in the future."

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.

Eighty-eight per cent of applications were made online this year through the scheme – up by nine per cent compared to last year. 

A 2014 YouGov survey showed that 78 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.


Editor’s notes:

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.

This is the second national primary offer day when all parents are notified on the same day where their child has been offered a school place. There is already a secondary school national offer day, on or around March 1 each year. The government has set the primary offer day to be on 16 April each year.

For more information and a borough-by-borough breakdown of the data, see the document to the right of this page.


Gail Anderson, Media and communications Officer

For more information email [email protected] or call 020 7934 9841