More than eight in ten starting school in Stevenage and North Herts this year get first choice

This year 95 per cent of children in Hertfordshire have been allocated a place at one of their prefe

This year 95 per cent of children in Hertfordshire have been allocated a place at one of their preferred primary schools and 82 per cent have got their first choice. - Credit: Getty Images/Creatas RF

This year 95 per cent of children in Hertfordshire have been allocated a place at one of their preferred primary schools – and 82 per cent have got their first choice.

Of the 15,133 applications for reception places, 14,320 were allocated a ranked primary school. In all 12,422, or 82 per cent, were given their top preference – a rise from 81 per cent last year.

In Stevenage, 95 per cent of applicants were allocated one of their ranked schools, with 83 per cent getting their first choice.

The figures in Hitchin were slightly better, with 97 per cent getting a ranked school and 86 per cent their first choice.

In Letchworth 93 per cent got a ranked school and 82 per cent got their first choice, while in Baldock the corresponding figures were 99 per cent and 87 per cent.

Herts County Council’s deputy director for education Andrew Simmons said: “We want all children to have access to a good education so they can reach their full potential, with the right number of school places in the right location, so I’m delighted that the vast majority of children have been allocated one of their ranked schools.

“This is a significant challenge given there are 10,000 more children under the age of four in Hertfordshire today than a decade ago. However, we are committed to ensuring that where the county’s population grows we build the appropriate infrastructure and have spent more than £180m since 2010 to provide more than 3,200 additional reception places.

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“We are working alongside free schools and academies to attract extra funding for more school places where they are most needed.”

Where a significant number of children in a given area cannot be offered a spot at one of their preferred schools and the closest alternative is in another town or village, places have not been offered at this stage, and children will be offered places next month through the continuing interest process.

Mr Simmons explained: “Although allocations for these families will be delayed for a month, I am confident that every child not currently offered a school place will be offered one at the first run of continuing interest.

“I recognise this is always a difficult time for parents but firmly believe that delaying allocations for a small number of families is preferable to allocating a place at a school outside the local area.”

Applicants must respond to their allocaitons by Monday, May 2.

For more information see hertsdirect.org/services/edlearn/admissions/september2016/primary1617/afterallocationday.