National Offer Day: Tens Of Thousands Of Pupils Miss Out On First Choice Secondary Schools

03/03/2015 16:08 | Updated 20 May 2015

Secondary school admissions

Tens of thousands of pupils have missed out on their first choice of secondary schools on National Offer Day, according to official figures.

Competition for places is so intense that in some parts of the country HALF of schoolchildren have lost out.

Councils across England said many 11-year-olds have been forced to make do with their second, third or even sixth choice.

The pressure on places was most severe in London, where on average third of children missed out on their first choice, rising to 45 per cent in some parts of the capital.

Elsewhere, 31.5 per cent of pupils missed out on their first choice in Birmingham, while in nearby Sandwell only 26.1 per cent got their first choice. In Bristol the figure was 25 per cent. In Buckinghamshire, around one in four did not get their first choice, while around one in five missed out in both Warwickshire and Bracknell Forest.

Demography Professor David Coleman, from Oxford University, told the Telegraph a rise of four per cent year-on-year increase in applications in the capital could amount to numbers almost doubling in just 15 years.

He said: "I'm not sure we can call this is a spike, it is a substantial increase in pressure.

"It will go on increasing for as long as immigration keeps on increasing and as long as those populations have, for the most part, a higher birth rate."

He added that there would come a time when schools can no longer cope, adding: "It depends on how fast you can build new schools. Immigration, directly and indirectly, is going to be far and away the biggest driver of this."

Amongst those waiting to hear if she's got her first choice school is the Prime Minister David Cameron''s daughter Nancy. It is believed that the family applied for Grey Coat Hospital school, which former Education Secretary Michael Gove's daughter Beatrice attends.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "Like tens of thousands of other parents, the PM and Mrs Cameron expect to hear today which secondary schools have offered a place to their daughter Nancy. If she receives more than one offer, they will make a decision on which one to accept in due course."

This strikes us an an odd statement, as inner London pupils receive just one state school allocation. Perhaps the Camerons are weighing up whether to go private or to one of the best state schools in the country?

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