Highest ever number of children get first choice primary

Organiser Ingrid Pope [pictured] launched Tunbridge Wells Yard Sale last year after seeing a similar event in the US.

NINE out of ten children in Kent will be starting their education at their first choice primary school in September.

Kent County Council said 89.51 per cent of applicants were given their first preference, their highest ever figure.

It is a slight rise from last year’s 89.04 per cent and 87.22 per cent in 2016.

Parents found out last Monday [April 16] if their first, second or third choice had been accepted on what is known as National Offer Day.

Among the most popular choices in Tunbridge Wells were Claremont Primary School, where all 59 spaces were given to applicants who put it as first choice, and St James’ Church of England Voluntary Aided Infant School, which saw 88 of its 90 places filled with first choice applicants.

In Tonbridge St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Primary School and Slade Primary School both almost filled their two form entry with applicants who put them as first choice.

Kent County Councillor Roger Gough, portfolio holder for Education said: ‘We are pleased to see the continued improvement in figures.

‘Officers have continued to work hard to ensure that as many pupils secured one of their preferred primary schools.’


This year’s first choice preference figures of 89.51 per cent also compares favourably to 2015 [when 85.81 per cent go their top choice] and 2014 [84.9 per cent].

The county council also measures the number of applicants who were given a place at any of their top three choice primary schools.

This year 97.74 per cent got of applicants got a place at one these, which is also the highest figure ever.

Cllr Gough continued: ‘While we are happy to announce that a record low number of pupils needed to be given an alternative school, some families will still be receiving unwelcome news.

‘These parents can be assured that National Offer Day is just the first stage of offers and many will go on to secure places through waiting lists in the reallocation process and via appeals.

‘A specialist county council team is on hand to help parents make the most of the options available to them.’

These results are against a mixed national backdrop.

York was the top ranking nationally, with 94.2 per cent of children granted their first choice. In Kensington and Chelsea, the lowest, it was 68 per cent.

Overall in England there were fewer applications overall, as a population bulge moves into secondary schools.

For information on how to appeal, call the county council’s helpline on 0300 412121 or visit www.kent.gov.uk/primaryadmissions

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