02 May 2012

Over 8,800 school places have been allocated to Northamptonshire children due to start primary school in September.

The total number of applications received by Northamptonshire County Council for primary school places was 8828, an increase of 416 applications on last year (2011) and 801 applications more than received in 2010.

Letters have been posted today (2 MAY) by Northamptonshire County Council to every parent or guardian detailing which school they have been offered and inviting them to attend a parent information event to find out more about the next steps.

Families who applied using the council’s online system have been able to check their offer on the council’s website today.

Councillor Andrew Grant, cabinet member for children, learning and skills, said: "We work hard to ensure pupils are allocated to one of their preferred schools wherever possible. Early figures show that 95 per cent of pupils have been allocated one of their three preferences, with 85% receiving their first preference.

“Although we’re seeing quite an increase in the numbers of children starting school these year, I’m pleased that we have been able to maintain the percentage of families offered one of their three preferences. We’ve taken a number of steps to make sure that we have enough capacity to meet the rising numbers of schoolchildren in the county.

“For anyone unhappy with the place their child has been allocated, there is an independent appeals process.

“I would urge anyone who may be considering an appeal to come along to one of the two information events that have been organised for more advice about the options available to them. This is the first year we’ve organised these events and I hope families will find them useful in terms of planning the practical details around starting school.”

The parent information events will include representatives from the council’s admissions, appeals, school improvement, school transport and free school meals teams. They take place on:

  • Tuesday 8th May from 12 noon to 7pm at Kettering Conference Centre
  • Wednesday 9th May, from 12 noon to 7pm at Northampton Town Football Club

Councillor Grant added: “A late application impacts on the chances of a child getting its preferred school place so it’s disappointing to report that yet again we had a significant number of late applications. This year there were 188 applications received after the closing date.”

The total number of allocations was 8828:

  • Allocated first preference: 7498 pupils = 85%
  • 2nd or 3rd preference: 854 =10%
  • Did not get any of stated preferences so given alternative school: 476 = 5%