Rotherham still leading the way on school admissions

Published Friday, 1st March 2019
Pupils at secondary school
Pupils at secondary school

Record numbers of pupils are finding out today which secondary school they will go to later this year in Rotherham.

Today is National Offer Day when pupils across the country find out which secondary school they have been allocated and Rotherham is once again leading the way nationally in terms of pupils getting into their preferred schools. The vast majority of pupils have been allocated a place in their top three preferences.

This is despite the Council receiving a record number of applications this year for entry to Y7 in September 2019. There were 3,895 on time applications received, which is 200 more than last year.

On top of this there were more extra district applications than usual from neighbouring authorities. The rise is due to the high birth rate for this year group.

Cllr Gordon Watson, Deputy Leader and Rotherham Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services said: “It is great to see Rotherham is still leading the way nationally in terms of pupils getting into one of their preferred schools.

“I know this will be a huge relief for many parents and carers, especially given there was a tight squeeze on places this year due to the high birth rate for this cohort.

“Getting to go to a school you chose helps families and communities and also helps drive up attainment levels.”

This year, 91 per cent have been allocated their first preference school, down from 94.5 per cent last year. However six per cent have been offered their second preference school – which is up from four per cent last year. Similarly one percent have been allocated their third preference school, which is up from 0.5 per cent last year.

Only two per cent who applied for a Rotherham school were not allocated any of their preferences and instead have been offered their catchment school or nearest school to home with a place available.

Last year was a record year with 99 per cent have been given one of their three preferred schools, with 94.5 per cent getting their first preference. And in 2017, 98.5 per cent of pupils were allocated one of their preferred schools.

A rise in birth rates has placed huge strain on primary places nationally and this is now coming through to the secondary sector.

However, in Rotherham officials have planned for this with a raft of measures to increase secondary school places across the borough over the last few years as part of wider £7 million growth plans across the borough. Council leaders have also agreed to do the same for much needed special educational needs and disability places and will be expanding special and mainstream schools across the borough to accommodate this.

Any parents or carers who are not happy with the allocation for their child has the right to appeal any decision which will be heard by an independent panel.