Hundreds of children lose out as primary school places allocated

Hundreds of children lose out as primary school places allocated

18th April 2019

NEARLY 90 per cent of children across Kent will start their formal education in 2019 at the first choice of primary school named by their parents, according to Kent County Council [KCC].

The parents of more than 17,000 children in the county found out yesterday [Tuesday] what school their child had been allocated.

In total, 15,450 pupils were offered their first preference. A further 1,389 pupils secured a second of third place choice.

But 447 children will not be attending a school that was named by their parents. Last year 390 youngsters lost out on their preferred school.

Roger Gough, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education, said: “Officers have continued to work hard to ensure that as many pupils secured one of their preferred primary schools and we are pleased to see so many families get a favourable offer today.

“We should not lose sight of the fact that 447 pupils (2.6 per cent) have not been given a school of their preference. We appreciate this will be a disappointing and concerning time for those pupils and their families, but we would urge them not to be discouraged as this is only the first stage in the applications process.

“Many pupils will secure places through waiting lists and reallocation, and I would like to reassure parents and guardians that a specialist KCC team is on hand to help them make the most of the options available to them.”

Since 2010, an extra 636,000 primary school places have been added nationally to meet rising demand, but last year, around one in 10 families missed out on their first choice school, although 98 per cent found a place at one of their top three places.

Parents can accept their school place offers or seek alternatives if they are not happy with their allocation.

In Kent, 97 per cent of pupils found a place at one of the named schools chosen by their parents.

A spokesperson for KCC said despite the increase in application numbers, it is likely there will be considerable movement on school waiting lists between now and September as some families will not take up places they’ve been offered.

Parents and guardians are asked to approach the school they have been offered with an open mind but to remember they have the option to join a waiting list for an alternative school or can lodge an appeal.

Has your child lost out on a place at the primary school of your choosing? Contact newsdesk@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk.

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