Families to find out primary school places today with thousands set to miss out on first choice

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Parents are set to find out which primary school their children will be attending in the next school year today – with thousands set to miss out on their first choice.

While the day will bring joy for many of the 500,000 families waiting for news, thousands will be coping with disappointment after missing out on their first choices.

Parents are set to find out which school their children will attend
PA:Press Association

Hundreds of thousands of four and five-year-olds across England are set to be assigned school places, on what has become known as National Offer Day.

Department for Education figures showed 91% of primary pupils were offered their first choice in 2018, while 97.7% were offered one of their top three choices.

Ministers said the number of children being offered their first choice of primary school has been improving since 2014.

However, heads warned that the offers system was not working properly in some areas.

National Association of Head Teachers’ general secretary, Paul Whiteman, said: “Local authorities are responsible for ensuring sufficient school places, but the powers and resources necessary for them to do so have been removed.

“Instead, planning is haphazard; decisions are being made in isolation and new schools and new school places are not always being commissioned in the areas they are most needed.”

The Government claims parents can feel “more confident than ever before that their children will get a world-class education”.

School standards minister Nick Gibb said 87% of primary schools are now being judged as good or outstanding, compared to 67% in 2010.


“Any school place offer day is a big event for families, but parents should be reassured that the improvement in the school system means that they would probably find the schools themselves unrecognisable from a generation ago,” he said.

“The curriculum has been revitalised, the phonics check is helping thousands of six-year-olds become fluent readers, the Teaching for Mastery programme means many pupils are being taught maths using world leading techniques and the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers is falling.

“What this means in practice is that even in instances where parents aren’t getting the news they hoped for today, the likelihood is that their child will be attending a school which will provide a first-class education.”


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