More pupils offered first-choice schools
NEARLY 80 per cent of all pupils applying to Kent’s secondary schools have been offered their first choice.
The anxious wait ended for more than 16,000 families on Tuesday with letters from Kent County Council dropping onto doormats offering children a secondary school place for September.
Families who applied online were sent emails detailing offers.
Out of the 16,277 Kent children applying, 78 per cent received their first preference school, compared with 70 per cent last year. More than 11 per cent were allocated their second choice school.
Meanwhile, more than 95 per cent were offered a school they named on their application form – an improvement on last year’s figure.
The big difference this year is parents have had the chance to see the results of their children’s 11+ Kent Assessment before choosing their preferred schools. It was also the first year parents could include a fourth preference.
Despite some initial concern about moving the test from January back to September, the majority of parents indicated it was more important to have the results first in order to make an informed school decision.
This is the third year that parents have been able to apply for a secondary school place online. More than 5,460 parents used the online system, which is double the number since KCC revamped its online school application system during 2007.
Cabinet member for education operations, resources and skills Mark Dance said: “It is a huge logistical exercise to make sure that the offers go out on time and it is pleasing that 95 per cent of parents have been offered a school of their choice.
“The change to equal preference last year made life simpler for parents and now, with the added benefit of parents having assessment information before they choose their schools, they are in a position to make informed decisions about their school preferences.”
Mark Dance: The change to equal preference has made life simpler for parents