More than 1,100 Leeds children miss out on first choice of primary school

A TOTAL Of 1,134 children did not get into their first choice of primary school in Leeds, with 279 missing out on any of their chosen schools.

Leeds City Council has made a total of 9,595 reception place offers this year, which is just 88 less than last year.

The council said that 88 per cent or 8,461 applicants have been given a place at their first choice, which is one per cent higher than last year.

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Overall 97 per cent have been offered one of their top five preferred schools, the same percentage as last year.

A total of 8.461 children were given their first preference, but 1,134 children missed out on their first option, including less than three per cent, or 279 children, who did not get into any of their five preferences and are being offered places elsewhere. This compares with 284 last year, also three per cent.

In January, plans for a new primary to tackle a school places shortage in Leeds were dropped.

The school in the Roundhay area was supposed to provide much-needed additional pupil places for children in the north of the city - but the Fair Access Schools Trust, which was set up to run it, was forced to pull out of the scheme as a result of a suitable site not being secured.

It came after Leeds City Council submitted a viability study to the Department for Education for Roundhay Park Lane East; however, the site was found to be undeliverable from a planning and value-for-money perspective.

This year the council said it has worked hard with schools across the city to provide an additional 150 permanent reception places and 45 additional ‘bulge’ places, helping to ensure there are enough school places in

the city.

Coun Lisa Mulherin, Executive member for children and families said: “Leeds continues to see school place pressures as a result of the birth rate in the city remaining higher than 10 years ago, and because of the success of the city’s economy drawing more families with school age children in.

“We’ve met the challenge creating 12,000 new primary school places in the city since 2009, and despite the parts of the city facing particularly significant pressure, we have through good planning and hard work with our city’s schools been able to offer more families one of their top preferences this year.“Anyone who has not yet applied should contact 0113 222 4414 or email [email protected] as a matter of urgency.”