Portsmouth primary school places awarded amid hike in demand

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A HIGH percentage of parents across the region have won places for their children at their chosen primary schools despite a massive surge in demand.

More than 97 per cent of mums and dads in Hampshire applying were allocated one of their three preferred schools and 90 per cent won a place at their first choice – despite 200 extra applications.

In Portsmouth, the success rate for one of three preferred places was more than 94 per cent, as schools increased their capacity to cater for 129 extra applicants.

But just 83 per cent were awarded their first choice.

Roy Perry, Hampshire County Council’s education boss, said: ‘In common with many areas of the country, we have seen a significant increase in the demand for primary places.

‘It’s a very small proportion of applicants who have been unable to get a place at one of the preferred schools.

‘I want to emphasise what a strong overall achievement this is again for the vast majority of Hampshire families who have secured a preferred place.’

Last week, Hampshire won £9.8m funding to help address pressures on primary school places in areas including Fareham and Gosport.

Julian Wooster, Portsmouth’s director for children’s services, said: ‘There is significant pressure on reception places in Portsmouth as there is nationally because of increasing birth rates, a lack of movement in the housing market with more families remaining in inner city areas and fewer private school applications.’

A ‘pupil place plan’ showing how school provision is expected to change over the next few years is being developed and will be released for consultation in June.