Secondary school places announced in Essex with 86% of parents receiving top choice

A total of 88 schools were deemed 'poor' by Suffolk County Council

A total of 88 schools were deemed 'poor' by Suffolk County Council - Credit: PA

Parents of children starting at Essex secondary schools this September will discover today where they have been offered places – with the vast majority gaining either their first or second choice.

Almost 15,000 parents in the county will receive confirmation today, with 86% having been offered their first choice school and a further 7% getting their second place.

The 93% to gain either of their top two places is broadly similar to last year’s figure, with a small increase in those receiving an offer to their preferred school, which is up a fraction of a percent.

Ray Gooding, who is responsible for “education and lifelong learning” at Essex County praised the hard work of staff and the authority’s investment in creating school places.

“It is fantastic that we have once again been able to provide so many children with a place at a school preferred by their parents, despite significant growth of the county and an ever-increasing demand for school places,” he added.

“This achievement is testament to the continued hard work of admissions staff, schools and those involved in planning secondary school expansions, as well as the investment we have made in creating additional school places.

“Over the last four years we have been allocated the highest amount of funding of all local authorities, illustrating our desire to ensure all children have access to a school place and are given the best start in life.”

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Of the remaining 7% of parents not to receive their first place, fewer than 3% did not receive an offer from one of their six choices and were offered a place at their nearest school with places instead.

The 95% of parent who applied online will have received conformation of their child’s school placement, either by email of by visiting the county council’s website.

Mr Gooding added: “I would like to wish pupils all the best as they embark on the latest chapter in their learning journeys.”

The positive secondary school offer acceptance figures follows news that the county’s budget to support the creation of new places had increased.

The county council recently received confirmation from the Department of Education of a new £41.4million grant, bringing the total funding to support the creation of new school places over a four year period up to 2017/18 to £137.7m.

The latest funding provided by the Government will help increase secondary school provision, supporting the expansion of existing schools, as well as funding any new schools that may be required in the future, the council said.