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Thousands of Surrey children miss out on first-choice secondary school

Thousands of Surrey children miss out on first-choice secondary school

Published by Josh Kerr at 4:45pm 19th June 2019.

The percentage of children in Surrey missing out on a place at their first-choice secondary school has reached a five-year high.

Figures from the Department of Education show that 2,347 schoolchildren in the county did not get their preferred choice.

It means that 19 per cent of pupils missed out, up on last year's figure of 16 per cent.

In addition, more than seven hundred applicants, or six per cent, failed to be offered any of their preferred secondary schools for this September.

Surrey was also one per cent below the national average for offering pupils a choice from their top three.

Parents could choose up to six schools for their child to attend from September 2019, but did not have to use all the options.

The Department for Education said the rate was evidence of continuing success in the face of rising pupil numbers.

In Surrey, the number of applications increased by two per cent compared with last year, and the county has seen a rise of 15 per cent since 2014.

A Surrey County Council spokesperson said:

“The number of pupils within the county’s primary schools has increased, and this is now feeding through to applications for our Secondary Schools.

"This increase is making it more difficult to offer all applicants their first choice.

“However despite this, we have still achieved 81 per cent successful first preference applications and made offers to all pupils who require a school place within Surrey.”

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:

"Wherever they live and whatever their background, children deserve the best in education.

"Since 2010 we have created more school places and seen school standards rise, meaning there is a greater opportunity for pupils across the country to go to a good or outstanding school.

"Our school system has improved beyond recognition in the last nine years, which means that even the small minority of parents who didn’t get one of their top choices this year can feel confident their child will still get a world-leading education."

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