‘Secret’ figures reveal school admissions

PLEASED Cllr Roy Perry
PLEASED Cllr Roy Perry

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BAY HOUSE School is the hardest to get into in the Fareham, Gosport, Havant and Waterlooville areas – with more parents than anywhere else being left disappointed.

Statistics revealed today for the first time under the Freedom of Information Act show 45 families were unable to get their child into the popular foundation school which is unique in Gosport for having its own sixth form.

In most undersubscribed schools, however, all but one or two first choice applicants were awarded places.

At Brookfield and Portchester, even late first-choice applications won a place – as the total number of first-choice allocations exceeds the number of first choice applications submitted before the October 31 deadline.

One exception was Cowplain Community School which left seven parents disappointed – despite being undersubscribed by 21 places.

This suggests parents who put down Cowplain as their first choice were trumped by those who lived nearer the catchment area but who had made unsuccessful bids for schools elsewhere.

Hampshire County Council refused to release the placement statistics because they claimed parents would be misled.

As a result The News had to put in a Freedom of Information request for the number of first, second and third preference allocations for all schools in Hampshire.

Cllr Roy Perry, who is responsible for children’s services, said he welcomed information being placed in the public domain and applauded the fact that 93.7 per cent of pupils received their first preference.

He said: ‘I’m certainly pleased Hampshire has an outstanding success record in helping so many people get their first choice.

‘It was explained to me the information couldn’t be revealed for confidentiality reasons and also that some of the minute detail wouldn’t be fully understood and appreciated.

‘My instinct always is to have as much information in the public domain as possible.’