More youngsters get their first choice school place - despite shortages elsewhere

First published in Local

MORE primary school children in Worcestershire have received a place at their first choice school this year - despite a shortage in places elsewhere across the country.

Parents who applied online received an email yesterday with the offer of their place as part of primary National Offer day.

In Worcestershire 93 per cent of primary school children who applied for places were offered their first choice school - or 7,865 of the 8,456 applicants.

This compared favourably with last year when 92.4 per cent received an offer for their first choice school.

However there was a sizeable increase in places needed for September 2014. Last year, there were only 5,609 places needed in the county.

This year, four per cent of children - or 338 four-year-olds - were offered their second choice of school, while one per cent - or 85 children - were offered their third choice.

There were 169 children - two per cent of applicants - who were disappointed.

They were offered a place at an alternative school, usually the one geographically closest to where they live which has places available.

Mark Ballett, Worcestershire County Council's team manager for Pupil Admissions and Transfers, said: "Starting school is a big milestone in a person's life and we are delighted that so many people have been able to have their first choice."

Figures released by councils across England showed a child's chances of getting their top choice depended heavily on where they lived, with almost all getting their first preference in some places, and more than a third missing out in others.

Nationally, nearly 87 per cent of four-year-olds won a place at their first preference school, meaning almost one in seven youngsters (13 per cent) missed out.

In Worcestershire, some families faced a delay yesterday after a technical issue meant some emails containing school place offers were slow to go out to parents, although all should have received their email by last night.

Those people who did not apply online will receive their offer by second class post.

More information about the school admissions process can be found on the council's website

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