More than 91 per cent (91.51) of Oxfordshire children due to start primary school in September have been offered a place at their first-preference school.
The figure is up by 3.47 per cent compared with 2015. In total 98.05 per cent of families have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools, with just 148 out of 7,600 (1.93 per cent) offered a place at their nearest alternative school.
The council’s School Organisation and Planning Manager Roy Leach said: “I’m delighted we’re once again in the position of being able to deliver the best possible news to the vast majority of families. Effective school place planning has been crucial in ensuring there are sufficient school places in Oxfordshire, and that families can continue to access the schools they want.
“While we can’t always grant families’ wishes, it’s fair to say the doom and gloom story that tends to dominate the national media on primary school offers day is not what we’re seeing here in Oxfordshire. Put simply, that’s really good news for the county’s families.”
As a result of recently completed and scheduled school expansion projects, nearly 3,000 primary school places will have been added between 2015 and 2018. In addition, entirely new primary schools are due to open in Bicester, Didcot, Banbury and Barton West.
Recent figures also show the proportion of pupils in Good or Outstanding primary schools in Oxfordshire rose from 59% in 2012 to 85% in 2015 – in real terms, an increase of 14,600 children.
Mr Leach added: “A lot of work is continuing to take place to ensure there are sufficient school places available across the county for every child who needs one, and that families can continue to access good schools for their children. I’d like to take this opportunity wish all Oxfordshire children preparing to start school in September the very best of luck.”
Any family which has not received a first-preference offer has the option to appeal, and also to remain on ‘continued interest’ lists for their preferred school, in the event that spaces become available between now and September.
Details explaining this process have been sent to families along with their school place offer.
Around 6,400 emails have already gone out to families with the outcome of their application, and a formal letter offering a place was posted to all applicants today.