Glasgow & West Scotland

Edinburgh council urges parents to choose local schools

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Media captionCouncils are urging parents to choose local schools

Edinburgh City Council is urging parents to choose their local school rather than apply to send their children to one in a different area.

Education chiefs made the call after the number of placing requests rejected in the city leapt to a record high.

More than a third of the requests for 2011/12 were refused - up from 11.3% the previous year.

The registration process for the new P1 intake begins in November.

The council said that school rolls were rising, which meant there was likely to be less choice for parents from now on.

Children are normally guaranteed a place at a school within their catchment area, but parents can also apply to send their offspring elsewhere.

However, the council said these requests would only be granted if a place was available.

It believes more families are unsuccessful in opting out because some under-occupied schools have closed and because of legislation to reduce class sizes.

In the last year, 345 placing requests were refused - 37% of the total. That was up from 127 (11.3%) in 2010, 150 (17.4%) in 2009 and 209 (17.9%) in 2008.

The city's education leader, Councillor Marilyne MacLaren, said there were great schools right across Edinburgh.

"Unfortunately we are finding that many parents don't always see what is on offer at their local school, instead opting to apply for a school in a different catchment area," she said.

"We know the opportunities to grant placing requests in coming years will reduce even further, so parents need to consider their choices carefully - particularly those who expect to have younger brothers and sisters in need of places in years to come.''

She urged parents to find out more about their local school before making a placing request for another area.

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