92% of reception age children in Cornwall are offered place in first preference school

Today, parents of reception age children across Cornwall were sent details of which school their child is due to attend in September, with the majority of children being allocated a place in their first preference school. Furthermore, all reception age pupils who applied for a school place in Cornwall have been allocated a place.

This year Cornwall Council received 5839 applications for new reception school places for pupils in Cornwall to start school in September 2016.  Of those, 5399 (92.5 %) have been offered a place at their first preference school.  Of the 440 pupils who were not allocated their first preference school, 220 pupils have been allocated their second preference school and 46 pupils their third preference school.  These figures show that 97% of children have been allocated one of their three preferences.

Sadly, 174 pupils (3%) have not been allocated a place at either their first, second or third preference school, but at the nearest school to their home address with room. Of the 174 not allocated their first, second or third preference, 82 of these only expressed 1 preference and 39 only expressed 2 preferences on the application form.

I am delighted that 92% of children in Cornwall have allocated their first choice of primary school and I would like to thank the School Admissions Team for all their hard work.    

Of the children who have not been allocated one of their three preferences, the process has been made more challenging because 121 of these families did not express a second or third preference.

it is again very important to highlight that we always advise parents / carers to submit three preferences on their application form to ensure that they are allocated one of their preferred schools . We understand that some parents / carers believe that by submitting only one preference this will increase the likelihood of getting their first / only preference – however this is not the case, as can be seen by the figures previously. 

This year sees a slight improvement compared to 2015 New Reception admissions, when 91% of children were allocated a place in their first preference school, with 96% being allocated one of their three preferences.  181 pupils (3%) were not been allocated a place at either their first, second or third preference school, but at the nearest school to their home address with room. The Council received 5782 applications for new reception places.

In 2014 94.2% of children were allocated a place in their first preference school, with 98.3% being allocated one of their three preferences.

In Cornwall we have 235 primary schools, of which 227 have reception classes (with the remaining 8 junior schools); of these, 104 are currently full.  This number is expected to increase as late applications for places are processed over the next few weeks.  The number of primary aged children in Cornwall requiring a school place continues to grow, this picture is mirrored nationally.

Among the areas in Cornwall which are experiencing particular pressures on reception age school places are St Austell, Saltash, Helston, Falmouth, Pool, Camelford, Truro and Newquay.

To meet the increasing demand for school places in primary schools, Cornwall Council has commissioned expansion schemes at a number of schools across Cornwall to ensure that children can be accommodated in New Reception, and other primary classes, in time for the start of the new academic year in September 2016.

The Council has been working closely with schools in pupil place pressure areas in Cornwall to identify the best solution for expansion and is very appreciative of the support offered by schools, both maintained and non-maintained, to meet the continuing demand for primary places. School expansions are funded from the DfE/EfA either by Basic Need, or Targeted Basic Need.

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