Leeds ,

Offers of primary school places out today

Families applying for their child’s first primary school place are receiving their offers today (18 April), with over 400 more children being given a place at their first preference school compared to last year.

A total of 87 per cent of children will attend their first preference primary school, which is two per cent more than last year - whilst overall 97 per cent have been offered one of their five preferences. A total of 10,103 reception places have been allocated this year, which is 249 more than in 2015 (although this figure does not include around 150 late applications that have been received).

Alternative places have been offered to 301 children who did not get any of their five preferences (three per cent), which is a reduction of 149 from last year. Families are recommended to always include their nearest school as one of their preferences and to make sure they use all five preferences to get the best chance of being offered a preferred school.

The volume of applications makes the admissions process one of the biggest tasks in the education calendar, and this year, the number of applications was the highest for the past 15 years, with nearly 700 more applications this year than in 2013. The council’s school places planning team has worked hard with schools to ensure there are sufficient places for the increase in pupil numbers in the city. The team have created an additional 425 places for September.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for children and families said:

“For parents and carers, choosing a school for their children is one of the most important decisions they will make. I am pleased we have been able to offer 97 percent of families one of their preferences. This year was particularly challenging because demand for primary places is the highest it has been for 15 years. However thanks to the cooperation of schools across the city we have been able to create an additional 425 places to help ensure so many children are able to attend one of the preferred schools.

"However, we do understand how disappointing and distressing it is when people aren’t allocated their preferred school, which is why we encourage parents to make sure they include their nearest school and use all five preferences to increase their chances of obtaining a place at a local school.”

Places will begin to be offered from waiting lists in May, and parents wishing to make sure they are considered in this process at the earliest opportunity must return their requests by 30 April. Anyone who has not applied should contact 0113 222 4414 or email education.admissions@leeds.gov.uk.

The full breakdown of offers for primary school places for 2016/17 is:

8789 (87%) children were given their 1st preference (8383 / 85% last year)

668 (7%) children were given their 2nd preference (594 / 6% last year)

204 (2%) children were given their 3rd preference (206 / 2% last year)

80 (<1%) children were given their 4th preference (81 / <1% last year)

58 (<1%) children were given their 5th preference (39 / <1% last year)

301 children (3%) were not able to be offered any of their preferences (placed) and were made an alternative offer (550 or 5.5% last year)