Majority get primary school of their choice
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
A high percentage of parents have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools by Hampshire County Council.
In total just under 90% of parents applying for a primary school place have been allocated a place at their first choice school, with over 97% being offered a place at one of their three preferred schools.
Figures for 2014 are similar to last year despite rising demand for places this year. In total, Hampshire County Council's Admissions Service has processed almost 15,000 applications for primary school places.
The news comes after County Councillors agreed a budget in January that included a substantial planned investment of approaching £150 million over the next three years to build new schools and expand existing ones, creating thousands of new school places to meet forecast demand.
Councillor Keith Mans, Executive Lead Member for Children's Services, commented: "I am pleased to see that we have been able, yet again, to offer a high number of pupils a place at their preferred school. I do understand that there will be some disappointment for a small number of parents who did not secure a place for their child at a school of their choice. However, they have the right to appeal in these situations and can put their child's name down on their preferred school's waiting list. Places do become available if parents change their mind, or families move home.
"In common with the national picture, demand for school places is growing. We have been working hard to increase capacity at primary schools in areas where demand is highest. Already we have expanded some of our schools in Winchester, Romsey and Andover and we will continue to provide quality education locally to where children live, and where parents want them to go to school.
"Predicting the number of primary places required is a complex calculation, relying on annually collected health data indicating the number of pre-school age children across the county, as well as district and borough councils' local development plans showing proposed housing growth. Other factors that play their part, and are less easy to predict, are population movements to existing homes in and out of the county and the impact of parental preference.
"We will continue to do all we can to support parents and to plan and build for the future. The high number receiving an offer of a place at one of their preferred schools is an impressive achievement and is due to the combined efforts of the County Council's staff and the quality of the schools in the county. I wish the children every success as they make their journey through education."