More children want school of their choice
10:15am Saturday 2nd March 2013 in Local
THE number of applications for secondary school places in Bolton has gone up — but fewer children are getting into their school of choice, new figures show.
Provisional figures show the numbers being awarded their first choice has fallen to its lowest since 2011 — but education bosses say this is expected to rise as the appeals process gets under way.
There were more applications for a place in Bolton’s schools—3,403, an increase of 100 since 2012.
The numbers allocated their first choice was 87 per cent, down on last year’s 94 per cent.
In 2011, when there were 3,484 applications, 88 per cent received their first choice place.
However, this is likely to increase to about 90 per cent once the appeals process is concluded and parents give up their state school places to accept one at an independent school.
A total of 97 per cent of children received one of their three preferences as listed on their application form, down from 99 per cent in 2012.
A Bolton Council spokesman said: “There is a total of 3,629 available places in Bolton secondary schools, so there are more than enough places to allocate a school place to every applicant.
“There is a wide choice of schools in the borough, offering high standards of teaching and education.
“Bolton’s schools achieve GCSE results above the national average and an increasing number are being judged as good or outstanding by Ofsted.”
He added that Bolton’s schools are becoming increasingly popular and this year there were “many more” parents applying for Bolton schools from outside the borough, as well as fewer people from Bolton applying to schools in neighbouring authorities.
He said: “While the number of Bolton parents securing a place for their children in their first preference school is slightly down on last year, we do expect that this will increase between now and the start of term due to the appeals process.”
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