Majority of Nottinghamshire parents secure first-choice school place for children

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NINE out of 10 parents have secured a place at their first-choice primary school for their children in September 2013.

Nottinghamshire County Council has contacted 8,678 parents to let them know which school their son or daughter is to attend from September, which is 91.5 per cent of parents getting a place at their preferred school.

Of the remainder, 518 have gained a place at another of their choices, with 218 being offered a place at a school they did not choose. Last September, 249 children in Nottinghamshire went to a school their parent did not choose.

The county council said it had done all it could to ensure parents send their child to a school they wanted.

John Slater, service director for education standards at the county council, said: “The situation as a whole is encouraging as the majority of parents will be getting a school for which they made a choice.

“I am very happy that every child in Nottinghamshire, whose parents applied within the deadline date, will have a primary school place in September 2013.”

Mr Slater added: “As an authority we are not complacent as we are aware of the pressures within the system and the increasing number of children coming through. We are already making plans to deal with such pressures in the years to come.”

The council has earmarked a total of £30.1m for additional places for the five years between 2012/13 and 2016/17, subject to Basic Need funding from central government.

Around 800 additional places are being planned for September 2014 but options for the precise locations and site suitability are only just being assessed.

Mr Slater added: “There are particular ‘pinch points’ across the county in terms of seeing a rapid increase in the number of primary aged children, but the Council is responding in terms of planning for the additional places it is creating. However, these areas may not remain consistent from year to year as parental preferences change.”

There will be approx 250 extra places for reception year children across Nottinghamshire this September to meet increasing demand. These are across 19 primary schools and funded through the council’s school expansion programme to meet demand.

Availability of these extra places is subject to planning approval and uninterrupted building schedules.

Parents have right to appeal about their child’s school place and all appeals are wholly independent.