Primary school places issued in East Berkshire and South Bucks

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Grace Witherden and Hannah Crouch

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Primary school places issued in East Berkshire and South Bucks

Parents had a tense wait on Monday morning to find out which primary school their children had got into.

This year there were 1,977 primary school applications from Royal Borough residents and parents were allowed six preferences overall, which includes both reception and infant to junior admissions.

Around 82 per cent of children in the borough (1,612 out of 1,977) were offered a place at their first preference school and seven per cent (135 children) were offered their second preference.

Last year, 86 per cent of children were given their first choice of school in the borough, but for reception alone.

In total 92 per cent of applicants received a place at their first, second or third preferred school and around 80 primary school places were left unfilled across the borough.

Cllr Phill Bicknell (Con, Park), cabinet member for education said: “We know how important school admissions are and try our hardest to meet all parents’ preferred choices as fairly as we can. It is tough when a first choice cannot be given and we will provide as much support as we can to families where this is the case.”

Across the river in Buckinghamshire almost 90 per cent of families have also been able to breathe a sigh of relief, after their children were granted places at their first choice primary schools.

According to figures from Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC), about 87 per cent of applicants – 5,538 out of 6,385 – had been offered their first preference, an increase of 2.5 per cent on last year.

Cllr Zahir Mohammed, BCC cabinet member for education and skills, said: “It’s reassuring to know that we are improving year on year and that the vast majority of families do obtain offers for their first preference schools.

“We were also pleased to see a sharp decline in the number of children who weren’t offered any of their preferences.”

About three per cent of children failed to win a place at any of their preferred schools – down from 4.95 per cent last year.

Down the A4, a total of 2,133 applications were received at Wokingham Borough Council and 85 per cent of children were granted their first choice. Nine per cent managed to get into their second choice.

Around three per cent of children were allocated their third preference and two per cent were offered an alternative school after not gaining any of their preferences.

Lastly Slough Borough Council received 2,397 applications and 96 per cent of children were offered a place at one of their preferred schools.

A total of 85 per cent of children received their first preference and eight per cent second.

Parents who could not be offered any of their choices were offered the nearest school.

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