Nine out of ten children in the region get their favoured primary school place


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Just over 92pc of Norfolk primary school children will be starting at their first choice school this autumn.

Parents across the county were today told whether they had been successful in their applications for school places in September.

The county saw heightened competition for school places, with the 9,305 children seeking spots a new record.

Of those 8,574 got their first choice - 92.1pc of youngsters.

A further 396 (4.2pc) got their second choice, while 88 more had to settle for their third choice.

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Richard Snowden, head of the schools admissions service, said: 'This has been a record year for primary school admissions in the county with 302 more Norfolk children due to start school this September, compared with last year.

'Despite this the vast majority of families have their first preference, with 56 extra families receiving their first preference this year. This is at a time when there is considerable pressure on places both locally and nationally.

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'Early forecasts suggest that this growth in pupil numbers is likely to continue for the foreseeable future and we are already planning for the years ahead, to ensure there are additional places where they are most needed.'

Richard Bearman, vice-chairman of the children's services committee at Norfolk County Council, said: 'In recent years we have worked hard to increase places in areas of growth by increasing the size of schools, putting in temporary classes and reorganising primary education in some areas of the county.

'This has meant that there has only been a small dip in the overall proportion of families receiving their first preference and we have been able to offer a place to every Norfolk family that has applied.

'Unfortunately, with nearly half of primary schools in the county oversubscribed and limits on infant class sizes, there will be some families who won't have received a place at their preferred school.

'There is particular pressure in some urban areas, where numbers of pupils have been increasing year on year.

'Additionally, there are some one-off issues in rural areas, which have affected a small number of families.

'Any children not offered one of their parents' preferred places will have been offered a place at the next nearest school with a space and added to the waiting list of their preferred school. Their parents will also have been offered the right of appeal.'

In Suffolk there were 7928 applications by the closing date for reception places in primary schools - 296 more than last year.

Of those, 90.21pc (7152) of first choice preferences were met.

Suffolk County Council also had 202 applications by the closing date for Year 5 middle school places in Bury St Edmunds, of which 89.6pc (181) of first preferences were met.

In Cambridgeshire, 90.13pc (6,501) children got their first choice of school, 477 (6.61pc) their second choice and 235 (3.26pc) their third choice. Twenty children were not offered school places.

The EDP reported on Tuesday that some secondary schools in the region were struggling to fill all their available places.

•Did your child get their first choice place? You can share your experiences in the comment section below.

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