Majority of Barking and Dagenham youngsters offered first choice secondary school

Across the borough parents and children have been finding out whether or not they got into the schoo

Across the borough parents and children have been finding out whether or not they got into the school of their choice. Picture: KEN MEARS - Credit: Archant

A majority of young people have been offered their first choice secondary school.

Evelyn Carpenter. Picture: LBBD

Evelyn Carpenter. Picture: LBBD - Credit: Archant

Almost three out of four youngsters in Barking and Dagenham will be starting at their preferred secondary school from September this year according to the council.

Cllr Evelyn Carpenter, cabinet member for educational attainment and school improvement, said: “The number of children that require a secondary school place in the borough continues to increase each year so I am delighted to see that so many parents have secured their preferred place.”

On national offer day on Friday parents who sent in their applications on time received the news of where their child would be going to school.

Out of the 3,452 applications received, 2,534 – or 73 per cent – of 11-year-olds have been offered their first preferred school compared to the average in London of 66pc.

Of those who missed out on their first choice, 90pc in the borough received an offer from among their top three selected schools again beating the average for the capital which is 86pc, according to council figures.

Cllr Carpenter said: “To once again perform above the London average is a credit to the work we have done to prepare to meet rising demand for school places.

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“I would also like to say a huge well done to the schools who continue to excel despite the demand put on them.”

Barking and Dagenham Council said the success was down to a multi-million pound school expansion programme.

The number of applications made in the capital this year was 95,305, a three per cent increase compared to last year.

There has been a 7.5pc increase in the number of applications received for places at London’s secondary schools over the past two years against a backdrop of rising pupil numbers putting pressure on boroughs and schools to recruit more staff.

The Pan London Admissions Board has the overall responsibility for coordinating school applications in the capital.

Its chairman, Sara Williams, said: “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.”

She advised parents to read the details of their child’s offer carefully and consider their options fully before making a decision.