London

London children learn primary school choice fate

Ninety per cent of children due to start primary school in London in September have been offered a place at one of their top three choices.

But the London admissions board statistics revealed one in five pupils did not secure their first choice.

This is the first year primary school places have been co-ordinated across the capital using the Pan London Co-ordinated Admissions System.

London Councils said more must be done to tackle an 8,000-place shortfall.

Parents and children found out if they had got into their school of choice on Monday.

Rising birth rates

The figures from the admissions board showed 92% of pupils have received a place at one of their six preferred schools.

Parents who had not been offered a place at one of their chosen schools had been allocated an alternative or will be advised of their options soon, the board said.

But councillor Steve Reed, from London Councils which represents 32 boroughs, said there was a higher demand for places due to a "very big increase" in the birth rate and the recession.

He said: "People can't afford to move out of London to areas they would have gone in the past when their children got to school age."

He also warned over the next four years there would be a shortfall of 70,000 places.

A government statement said it was investing £800m nationally in 2011/12 specifically targeted at meeting pressure for more places.

It said it dealing with the urgent demand for primary school places from rising birth rates was a major issue that had been ignored for too long.

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