Children across city offered places at primary schools

Published on 18 April 2016

NINETY-FIVE per cent of children starting school this autumn will get a place at one of their preferred schools, according to data released today (18) by Leicester City Council.

The city council’s schools admissions service was able to offer the vast majority of on-time applicants a place at one of their chosen schools, despite seeing a 3.5 per cent increase in applications compared to last year.

The number of applicants getting their first-choice school increased this year compared to last. This year, 4,007 applicants (86 per cent) got their first-choice school, compared to 3,951 last year.

In total, the city council received 4,648 applications this year, compared to 4,492 last year. All of these applications were made online, and all have been offered a school place.

More applicants were offered a place at their second or third preference school compared to last year.  A total of 299 applicants (6.43 per cent) got a place at their second-preference school, with 111 (2.4 per cent) getting their third preference. Only 231 applicants (five per cent) were allocated a place at a school that did not feature on their application form as one of their preferences. In these cases, all of these applicants were offered a place at a school within 1.6 miles of their home.

Of the applications received, 146 of those who did not secure one of their preferences applied for just one or two schools, which reduced their chances of securing a place at one of their preferences. In total, 57 per cent of applicants did not take the opportunity to use all three of the preferences they are entitled to indicate on their application.

Cllr Sarah Russell, assistant city mayor responsible for children, young people and schools, said: “I’m really pleased that we’re able to offer 95 per cent of our children one of their preferred schools, especially as we have dealt with increased numbers of applications this year compared to last.

“It’s particularly encouraging that we’ve been able to offer all children who have applied on time a place in a school within around one and a half miles of their home.

“Our schools system is under increased pressure for places, which we’re working hard to provide. However, parents can help us by ensuring that they’re realistic about the schools they apply for, and that they put down three choices when they apply.

“It’s important parents recognise that they are not increasing their chances of getting into a school by only specifying one or two choices on the application form. Not using all three preferences doesn’t increase your chances of getting in to your first-choice school.

“We’ll continue to work with parents and schools to provide choice, and we’d encourage anyone who needs to apply for next year to visit your local school and see what it has to offer.”

Parents will be able to view their child’s school offer online from today (18), but will also get a letter.

This year was the first time that all applications were made online only. This has meant that all parents have been able to view their results online on offer day rather than wait for a letter, although the city council still has a legal duty to send a confirmation letter to all applicants.

Since 2012, the city council has invested more than £30million in creating more than 600 new reception places to ease pressure on schools. This equates to about 4,500 extra places across all school years.

More information about school admissions can be found at www.leicester.gov.uk

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