School Places Wait Over For Hampshire And Dorset Parents

16 April 2014, 13:06 | Updated: 16 April 2014, 13:08

94% of parents in Dorset and just under 90% in Hampshire have got their first choice primary school for their child this year.

Offers are being given out by all English councils today, the first time that's been done.

A Hampshire County Council statement said:

'A high percentage of parents have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools by Hampshire County Council.

'In total just under 90% of parents applying for a primary school place have been allocated a place at their first choice school, with over 97% being offered a place at one of their three preferred schools.

'Figures for 2014 are similar to last year despite rising demand for places this year. In total, Hampshire County Council’s Admissions Service has processed almost 15,000 applications for primary school places.

'The news comes after County Councillors agreed a budget in January that included a substantial planned investment of approaching £150 million over the next three years to build new schools and expand existing ones, creating thousands of new school places to meet forecast demand.'

Councillor Keith Mans, Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, commented:

“I am pleased to see that we have been able, yet again, to offer a high number of pupils a place at their preferred school.  I do understand that there will be some disappointment for a small number of parents who did not secure a place for their child at a school of their choice. However, they have the right to appeal in these situations and can put their child’s name down on their preferred school’s waiting list. Places do become available if parents change their mind, or families move home.

“In common with the national picture, demand for school places is growing. We have been working hard to increase capacity at primary schools in areas where demand is highest. Already we have expanded some of our schools in Winchester, Romsey and Andover and we will continue to provide quality education locally to where children live, and where parents want them to go to school.

“Predicting the number of primary places required is a complex calculation, relying on annually collected health data indicating the number of pre-school age children across the county, as well as district and borough councils’ local development plans showing proposed housing growth. Other factors that play their part, and are less easy to predict, are population movements to existing homes in and out of the county and the impact of parental preference.

“We will continue to do all we can to support parents and to plan and build for the future. The high number receiving an offer of a place at one of their preferred schools is an impressive achievement and is due to the combined efforts of the County Council’s staff and the quality of the schools in the county. I wish the children every success as they make their journey through education.”

A Dorset County Council statement said:

'There were 3732 applications for Reception Places, 1106 applications into Middle Schools and 391 applications into Junior Schools.
'Total applications being dealt with this round 5229.
'In line with the national offer day, places have been allocated to Dorset's Infant, Junior, Primary,  First and Middle Schools. We are delighted to report that over 94% of families secured their first preference for all types of schools.
'For entry into Reception 93% secured their first preference, 4% secured their second preference and less than 1% secured their third preference. The remaining 2% were allocated an alternative school place to their three preferences.
'For entry into Junior Schools 93% secured their first preference, 1% secured their second preference and 6% were allocated an alternative school place to their three preferences.
'For entry into Middle Schools, over 96% secured a place at their first preference, 2% secured their second preference and 0.5% secured their third preference. The remaining 1.5% were allocated an alternative place to their three preferences.
'Dorset also had a significant number of parents using the new on-line system this year with 84% of applicants for reception places,  85% of applicants for Junior Schools and 89% for Middle School. Information sheets are available on Dorset for You showing which schools were under and oversubscribed and how school places were allocated.'