Fewer get to first choice secondary schools

Fewer pupils in Northumberland will be starting at their first-choice secondary school this September, new figures show.

By Will Grimond
Friday, 1st July 2022, 4:56 pm
First choice school figures.
First choice school figures.

New data from the Department for Education show there were 1,911 applicants to secondary schools in the area this year – with 95% being given a place at their first choice for the 2022-23 school year.

This is down from 97.2% the year before.

The figures also show 97% of children in Northumberland were given a place at their first choice primary school - down from 98.4% in 2021-22.

Across the North East, 96.1% were allocated their first-choice primary school, and 89.2% their preferred secondary.

In England, 83.3% of more than 600,000 applicants are heading to their first choice secondary – up from 81.1% last year.

Emily Hunt, associate director at the Education Policy Institute think-tank, said these statistics only tell "part of the story".

She said: "First choice offer rates vary considerably across the country, as does the availability of high performing schools to apply to.

"The criteria used to determine whether a pupil is offered a place can also make it difficult for pupils who are unable to live nearby.”

She added: “For those parents that have not been offered their first choice, many will consider the use of the appeals system.”

School standards minister Robin Walker said: “It’s fantastic to see the overwhelming majority receive offers from their preferred schools.

“We are continuing to level up the quality of education across the country, and parents can be confident that. wherever they live, their child will get the education they deserve.”