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More pupils get their first choice
THE percentage of children in Oxfordshire being offered a place at their preferred secondary school is at its highest level since 2006.
Parents across the county were due to receive letters regarding the allocation of places yesterday.
The county council said the seven-year high was a combination of an excellent relationship between secondary schools and the county council’s admissions team, good transport links to schools, and parents wanting to send their children to easy-to-reach schools.
The good news means the vast majority of parents will be able to avoid the stress of rethinking which secondary school they should send their children to.
County council cabinet member for education Melinda Tilley said: “The council has a consistent record of doing well when it comes to secondary school admissions.
“This year again the level of children being offered their favoured school has risen, which is fantastic, making it the highest percentage level since 2006.
“In recent years we have also been well above the national average when it comes to the percentage offered their first choice school.”
A total of 5,445 pupils out of 5,870, or 92.7 per cent of those who applied, have been allocated a place at their preferred school for the 2013/14 academic year, an increase of 1.2 percentage points compared to the previous year.
In total, 5,792 out of 5,870 applicants, or 98.6 per cent, received their first, second or third preference school, compared to 98.05 per cent last year.
The poorest performance for first-choice places in the last seven years was in 2010, when only 88.5 per cent were approved.
The national average is around 80 per cent.
Paul Donnelly, 37, an IT engineer from Bretch Hill, Banbury, was disappointed in 2010 when his step-daughter Lauren Dumbleton, failed to get into North Oxfordshire Academy.
The family was advised she would have to attend Bicester Community College.
Mr Donnelly said his daughter, now 14, was eventually given a place at Banbury School, now an academy.
He said: “The latest figures show there has been an improvement and that’s a good thing because it’s very stressful for families when you don’t get allocated the school you want.”
Parents who applied online will be sent an email informing them of which school has been allocated for their child.
Letters regarding primary school allocations are due to be sent out on April 16.
FIRST choice places:
- 2013 92.7 per cent
- 2012 91.5 per cent
- 2011 90.2 per cent
- 2010 88.5 per cent
- 2009 89.4 per cent
- 2008 89.7 per cent
- 2007 92.2 per cent
- 2006 93.2 per cent