Rise in number of Norfolk children set to miss out on first-choice secondary school place

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 March 2014 | UPDATED: 12:27 01 March 2014

Mick Castle.  Picture: James Bass

Mick Castle. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

A total of 270 Norfolk children have failed to secure a place at their first-choice secondary school for September 2014.

Offers for 7,279 pupils will be sent on Monday, and the proportion offered their first preference has fallen to 96.4pc this year, compared to 97.7pc in 2013.

Norfolk County Council said 182 children will be offered their second preference and 17 will receive their third preference.

The remaining pupils will be offered an alternative at a local school with places.

Mick Castle, cabinet member for education, said: “I’m sure families will welcome the news that the vast majority of students have been offered a place at their first preference. While the percentage has dropped very slightly, this is down to an increase in applications and we anticipate the proportion being offered their first preference will still be well above the national average.

“There are a very small number that will disappointed not to have received a place at one of their three preference schools, because they are oversubscribed and not in the family’s catchment area. We sympathise but have been able to offer every child a place at an alternative local school with an available place.”

Three schools in North Norfolk, South Norfolk and Norwich are heavily over-subscribed, with more than 30 pupils on their waiting list.

A further five in Norwich, the Great Yarmouth area, West Norfolk, Broadland and South Norfolk have waiting lists of more than 10.

Cambridgeshire and Suffolk county councils will not release figures until Monday.

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