County sees increase in first choice school place allocation
Councillors say figures are ‘further evidence that the system is working well in Bucks’
We hope these figures will grow and grow
NEARLY all children across the county secured a place at their first choice senior school, say Bucks County Council.
Around 87% were allocated a secondary school place once grammar school qualification was taken into account, up from the 76.95% announced last month on National Offer Day and 3% higher than last year.
The near 10% jump has been put down to those children who are not successful in gaining a grammar school place achieving one at their first choice upper school.
Zahir Mohammed, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “The original overall figure doesn’t reflect the fact that, due to the nature of the selective system, not every child in the county is successful in gaining entry to a grammar school – even if they place it first choice on their list.
“The new, higher figure accounts for the fact that a large number of pupils who don’t achieve a grammar place are still allocated the first choice of upper school that they have listed.”
He added this was further evidence that the allocation system was working well in Buckinghamshire.
According to BCC, their statistics show that 83% of children achieved their first choice upper school when grammar school preferences were taken out of the equation, an increase of 1% on last year. The figure for grammar-qualified children achieving their first preference is 97%, the same as last year. The combined statistics add up to 87%.
Mr Mohammed added: “Obviously, we would prefer if 100% of all children were given a place in their first choice school, but I was delighted to see the increases this year in the allocation success rates.
“We hope these figures will grow and grow, and we will work robustly to try to achieve satisfaction for every family in this regard.”
Children who do not gain a place at their first choice school go on to the waiting list and can appeal for a place at their preferred school.
The admissions team will carry on trying to meet their preference as they go through a number of allocation rounds between now and the beginning of September.