Hundreds of area’s children miss out on first-choice school

5,352 of the 6,027 secondary school applicants received an offer for their first-choice school.
5,352 of the 6,027 secondary school applicants received an offer for their first-choice school.

Hundreds of North Yorkshire children have missed out on a place at their preferred secondary school this September, figures show.

School leaders warned that pressure on secondary schools is likely to intensify in the coming years, after the proportion of families in England having to settle for another school increased for the fourth year in a row.

Department for Education data shows 5,352 of the 6,027 secondary school applicants in North Yorkshire received an offer for their first-choice school for the coming academic year – a rate of 89%.

This was a fall compared to the previous year, when 92% got their first choice, and represents a five-year low.

A further 5% of this year’s applicants got their second choice and 1% their third choice. Overall, this means 95% got one of their top three preferences, above the national average of 93%.

However, 256 pupils – 4% of the total – didn’t get any of their preferred schools, while 14 children got no offer at all.

The Department for Education said the rate was evidence of continuing success in the face of rising pupil numbers. In North Yorkshire, applications have increased by 5% over the last year, and by 13% since 2014.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: “Wherever they live and whatever their background, children deserve the best in education.

“Since 2010 we have created more school places and seen school standards rise, meaning there is a greater opportunity for pupils across the country to go to a good or outstanding school.”

Article by data reporter Harriet Clugston