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One in 10 Norfolk pupils miss out on first choice secondary school

PUBLISHED: 15:30 01 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:50 01 March 2019

Around 90pc of children starting secondary school in Norfolk in 2019 will be going to their first choice school, according to data from Norfolk County Council. Picture: Getty Images

Around 90pc of children starting secondary school in Norfolk in 2019 will be going to their first choice school, according to data from Norfolk County Council. Picture: Getty Images

Archant

Almost 1,000 11-year-olds in Norfolk will not be starting at their preferred secondary school in September.

Friday was the day of release for secondary school place offers up and down the country, with parents finding out which schools have accepted their request for a place for their child.

Figures from Norfolk County Council show that 9,141 applications for secondary school places in the county were received for the 2019-20 academic year, 850 fewer than last year.

Of these, 8,289 (90.5pc) were accepted by their first choice school, while 433 (4.7pc) got their second choice and 73 (0.8pc) got their third choice.

There were 334 students who received an offer from an alternative school to their specified choices, while 12 applications submitted late got no offers.

Parents and carers are now able to appeal the offers given or missed out on. Last year 215 appeals were lodged and of the 123 which were heard, 40pc were decided in the parents’ favour.

In Norfolk families are allowed to select up to three choices of school. Other local authorities allow applicants to have up to six choices.

Ahead of the release of the offers the Good Schools Guide had calculated that around a fifth of the estimated 606,000 children applying for secondary school places for the coming academic year would miss out on their first choice school.

But Bernadette John, director at the guide, cautioned parents about immediately rejecting the school place offered to their child, “no matter how unwelcome”, even if the place is only held while they research other options or appeal for preferred schools.

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