Nine in 10 Norfolk pupils get preferred secondary school place
- Credit: PA
Fewer children will be off to their first choice Norfolk secondary school in September than last year.
National Offer Day this week saw Year 6 pupils find out which secondary schools they will be attending next year.
This year, 9,044 applications for places were received in Norfolk for children who will be starting in September.
Norfolk County Council said 91.3% of pupils received a place at their first choice school, while 96.9% received a place at one of their top three options, with 431 children being offered a place at their second preference.
Meanwhile, 73 applications were offered their third choice and a further 280 were made alternative offers.
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Last year 92.1% of children received offers from their top choice of secondary school, while the number allocated a space at one of their top three schools was broadly the same.
John Fisher, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Everyone who submitted an application before the closing date has received an offer of a place. 91% of families have received their first preference secondary school place, with 97% receiving one of their three preferences.
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"We have invested millions of pounds to increase school places within pressure areas in the county.
“Parents are able to select up to three preferences for a secondary school place and popular schools can be oversubscribed. In these cases, places are offered based on those schools’ admissions criteria.
“If we are not able to offer a place at any of the preferred schools, we are under a legal duty to offer a school place. This will usually be at the next nearest school with spaces and if this school is over three miles from the home address transport will be provided.
Parents unhappy with their child being refused a place have until March 29 to lodge an appeal.
Mr Fisher said: “Parents have the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel for any school at which they are refused a place and these appeals are heard in May and June.
"In addition, the names of all children who are refused places are held on a waiting list until December 31. Anyone originally not allocated a place as a result of making a late application will be offered a school place.