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1 March 2010, 13:00 | Updated: 1 March 2010, 13:36
Thousands of Kent children are finding out which secondary school they'll be going to in September.
Letters from Kent County Council will arrive on doormats across Kent from tomorrow morning (Tuesday) and families who applied online will be sent an email at 4pm today.
15,890 Kent children applied for a school place. 80% received their first preference, compared to 78.5% last year, and 70.5% in 2008.
Parents picked four schools, in order of preference, last November and 96% of parents have been offered one of the four.
Those who did not get one of their four choices are given a school place by the local authority to meet its statutory duty to offer a place to every child.
KCC Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education Sarah Hohler said:
“It is an enormous task to find school places for all these children. I hope most will be pleased with the places they have been offered.
“Kent has a wide variety of schools where every child can flourish. There are academies, faith schools, grammars, high schools, specialist schools and wide ability schools and all needs and abilities are catered for. Our schools are incredibly popular and we receive many more applications than places. 1,532 children from out of county have chosen to apply for Kent schools, although only about a third of these could be offered a place.
“For those parents who have not been offered the school they hoped for we would urge them to visit the school they have been offered, speak to the teachers and get a feel for that school. If the parents are still not happy they can join the waiting lists for their preferred schools and appeal. There is a substantial shake down of places by September. This is the first part of the process and there will be considerable movement in the majority of schools.
“I would like to wish every child the best as they get ready for this important next step in their education.”
What about Grammar Schools?
Last year the county council was criticised for offering grammar school places really far away from their homes because a closer school could not take them on due to high demand. After getting feedback from parents, this year KCC has offered places in a wide ability school or academy close to home. However, parents will be told which grammar schools still have vacancies in the county so they still have that choice as well.
A specialist KCC team is on hand to help parents with any questions. The telephone number is 01622 696565. Or they can speak to a Choice Adviser, who will be able to offer independent advice on 01622 694073 or 01622 694065
For more information on how to join a waiting list and/or appeal go to: www.kent.gov.uk/secondaryadmissions
Which are the most popular schools in Kent?
According to Kent County Council, Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre, Tenterden, was the most popular school in Kent, based on first preferences, closely followed by Leigh Technology Academy, Dartford.
The eight next most popular are Westlands School, Sittingbourne; North School, Ashford; Isle of Sheppey Academy, Herne Bay High School, Valley Park Community School, Maidstone; Sandwich Technology School, Mascalls School, Paddock Wood; Bennett Memorial Diocesan School, Tunbridge Wells.