90% Of Children Offered Place At One Of Top Three Choices

First year primary school admissions have used pan London system

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90 per cent of London pupils starting primary school in September have been offered a place at one of their top three schools, with 79 per cent getting their first choice school.

This is the first year that primary school places have been co-ordinated across the capital using the Pan London Co-ordinated Admissions System. The system has co-ordinated the process of allocating secondary school places since 2005.

Figures released by the Pan-London Co-ordinated Admissions Board show that 92 per cent of pupils in London have received a place at one of their six preferred primary schools. Parents who have not been offered a place at one of their chosen schools have either been allocated an alternative or will shortly be advised of their options.

The percentage of pupils who were offered a place at one of their top three preferred schools is a more accurate assessment of the performance of the system rather than judging it solely on the percentage of pupils who got into their first choice school.

This is because a number of factors have an impact on the statistics. For example, some parents know that all their preferences will be considered equally and have nothing to lose by listing a school their child is less likely to get into as their first preference.

Due to the proximity of schools and good public transport links, there is always more movement between London local authority boundaries than anywhere else in the country. So while some boroughs might not be offering as many first preferences to their residents as other authorities do, they may well be meeting a high proportion of first preferences for pupils from neighbouring boroughs. Local authorities are prohibited from giving their own residents priority for places in their schools.

Chair of the Pan London Admissions Board, Chris Kiernan, said: “This is the first year that London’s co-ordinated admissions system has been used to co-ordinate the allocation of primary school places.

“Co-ordinating admissions in London has meant a fairer distribution of available offers and resulted in more parents getting an offer from one of their preferred schools earlier.
“London local authorities are working hard to try to ensure that they can offer every child a school place but with this surge in demand it is becoming increasingly difficult.”

April 7, 2011