Children once again get preferred primary school

Published Tuesday, 16th April 2019
School children
School children

More children across Rotherham are going to a school of choice from September than ever before, new figures out today reveal.

Thousands of children across the borough are today finding out which school they will be going to as part of National Offer Day for entry to primary school for the next academic year.

The figures show a higher percentage of children than last year have been offered a place and those getting their first preference are also up on last year’s figures.

A total of 2,903 places have been offered across the borough, with 99.1 per cent of applications being allocated one of their three preferences. Of these 97.4 per cent have been allocated their first preference; 1.5 per cent have been allocated their second preference and 0.2 per cent their third preference.

A small percentage (0.9 per cent), was not allocated a preference and has been allocated either their catchment area school or the nearest school to home with a place available.

Last year there were 3,048 offers made of which 93.6 per cent were allocated first preference and 98.1 per cent were allocated one of their three preferences.

Jon Stonehouse, Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services at Rotherham Council said: “Our aim as a council is to get every child the best start in life and I hope these latest figures reassure parents that we take this very seriously.

“We want every child to be able to access good quality education on their doorstep and have been working to ensure this is possible over the last few years through various expansion programmes. We want each child to be able to achieve their potential and good schools are the key for this.”

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

The Council has invested £15m since 2011 in an expansion and building programme, permanently adding an 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 their preferred school.

Any parent whose child has not been offered a place at their preferred school do have the right of appeal, with all cases heard by independent appeals panels for a final legally binding decision.

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.