Education & Family

More get first choice of secondary school place

School fence
Image caption There were wide regional variations in how many families received their first preference

There was a slight increase in the number of families getting their first choice of secondary school in England this year.

Just under 85% had an offer from their favourite school, while 96% were given one of their top three choices.

However, there were big regional variations - in London 66% of families ended up with their first choice but in north-east England, 94% did.

The government says the figures show there are not enough good schools.

Secondary school offers were made at the start of March for more than half a million 10 and 11-year-olds due to change schools this autumn.

Families in London were the least likely to get their first choice. In Wandsworth and Southwark, just over half got their first choice school, while in Bexley and Newham, about 80% did.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said too many pupils would be going to a secondary school that was not their top choice.

And that was in a year when the number of pupils changing schools had fallen.

That number fell by 17,500 from last year - and there were 1,200 fewer places available, the government said.

Mr Gibb said: "More than 79,000 children missed out on their first choice of secondary school, nearly one in six of the entire year group, and more than 22,000 do not even get into any of their top three schools.

"These figures expose the fact that there simply aren't enough good schools.

"Too many parents are forced to choose between schools which don't deliver the academic standards and good behaviour they demand."

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