More children get preferred school choices

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IT CAN be a worrying time for parents, but new figures show that across this area more children have been given their chosen places at school.

Across Portsmouth, 2,338 applications were dealt with for children due to start school this September.

Results show that 85 per cent have been allocated their first preference school – up from 83 per cent last year.

And 95.4 per cent of children have been given a place at one of their preferred schools.

Councillor Rob Wood, cabinet member for children and education at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘We are pleased that so many parents applied early for places and we were able to allocate a higher proportion of first-preference schools compared with last year.

‘There is a pressure on Year Reception school places in Portsmouth, as there is nationally.

‘We are therefore also planning to ensure there are enough school places in the right areas for every four-year-old in Portsmouth in future years.’

Last year Portsmouth City Council spent £465,000 to provide an extra 74 temporary school places for children throughout the city.

Extra places were made available at Somers Park Primary, Highbury Primary, Cottage Grove Primary, Langstone Infants, and Arundel Court Infants.

Across Hampshire County Council, which covers Fareham, Gosport and Havant, more than 14,000 applications were made for school places.

The figures show that 97.76 per cent of children have been given a place at one of their preferred schools – a slight increase on the previous year.

And 90.09 per cent of children were allocated their first preference.

The city council has said parents have until Tuesday, April 30 to accept or refuse offers and places refused will be re-allocated.

Hampshire County Council added that if parents are happy with the place offered, there is no need for them to confirm acceptance, but they must contact the school with evidence of address and their child’s date of birth.