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More children than ever get place at one of their preferred secondary schools

Published on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

THOUSANDS of children across the city will be offered places at secondary schools today – with more children than ever who applied on-time being offered a place at one of their preferred schools.

Today – 1 March – is National Offer Day, when children up and down the country learn which secondary school they will attend for the 2017/18 academic year.

In Leicester, 4,160 applications were received on time – an increase of 4.3 per cent, or 172 extra admissions compared to last year.

Of those, 3,472 (83.5 per cent) received their first preference, 358 (8.6 per cent) their second preference and 91 (2.2 per cent) their third preference.

Compared to last year, 88 more families secured a place at their highest preferred school, and 105 more families secured a place at one of their preferred schools.

In total 94.3 per cent of applicants were offered a place at one of their three choices, with the remaining 5.7 per cent offered alternative places.

Every applicant who applied on time was offered a place at a school in the city.

With the support of schools, the city council has created 217 new Year 7 secondary school places for the 2017/18 academic year. This includes 100 additional places at Fullhurst and 30 each at Crown Hills and Judgemeadow, with the remaining 57 places shared out between other city secondaries.

There are also plans for the biggest-ever expansion of the city’s secondary schools to meet increasing demand, as part of a £45million project that will see 2,500 extra places provided across the city, coming on-stream in phases from September 2018.

Construction work for the expansion programme is due to start in autumn this year, with the intention to carry out work on as many of the schools as possible at the same time.

Cllr Sarah Russell, assistant city mayor for children, young people and schools, said: “The number of applications we’re receiving is increasing year on year, but we’re working hard, together with schools, to meet demand.

“We’re providing more places and have made sure that, once again, no-one who applies on-time is without a place.

“We’ve also been able to offer the vast majority of applicants – 94.3 per cent – one of their three preferences.

“Creating 2,500 new places is equivalent to building two new secondary schools. We’re investing in schools in this way because we know how important it is to families that these places are available. It will also help to increase choice.”

More than half of the 239 families who weren’t offered a place at one of their preferred schools had only chosen one school, rather than making the three choices everyone is entitled to.

Cllr Russell added: “Putting down only one school doesn’t increase your chances of getting in there ­– it just increases your chances of disappointment. We strongly recommend that all families visit their local schools and then use all three preferences on their application form.”

The application process for school places is now entirely online, meaning parents can view their results on offer day, rather than having to wait for a letter to be posted out to them.

Academic Year 2016/17 Academic Year 2017/18
Total Number of Applications 3988 4169
1st Preferences Met 3384 3472
2nd Preferences Met 364 358
3rd Preferences Met 68 91
Any Preferences Met 3816 3921
Alternative Offers 172 239
No Offers 0 0
Academic Year 2016/2017 Academic Year 2017/18
1st Preferences Met 84.9% 83.5%
2nd Preferences Met 9.1% 8.6%
3rd Preferences Met 1.7% 2.2%
Any Preferences Met 95.7% 94.3%
Alternative Offers 4.3% 5.7%
No Offers 0 0