One In Five Teens Did Not Secure Their First-choice School Due To Population Boom


NEARLY one in five teens didn’t get their first choice of secondary school this year – as a population boom triggers a chronic school places shortage.

Official Department for Education figures revealed just 82.1 per cent got their first pick of high school – compared with 83.5 per cent in 2017.

Alamy This year’s population boom resulted in four in five pupils securing their first-choice school

It is the fifth year in a row the proportion of children missing out on a place at their top choice of secondary school has risen.

Overall the numbers getting an offer on any of their school preferences also dropped.

Pupil numbers in secondaries are expected to rise by 600,000 to 3.3m by 2025 before stabilising – thanks to a population surge fuelled by immigration which has already passed through primary schools.

Almost 18 per cent missed out on a high school place compared with 16.5 per cent last year.

Alamy Pupil population is expected to reach 3.3m by 2025

It means the percentage of those getting their first choice secondary school dropped to below 83.2 per cent for the first time since 2010/11.

The proportion of applicants who received an offer of any of their preferred schools also dropped slightly from 96.1 per cent last year to 95.5 per cent this year.

The Department for Education (DfE), which released the figures, said the rise in 11-year-olds missing out on their top-choice secondary school coincided with a spike in applications – up 3.6% on the previous year and the highest by number since data collection started in 2008.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said more than 9 out of 10 pupils were offered their first choice of primary school – an increase on last year.

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