Pupils miss out on school places

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEWS - By Stephen Briggs stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTstephenB

Fewer chil­dren will be go­ing to their first choice sec­ondary school in Peter­bor­ough this Septem­ber af­ter a record num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions for places.

A to­tal of 2,627 ap­pli­ca­tions for places were re­ceived by Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil this year - 162 more than last year, equat­ing to a six per cent in­crease.

How­ever, just 82 per cent of the young­sters will be go­ing to the school they chose as their first pick, com­pared to 91.5 per cent last year.

Ninety five per cent of pupils will be of­fered one of their three pref­er­ence schools mean­ing a to­tal of 142 stu­dents were not of­fered a place at one of their three pref­er­ence schools.

This is higher than last year when two per cent of chil­dren did not get a place at one of their pre­ferred schools.

And the pres­sure on school places is only set to in­crease, with more ap­pli­ca­tions ex­pected in fu­ture years as the city’s pop­u­la­tion grows.

Jonathan Lewis, Ser­vice Di­rec­tor for Ed­u­ca­tion for Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil said work to ex­pand sec­ondary schools in the city was tak­ing place.

He said: “We have dealt with more ap­pli­ca­tions for sec­ondary school places this year and we ex­pect this trend to con­tinue for the com­ing years.

“We have been plan­ning for this by work­ing with ex­ist­ing schools to in­crease their ca­pac­ity, for ex­am­ple at Or­mis­ton Bush­field Academy, Jack Hunt School and Nene Park Academy where build­ing works are due to com­plete this sum­mer.”

Coun­cil­lor Lynne Ayres, cab­i­net mem­ber for ed­u­ca­tion, skills and univer­sity, said: “Sec­ondary school is a big mile­stone in a child’s life and it’s fan­tas­tic to see that al­most just over eight out of ev­ery 10 chil­dren have been of­fered a place at their first pref­er­ence school.

“Our ed­u­ca­tion team works hard to pro­vide sup­port and chal­lenge to schools in all as­pects of ed­u­ca­tion and 11 out of the city’s 12 sec­ondary schools which have been in­spected by OFSTED have been rated as Good or Out­stand­ing.”

Par­ents have the right to ap­peal to an In­de­pen­dent Ap­peal Panel about any of­fered place. De­tails of how to ap­peal are in­cluded with the of­fer let­ters, on the coun­cil web­site at www.peter­bor­ough.gov.uk and on the ap­pli­cants pre­ferred schools web­site.

‘We have dealt with more ap­pli­ca­tions for sec­ondary school this year’

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