16/04/2014 - Permalink

Majority of Shropshire pupils going to preferred primary schools

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More than 95 per cent of Shropshire pupils have been allocated their first preference of primary school in 2014.

Today (Wednesday 16 April 2014) is the first ever “national allocation day” for primary school places.  Prior to this, each council was free to determine the date when parents learned of their child’s allocated primary school, which led to a wide variation of allocation dates across the country.

Shropshire Council has been able to offer a place to 95.8% applicants at their first preference school, and 98.5% of Shropshire applicants have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools.

Once again this means a very high percentage rate of satisfaction for Shropshire parents and carers.  Those making their primary school application through the council’s online application system has also increased, with 98.3% of parents and carers using the facility.

Ann Hartley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services – transformation and safeguarding, said:

“We are very pleased at the high percentage of pupils being able to attend their first-choice primary school.  It’s also pleasing to see such a high percentage of parents and carers using the online service to apply for school places, as this makes the whole process much quicker and easier for everyone.”

With the introduction of a national allocation day for primary school places, the Department for Education will collect data from English councils to indicate the number of parental preferences met.

The method used to measure the statistical return has been standard practice in the measurement of secondary school allocations for many years, but this is the first time that primary school place allocation has been collected in this way.

Shropshire Council’s figures for Reception 2014 allocations are as follows:

  • Number of on-time applications: 2,748
  • Number allocated first preference school: 2,633 (95.8%)
  • Number allocated second preference school: 69 (2.5%)
  • Number allocated third preference school: 6 (0.2%)
  • Number allocated one of their preferred schools: 2,708 (98.5%)
  • Number allocated an alternative to their preference: 40 (1.5%)
  • Number of applications made online: 2,700 (98.3%)

The percentage of applicants who were allocated their first preference school in previous years is as follows:

  • 2013: 95.9%
  • 2012: 91.6%
  • 2011: 92.5%
  • 2010: 94%
  • 2009: 93.5%

Shropshire has not experienced the national trend of rising pressure for primary school places, and the number of children requesting a Reception place has continued at a consistent level over recent years.

Children starting school in September 2014 will not yet have reached statutory school age so not all parents will have made applications yet.

As expected, there are a number of schools in Shropshire with places available and they will be able to meet any late requests.