Thousands get preferred primary schools

Published Saturday, 16th April 2016
Starting school
Starting school

Thousands of primary pupils in Rotherham will be going to their preferred school this September – as admissions results reveal over a 97 percent success rate.

As part of this year’s national offer day today (Saturday April 16), a total of 97.3 percent of Rotherham parents and carers have been offered one of their 3 preferred schools. This includes entrance into infant and junior schools.

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 £13.5m over the last 5 years in an expansion and building programme, permanently adding an additional 1,130 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’ choice.

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 all families to continue to get a school place in their local area.

Ian Thomas, Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services said: "Our commitment is to be a child centred borough and this includes making sure all our children have a great start to life. A significant way of achieving this is to make sure they have access to the best possible education.

"This includes having the chance to attend their preferred schools in their local area.

"Over the last few years we have been dealing with an unprecedented baby boom here in the town, which has placed enormous pressure on our local school places. We have been working hard to combat this pressure by increasing places to meet demand where we can, and today’s results show we continue to deliver our commitment to children."

He added whilst it has not been possible to offer all children a place at their first preferred school, parents 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 3,302 parents will receive notification today (April 16) of which school their child has been allocated. This will come via email to most families, but others may have to wait until Monday morning for a letter in the post.