94% of children due to start secondary school in London this September have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools, data published on National Secondary Offer Day 2022 by the Pan London Admissions Board reveals.
Almost 70% (69.95%) of children applying to London schools got into their first preference school, an increase of nearly 4% (3.8%) from last year, equivalent to 64,828 children.
89% of London pupils – 82,733 children – were offered a place at one of their top three preferences of secondary school, a 2% increase from last year.
The total number of applications made for secondary school places in London this year was 92,672. This figure has remained relatively stable, having decreased by 1% compared to last year.
Application numbers are affected by a number of reasons including varying pressures on different schools and local authority areas. Other important factors include the longer-term impacts of the pandemic, such as families moving due to changes in their circumstances and working patterns, along with the localised effect of the UK leaving the EU in some areas.
Cllr Damian White, London Councils Chair of Schools and Children’s Services, says:
“The number of pupils starting secondary school in London remains high, and with 93% of the capital’s schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, it is no surprise that parents are keen to send their children to school in London.
“Today’s admission figures show that the number of secondary school applications in London have remained stable compared to last year and we are delighted that 94% have been accepted into one of their preferred schools.
“While the total number of secondary school applications received in London this year was slightly lower than last year, pressure on different schools and local authority areas can vary. We will be keeping an eye on birth rates and patterns of population growth, so that local authorities can continue to ensure that there are sufficient school places for every child that needs one.
“Councils are also dealing with growing demand in services for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), which has unfortunately been exacerbated by the pandemic. We remain keen to work with the government, boroughs and schools to support the development of specialist provision at a local level, to ensure that all pupils have access to a high-quality education in London.”
Martin Pratt, Chair of the Association of London Directors of Children’s Services, says:
“The Pan-London Admissions Scheme ensures that school places are distributed by local authorities in an open and fair way, taking into account the number of places available and eligibility criteria at each school. Where parents and pupils have not been offered their first preference, it is because in some schools the demand for places outstrips supply.
“I can reassure parents that there are sufficient places in London’s secondary schools to meet overall demand. The scheme ensures that parents receive a school place offer at the school which is highest in their list of preferences for which they are eligible under the admissions criteria.
“I would like to thank borough admissions teams for their work over the last two years. Despite the impact of the pandemic, they have ensured the process of allocating school places to London’s children has gone smoothly.
“We would advise parents to read the details of their child’s offer carefully and consider their options fully before making a decision. Please be aware that each London borough has an admissions team and staff are very happy to help if parents have any queries.”