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Nine out of 10 children get a place at their first preference school

Published on Monday, April 16, 2018

THOUSANDS of children across the city will be offered a place at a primary school today, with 91 per cent of children gaining a place at their first preference.

Ninety-seven per cent of children gained a place at one of their preferred schools.

Today (16 April) is National Offer Day, when children up and down the country learn which primary school they will attend from the 2018/19 academic year.

In Leicester, 4,487 applications were received on time. Of those, 4,081 (91 per cent) received their first preference, 234 (five per cent) their second preference and 45 (one per cent) their third preference.

Compared to last year, 23 more families secured a place at their first preference school. Only three per cent of children did not gain a place at one of their preferred schools.

Where families were not offered a place at one of the schools they had indicated on their application form, the maximum distance to any alternative school they were offered was 0.95 miles.

Every applicant who applied on time was offered a school place. More than two thirds (76 per cent) of the 128 families who weren’t offered a place at one of their preferred schools had only chosen one or two schools, rather than making the three preferences everyone is entitled to.   

Deputy city mayor Cllr Sarah Russell, who leads on children, young people and schools, said: “We have invested heavily in our primary schools, increasing the number of places available in schools in the areas where we knew they would be needed.

“Today’s figures show that this long-term approach has paid off and we are now able to offer more families places at their preferred schools, which is excellent news.”

Cllr Russell added: “Putting down only one or two schools 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.”

As 100 per cent of applications are now made online, applicants will be able to log on to the website and see their offers from midnight on national offer day – 16 April 2018. Emails and letters will also be sent out on offer day. 

This year, the independent Choice Advice Service, made up of specialist staff, has supported more than 600 families who have little or no access to a computer, through 74 dedicated support sessions held at local primary schools. These support sessions ensured parents were aware of the implications of not including their local catchment area school as one of their preferences. The sessions also encouraged families to make the most of all three preferences available to them.


17/18 18/19
Number of Applications 4552 4487
Offered 1st Preference 4057 (89.13%) 4081 (90.95%)
Offered 2nd Preference 265 (5.82%) 234 (5.22%)
Offered 3rd Preference 52 (1.14%) 45 (1.00%)
Offered a Preference 96.09% 97.17%
Alternative Offers 178 (3.91%) 2.83%