Thursday 27 January 2022
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Hundreds of Nottingham city and Nottinghamshire children miss out on first choice of school

Hundreds of children missed out on getting their first choice secondary school place this year, figures reveal.

More children in Nottingham City missed out in 2021 than in previous years, with 761 pupils affected.

At Bluecoat Aspley Academy, 232 children did not get a place and at Nottingham University Academy of Science and Technology, 127 prospective pupils missed out.

Primary school figures paint a different picture, however, as the number of children who missed out on their first choice fell dramatically.

In 2020, 379 children did not get their first choice, compared to this year when 205 children were unsuccessful.

Haydn Primary School in Sherwood was the most in demand with 41 children being turned away.

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City Councillor Eunice Campbell-Clark reassured parents that there are “enough places for all pupils in the city”.

The Portfolio Holder for Schools at Nottingham City Council, added: “We know that schools in Nottingham remain very popular, with most rated as either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

“Schools were able to offer a place to pupils in their local area if they applied this year, but we understand that parents will have different reasons for where they want to send their children. There are enough places for all pupils in the city.

“We have a statutory duty to manage the admissions process for Nottingham. However, it is important to be clear that the majority of schools in the city are academies and make their own decisions on which pupils are given a place based on their unique admission criteria.

“The Government won’t allow councils to open new maintained schools, but we have invested £42m since 2009 extending buildings and classrooms – creating 5,000 extra primary places. We work with academy trusts to continue this expansion across secondaries.

“A good example of this is the Archway Trust opening the popular Bluecoat Trent Academy in Aspley, and the expansion of year groups at NUAST, in Dunkirk, to now have pupils from 11 all the way through to 19. This has been a real success.”

Nottinghamshire County Council data showed that 93.4 per cent of reception age children got their first place offered in 2021/22 – up from 92.4 per cent the previous academic year.

A total of 339 children got their second place school offered.

But for secondary schools, that number dropped to 90.1 per cent for the number of children who secured their first choice.

In the recent academic year, there were 8,681 applications from residents in Nottinghamshire, which is lower than the number for the previous two years.

More than 200 children had none of their four preferences met, the data showed.

Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee, Councillor Tracey Taylor, said: “Although the number of parents receiving an offer for their first preference secondary school for admission in September 2021 dropped slightly on previous years, in Nottinghamshire, most pupils continue to gain places at their first-choice secondary school.

“On national offer day this year, over 90% of Nottinghamshire children were offered their parents’ first preference secondary academy for this September, with 96.9% of families offered one of their preferred academies. This is similar to that of the previous year (96.9%).

“All secondary schools in Nottinghamshire are own admission authority schools and are responsible for setting their own admission oversubscription criteria, including the published admission number (that is the number of children the school can admit).

“It cannot be stressed strongly enough that parents should check carefully the oversubscription criteria for the schools they prefer, list four preferences on their application – at least one of which their child has a strong chance of getting a place based the oversubscription criteria – and to make sure they apply on time.  For secondary places starting September 2022 the deadline for applications is this Sunday, 31 October. “




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