02/03/2015 18:06 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

National Offer Day: Half A Million Children Will Find Out Today Whether They Have Got Into Their First-Choice Secondary School


Half a million children will find out today whether they have got into the secondary school of their choice.

Parents in England will begin to receive email notifications on Monday afternoon (March 2), and letters later in the week, informing them which school their child will go to in September.

There are fears that thousands will be left disappointed not to get their first choice school, especially in London, where an extra 3,000 children have been seeking places this year.

Amongst those anxiously waiting for news will be David and Samantha Cameron and their daughter Nancy, who went to see a number of successful state schools in central London, including Grey Coat Hospital Church of England school for girls, which Michael Gove's daughter, Beatrice, attends.

They also considered Lady Margaret C of E academy for girls in west London, rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted. A more detailed picture of how many of the 550,000 children in their final year of primary school have got into their first choice will emerge later on Monday as local authorities publish figures.

New analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA) of Department for Education figures suggests a third of local authority areas will need to provide a total of 80,716 new secondary places by 2019-2020.

A Department for Education spokesperson said billions of pounds had already been invested in hundreds of thousands of new school places.

They said: "We want to give every family the choice of a good local school, where their child can gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life in modern Britain.

"Our plan for education is helping to create thousands of high-quality new school places to create capacity and give parents the choice they deserve.

"Since 2010 the government has invested more than £5bn to create more than 445,000 new school places – more than double the amount invested in the previous four years.

"We are also increasing the number of good school places available by tackling under performance, responding to parental demand by allowing innovative new schools to open under the free schools programme and allowing good schools to expand without the restrictions and bureaucracy they have faced in the past."

More on Parentdish: Secondary school admissions and how to appeal