Thousands of pupils miss out on first-choice school on Offer Day

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MORE than 4,500 pupils across Yorkshire have missed out on their first choice of secondary school this year and more than 1,000 have missed out on any of their preferred options, new figures reveal.

Children in their final year of primary school discovered yesterday which secondary they would be sent to from September as letters from councils arrived in what is known as National Offer Day.

Figures from 13 of the 15 education authorities in Yorkshire show there are at least 1,125 pupils who are being told to attend schools they and their parents did not choose as a first, second or third option.

In total 4,627 children in Yorkshire have been allocated a place at a secondary which was not their first choice.

Parents can now lodge appeals against the council’s decisions.

The worst results were in Bradford where almost one pupil in five missed out on his or her “first preference” of school. However the figure of 81.15 per cent successfully securing their favoured school – 5,467 of the 6,737 pupils who applied – represented an improvement on last year’s figures when 78.5 per cent of 11-year-olds were sent to their first choice secondary.

Education authorities across West Yorkshire had higher levels of pupils not getting into their top choice than the rest of the region.

In Leeds more than 1,200 pupils were not able to get into their first choice and more than 500 were unable to secure a place in any of their preferred options.

The level missing out on their first preference in the city’s schools rose from 14 per cent in 2011/12 to 16 per cent in 2012/13. Across Leeds seven per cent of pupils missed out on any of their chosen schools compared with four per cent last year.

Calderdale also had one of the highest rates of pupils missing out in the region with 366 – 15.8 per cent – not getting into their first preference and 42 children not getting into any of their choices. This, however, as with Bradford, represented an improvement on 2011/12 when more than 20 per cent missed out.

In Kirklees 87 per cent of the region’s 4,729 pupils were placed in their top choice up on 83 per cent last year and 97 per cent are being sent to one of their options.

Wakefield had the highest success rate in West Yorkshire with 90 per cent of pupils getting into their first choice school and just 0.7 per cent of pupils missing out on any of their options.

Outside West Yorkshire all the councils which provided results had more than 90 per cent of pupils getting into their first choice school. Slightly fewer Sheffield pupils have got into their first choice school this year but more children were able to secure a place at one of their preferences.

Figures from Sheffield Council show that 92.6 per cent of the city’s 4,739 pupils got into their top school.

In Hull the percentage getting into their first-choice school increased from 91 to 94 while in the East Riding 97.8 per cent of applicants were placed in their top preference.

Four secondary schools in the East Riding have filled the places they have available: Beverley Grammar, Beverley High, South Hunsley and Wolfreton.

In Barnsley 98.47 per cent of the district’s pupils were successful in getting into their first-choice school although this included people who applied to schools outside the council area. 100 per cent of pupils who applied to a Barnsley school got their first choice.

In North Yorkshire 95.2 per cent of pupils got into their first choice.

Matt Richards, of schoolappeals.com, said he was expecting to see a growth in parents appealing across the country because their child did not win a grammar school place.

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