More pupils end up in their first choice of secondary school

YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT Some pupils will not go to their first choice of school
YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT Some pupils will not go to their first choice of school
Forest School Leaders Dawn White and Sue Evans with their pupils outside the school

Picture: Habibur Rahman (180146-338)

Delight as nursery is rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted once again

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MORE than nine out of ten pupils across Portsmouth and Hampshire have won places at their first-choice school this year.

In Portsmouth, 91.8 per cent of 1,695 applicants went to their preferred schools.

And in Hampshire, 93.7 per cent of 12,770 prospective secondary school pupils were awarded with their school of choice.

This is an improvement on last year, when 90 per cent of pupils in Portsmouth and 92.5 per cent of those in Hampshire got their preferred choice.

This means 139 youngsters in Portsmouth did not get a place at their first choice school.

Of those, 13 ended up being allocated a place by the council because they failed to win a place at their first, second or third choices.

In Hampshire, 805 pupils missed out on their preferred school and 192 were given a place by the council.

Lynn Evans, headteacher of Springfield in Drayton – the only school in Portsmouth rated as outstanding by Ofsted – received 276 first-choice applications, more than the 269 last year.

With only room for 220 Year 7 pupils, there will be 56 disappointed families.

Mrs Evans said: ‘I’m very pleased we remain popular with Portsmouth parents but I’m particularly sympathetic to those families in our catchment who have expressed a strong preference for the school and still won’t be able to secure a place.’

The headteacher said she would have been able to take on more pupils if the government had not axed its Building Schools for the Future funding scheme.

Mrs Evans said: ‘As part of the BSF programme we would have had a new three-storey teaching block that would have allowed us to expand to 240 in each year group.

‘Unfortunately with the cancellation of it, there is no finance available for additional places.’

There was good news this year for City of Portsmouth Boys’ School which almost doubled in popularity, attracting 92 first choice applications compared with 53 in 2010.

Headteacher Mike Smith said: ‘I’m pleased with the number of first choices – it’s the highest we’ve had in five years.

‘Because we don’t have a catchment area, this means every single one of those pupils is making a conscious decision to come to this school, which will in many cases involve longer journeys than to their local schools.’

A snapshot survey conducted by the Press Association shows at least one in seven pupils countrywide will miss out on their first choice this year.

Hampshire County Council was unable to release statistics for individual schools.