TENS of thousands of children missed out on their parents’ first choice of secondary school this year as the proportion of youngsters gaining their top preference fell for the first time in five years, official figures show.
Around one-in-seven 11-year-olds did not get a place at their favoured school, according to data published by the Department for Education (DfE). In Yorkshire parents fared better with around one-in ten missing out on their first choice. However the figures also show parents chances of getting their child into their first choice varied depending on where they lived in the region.
In Bradford around 25 per cent of parents missed out on their first choice secondary while in the East Riding this figure was just three per cent.
At primary level 15 per cent of parents in Bradford missed out on their first choice and in Calderdale and Leeds 14 per cent missed out.
Around 500,000 children in England received a secondary school offer on March 3, on what is commonly known as National Offer Day. The figures show that 85.2 per cent were given a place at their first choice, down 1.5 percentage points on last year. This means that around 14.8 per cent of applicants - about 77,100 youngsters - missed out this year, compared with around 66,500 (13.3 per cent) last year.
Around 95.5 per cent of 11-year-olds got one of their top three preferences, down from 96.5 per cent last year, and 96.8 per cent were given an offer from one of the schools they listed as a preference, down from 97.8 per cent in 2013/14. Families are often able to list up to five or six preferred schools on the application form. There was also a primary National Offer Day, on April 16, when families across the country were told which primary school their child would be attending.
* North Yorkshire County Council’s executive has approved the mergers of both Gladstone Road Infant and Junior Schools and Barrowcliff Infant and Junior Schools in Scarborough. This will create two all-through primary schools.