Families in major English cities are still struggling to find places in their favorite elementary schools. Demand remains strong among local authorities, including Manchester, Birmingham and several London boroughs.
Despite the fact that the number of children enrolled in the first year of studies of four or five years has stabilized, many councils in England have reported an increase in the number of applications for about 700,000 places in schools primary in September.
On National Primary Supply Day, local authorities in London announced a 1% drop in the proportion of families who were given their first preference, while those with one of their top three choices also declined slightly. 2018.
A similar result was recorded in Manchester, where 91% of families were offered their first preference, a drop of nearly two percentage points from the previous year, and a similar increase in the number of places offered in schools they did not call.
In Birmingham, nearly 89% of the more than 14,000 applications received their first choice of school, which represents a clear decrease compared to 2018, while nearly 300 families were offered another place by the advice or their requests have been deferred. The board said that a change in its calculations made it difficult to compare this year's results with those of previous years.
Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the Local Government Association's Local Government Association Board of Directors, said the Boards of England had invested in the supply of 800,000 additional spaces since 2010, in response to the growing population of country.
"Boards and schools are working hard to ensure that as many students as possible are given their first choice," Bramble said.
Several councils reported better results, with 89% of families having their first choice in Essex and Kent. In Bradford, nearly 96% earned their first choice, while Leeds also recorded an improvement, with 88% of first choices.
In more rural areas, parents were much more likely to get their first preferences, including almost 97% in Devon.
But in areas where the school-age population has continued to grow, the pressure on places remains strong. In Norfolk, where the number of applications has surpassed 9,000 this year, the proportion of prime candidates has fallen to less than 93%.
London's Central Admissions Authority, which manages the process for 32 London boroughs and the City of London, had to process more than 96,000 requests for reception seats. More than 2,000 families have not received any offers concerning up to six preferences.
"Although the total number of primary school applications received in London this year is slightly lower than last year, the pressures on different schools and local authorities may vary," said Sara Williams, president of the Pan London Admissions Board.
"We will monitor birth rates and trends in population growth, but we expect demand for primary school places to remain at least at current levels and demand for high school spaces." significantly increases in the coming years.
The most affected boroughs were Kensington and Chelsea, where two out of three applications were preferred, as well as Hammersmith and Fulham, where three out of four received it.
In both cases, the success rate was lower than that of 2018. Overall, about 96% of London families received one of their top three choices.
Nick Gibb, the Minister of Schools, said improvements in the school system meant they were now "unrecognizable" from current parents.
"In practice, this means that even in cases where parents do not receive the information they hoped for today, it is likely that their child will attend a school with a first-rate education," she said. he declared.