Most pupils get first choice school

Oxfordshire County Council logo NNL-160225-131148001
Oxfordshire County Council logo NNL-160225-131148001

More than 90 per cent of local children have got places in their first choice primary school for in September.

Oxfordshire’s schools and planning department has announced that 91.51 per cent of new primary school children have been accepted to their first choice school, a rise of 3.47 per cent from last year.

In total 98 per cent of families will have been accepted to one of their preferred schools as placements. Roy Leach, the county council’s school and planning manager, 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.”

Nearly 3,000 new primary school placements will have been created from 2015-2018 due to continued school expansions and the creation of brand new schools in Banbury, Bicester, Didcot and Barton West. The percentage of those children attending good or outstanding primary schools has also increased from 59 per cent in 2012 to 85 per cent last year.

Mr Leach said: “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.”

Despite the headline figure, a minority of families have not been accepted to a first-choice school but have the right to appeal the decision. Around 6,400 emails have already been sent out and formal letters were posted on Tuesday this week.

“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. 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,” added Mr Leach.