Thousands Miss Out On School Places

22 March 2012, 11:51 | Updated: 22 March 2012, 12:58

Figures show around one in six children in England missed out on a place at their first choice secondary school this year, and things were even worse than that in Hertfordshire.

Around 74,000 children in England didn't get a place at their first choice school - 14.7% of those who applied.  This is a slight improvement on 2011.

In Hertfordshire, the figure was more than one in five - a figure that was worse than that for Hertfordshire in 2011.

Hertfordshire County Council have told us they had to cope with a surge in children applying for secondary school places this year.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said he was pleased that more children had been offered a place at their preferred school.

But he added: "Unfortunately, whilst progress is being made, we are still some way short of making this a reality for all pupils. Around 74,000 children are still unable to attend the secondary school they want.

"Parents are faced with an extremely competitive and stressful process for securing a place for their children. We want to ease this pressure by creating more good school places, which is the driver behind all our reforms to the education system.''

Proportion of children who missed out on a place at their first-choice secondary school

Hertfordshire 21.9%
Northamptonshire 14.7%
Milton Keynes 14.4%
Luton 10.3%
Bedford 8.2%
Cambridgeshire 5.6%
Central Bedfordshire 2.1%
Buckinghamshire* 45.5%

Proportion of children who missed out on a place at their first, second and third choice secondary school

Hertfordshire 5.5%
Milton Keynes 3.0%
Cambridgeshire 2.4%
Northamptonshire 2.1%
Luton 1.9%
Bedford 0.2%
Central Bedfordshire 0.2%
Buckinghamshire* 4.9%

*Because Buckinghamshire still has a selective grammar school system, these figures are not directly comparable with other counties