More children get preferred primary school

Published Tuesday, 18th April 2017
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Figures out today show the vast majority of children have been offered a place at their preferred primary school.

Today is National Offer Day for Primary and Junior School places (Tuesday 18 April 2017) and parents and carers across Rotherham will be finding out if their children have got into their preferred schools for the coming academic year.

Percentages show those getting their first preference is up on last year. This year 93.51 percent have got their first preference, which is an increase of 3.11 percent from last year.

Overall 98.57 percent have got into their first, second or third preferred school, which early indications show is above the national average.

Cllr Gordon Watson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services at Rotherham Council said: “Once again Rotherham is leading the way and giving parents and carers the schools they have selected for their children.

“This is despite the increased pressures on admissions because of higher birth rates. It is a direct result of careful planning by the Council to meet this increased demand for places, especially in popular schools, that we have been able to manage this successfully.

“Parents should be able to get their children into their local school and there is no doubt this will benefit the children in terms of their long term education.”

Rotherham, like many places across the country, has seen extra demand for primary school places, largely driven by an increase in the birth rate. This increase has had an effect on primary schools right across the town.

To combat this, Rotherham Council has invested £15m since 2011in an expansion and building programme, permanently adding an eventual additional 1,500 primary school places. This has meant that the borough is able to continue to satisfy a high percentage of parental preferences enabling children to attend a school of their parents’ preference.

On top of this the Council is still actively looking ahead to areas where there is still a need for more places with the goal of enabling families to continue to get a school place in their local area.

Whilst it has not been possible to offer all children a place at their first preferred school, parents do have the right of appeal. Cases are heard by independent appeals panels and the panels decisions are legally binding.

The Council also maintains a waiting list until 31 December and will work closely with the families involved to ensure that they are supported through this process.

In total 3,132 parents will receive notification today (April 18) of which school their child has been allocated. This will come via email to most families at some point during the day, but others may have to wait until later this week for a letter in the post. This is due to postage backlog as a result of the Easter bank holidays at the weekend.