Near 98% of young people get their first choice of secondary school. That is a great achievement for not only for those parent, carers and young people, but to the School’s Admission Team at Cornwall Council who have processed 5,426 applications this year.
Of course I have total sympathy to those 155 parents who did not get their first choice. However, 99.2% of applications have been given one of their first three preferences. They can still appeal that process. This year we had more applications for school places than in 2016.
A few reasons why not everyone will be satisfied is whilst each area has what is called a designated school, a parent can apply to another school not their designated one. However, a child with a closer tie to a designated school will be given priority. Furthermore, even know we say this each it is important all three boxes filled in, and not just one. As it makes the team’s job more difficult if there are no second/third choice.
Another issue is we face – each year – is late applications. we are currently dealing with 170 late applications. Late application often end in disappointment, especially if a school has school place pressures.
This continued performance is good news for children and families in Cornwall at this time but the Council is closely monitoring the pressure on primary school places which is expected to start affecting secondary schools from 2018 onwards. I can assure you the Council is working to mitigate this with capital funding for additional school places, including new schools.
Transferring to secondary school is an important and exciting step for Year 6 children and their families and we know that it is an anxious time waiting for confirmation of a school place. I am delighted that, once again, the Council is able to offer a very high number of children a place at their preferred school. I was in London recently, and according to the media, over 30% of children in London will not get their first choice. We have near 98%
The Council will continue to plan for the demand on places to ensure that as many children as possible can attend their preferred school now and in the future.
Well done Schools Admission Team, and the Appeals Team who will be busy with any appeals.