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91% of children get their first choice of primary school

Published on Thursday, April 16, 2020

Image: Schoolchildren

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 – the highest level in five years.

Almost 97 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 2020/21 academic year.

In Leicester, 4,468 applications were received on time. Of those, 4,071 (91 per cent) received their first preference, 217 (4.8 per cent) their second preference and 48 (1.1 per cent) their third preference. Six (0.1 per cent) received their fourth preference.

For the first time this year, applicants were able to make four preferences rather than three, increasing choice.

Only 2.8 per cent of children (125 applicants) 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 1.3 miles.

Of the four choices open to parents, 57 per cent (2,566) of parents only submitted one choice of school, with only 7.5 per cent opting to make the most of using all four choices.

Assistant city mayor Cllr Elly Cutkelvin, who leads on education, said: “We know that starting school for the first time can be an anxious time for families, and our aim is always to take away as much of the stress from the process as possible, which is why we’re always really pleased that we manage to provide chosen school places for the vast majority of people who apply to us on time.

“The added uncertainty of the current coronavirus crisis is something none of us could predict - but we hope that, for thousands of families across the city today, the reassurance of knowing they have a place for their child to start school in the autumn will provide a welcome bit of normality and stability in these challenging times.

“‘We still have an issue with parents who only put down one preference believing it will help their chances. What this in fact does is significantly raise the chance you will be offered a place outside of your local area, so we would encourage every applicant to always use all four preferences.

“We have made sure that, once again, no-one who applies on time is without a place.”

Online applicants – which made up 94 per cent of all applications - will be able to log on to the website and see their offers from midnight on national offer day, 16 April 2020. Emails will also be sent out on offer day, with letters posted out to the home addresses of all applicants within two to three days.

The independent Choice Advice Service, made up of specialist staff, has again this year supported hundreds of families who have little or no access to a computer, through dedicated support sessions held at local primary schools.

(ends)

 

Year

Applications received

% First preference

% Second preference

% Third preference

% One of top three preferences

% Fourth preference

% Any preferred school

% A non preferred school

2020

4,468

91

4.8

1.1

96.9

0.1

97.1

2.8

2019

4,619

90.5

5.1

1.2

96.7

N/A

96.7

3.3

2018

4,486

90.9

5.1

1.0

97.1

N/A

97.1

2.9

2017

4,550

89.2

5.8

1.1

96.1

N/A

96.1

3.9

2016

4,647

86.2

6.4

2.4

95

N/A

95

5

2015

4,492

88

6.2

2.1

96.3

N/A

96.3

3.7