1 in 10 Essex primary school pupils miss out on preferred school

Clare Flintoff, chief executive of ASSET Education, believes coronavirus has been a 'wake up call'.

Nearly one in 10 pupils in Essex will not get their top primary school preference. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Despite a slight rise in the number of pupils getting their first choice primary school nearly one in 10 pupils in Essex will still not get their preferred place.

From the 15,779 applications for places that were "received on time", 14,161 pupils have been offered a place to start reception in September 2021 at their parent or carer's first choice of primary school.

This equates to 89.75% – marginally up on 89.38% last year.

Around 6% of applicants will receive a place at their second choice school, but 1.7% of pupils could not be offered a place at any of their preferred schools and will instead be offered the nearest available place. 

Parents or carers who applied online will get confirmation via email or on the Essex County Council website.

Earlier this year, almost one in five secondary school pupils in the county missed out on their top preference.

Between January 2019 and May 2020 the number of primary school pupils at Essex schools increased by 563.

According to the council's ten year plan for Essex school places, this "significant" increase in demand is expected to continue.

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Essex County Council estimate that by 2030/31 there will be 13,555 more primary school pupils as well as 10,569 more secondary school and sixth form students in the county.

However, the council believes that the actual need for places is greater than the figures they state suggest, as available places may not be in the correct year group or part of the council.

The plan goes on to state: "Based on the number of projects anticipated Essex County Council will need to deliver an additional 9,500 primary school places and 4,100 secondary school places over the course of the 10 Year Plan."

Essex County Council said: "ECC’s school admissions team, alongside school organisation and place planning colleagues have worked closely together to deliver the admissions process again, despite the challenges brought by the pandemic."

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