A RECORD numbers of kids are set to miss out on their desired secondary school places today – and it’s going to get even WORSE in the years to come.
Around 115,000 students in England will fail to get their top choice, analysis by the Good Schools Guide suggests.
Anxious parents will find out from this morning whether their children are the lucky ones, with a shortage of places particularly in bigger cities and a high demand for the best-performing.
An estimated 606,000 children applied to start a secondary school in September of this year, a rise of 23,000 from 2018.
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Bernadette John, director at the Good Schools Guide said: “Secondary school can be key to unlocking a child’s potential, so no wonder parents are dismayed when the place they get is for an undesirable school.
“It has been known for a long time that secondary schools would need to accommodate increased pupil numbers but little action seems to have been taken.
“In recent years, some local authorities have struggled to find enough places at primary school level and now we have begun to see the impact on secondary schools.”
Until the government sorts its act out and comes up with a national strategy to guarantee there are enough school places for every child in England, the annual anxious wait for families will always be a problem
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT headteachers’ union
Parents are asked to list between three and six schools in order of preferences when they applied for the places in October 2018.
Last year 104,000 children missed out on their first choice – a rise from 2017.
Ms John warned parents waiting for results today: “For the next few years, it will get worse.”
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Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT headteachers’ union said there was a “desperate need for long-term planning that spans all sectors”.
“Until the government sorts its act out and comes up with a national strategy to guarantee there are enough school places for every child in England, the annual anxious wait for families will always be a problem,” he said.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said today was a “significant milestone for thousands of parents and children” and maintained “standards have risen” since 2010.
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