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Almost nine in ten Essex children offered first preference primary school place as records continue

18 April 2017

A record percentage of children in Essex have been offered a place at their parents’ first preference of primary school, Essex County Council has revealed.

About 16,300 parents in Essex will discover the outcome of their primary school place applications today (Tuesday, 18 April 2017), with those who applied online receiving email notification.

A record 89.37 per cent of children due to start Reception in September have been offered their parents’ first preference – up from 87.40 per cent last year.
 
A further 6.23 per cent have been offered their second preference, meaning an all-time high of 95.60 per cent have been offered one of their top two preferences – compared with 94.08 per cent in 2016.

The percentage of parents who could not be offered any of their preferences and were instead offered a place at the nearest school with an available place also fell below 2 per cent for the first time.

The trio of records come following a similar feat for secondary school place offers in February and as Essex County Council continues to invest in creating thousands of new school places across the county.

Having already spent millions of pounds creating more than 5,500 new school places during the last two academic years, a further 2,200 more are due to be available from September.

The council has also allocated £230million for creating about 13,000 more mainstream school places in Essex by September 2019.

An Essex County Council spokesperson said: “Starting school for the first time is an important milestone in a child’s life and we are thrilled to be offering a record percentage of children in Essex a preferred primary school place.

“Not only are more than nine in ten schools in Essex now good or outstanding, but an increasing number of children are also being offered a place at a school their parents want.

“This latest achievement comes after a record breaking number of pupils were offered their top preference of secondary school earlier this year and is testament to the hard work of schools, admissions staff and those involved in planning school expansion projects and school improvement.
 
“We wish all children starting Reception in September the best of luck for the years ahead.”