Most children in London offered preferred secondary school

Ninety four per cent of children due to start secondary school in London this September have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools, new data has revealed. 

The research was led by Pan London Admissions Board.

Over 70 per cent of children applying to London schools got into their first preference school, an increase of 0.79 per cent from last year, equivalent to 63,757 children. 

Ninety per cent of London pupils were offered a place at one of their top three preferences of secondary school.

The total number of applications made for secondary school places in London this year was 90,348, a decrease of nearly 3 per cent compared to last year.

Application numbers are affected by a number of reasons, including the falling birth rate across London. 

As a result of the reduction in school places having an impact on the amount of funding a school receives, schools will have to make further difficult decisions to balance their budgets. 

This could mean narrowing the curriculum, offering fewer after school clubs or reducing the number of teaching and support staff. 

In some cases, school leaders and local authority leaders will have to make difficult decisions to merge or close schools.

Other important factors impacting application numbers include migration, such as families moving due to changes in their circumstances and working patterns, along with the localised effect of the UK leaving the EU in some areas.

Ian Edwards, London Councils’ executive member for children and young people, said: “It is positive that once again the overwhelming majority of London’s children have an offer from one of their preferred schools. London is the best performing region at GCSE level with 90% of schools rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted, which means local families can be confident that their child will receive an excellent education."

He added: “Boroughs have worked diligently with schools to ensure there are sufficient places to meet the demand for school places across the capital, particularly in the context of falling school rolls and the impact this is having on some schools."