One in five Herts pupils don’t get first-choice secondary school

Some 22 per cent of Herts youngsters did not get a place at their first-ranked school this year. Fil

Some 22 per cent of Herts youngsters did not get a place at their first-ranked school this year. File photo. - Credit: Archant

Most Herts families will today find out where their children are going to secondary or upper school in September – and one in five don’t have their first choice.

Some 21.9 per cent of children have not got a place at their first-ranked school – though the proportion of children who have got one of their preferred schools has risen to 94.4 per cent.

There were 14,175 applications from Hertfordshire children this year, and 11,081 youngsters – 78.1 per cent – have got a place at their first-ranked school.

Terry Douris, Herts County Council’s cabinet member for education, said: “While I appreciate there may be a small number of parents that are disappointed with the school they have been allocated, I would encourage them to visit the school and speak to the headteacher before dismissing the offered place. They may be pleasantly surprised by what they see.

“They can also register their interest for their original preferred school by signing up to the continuing interest lists.

“The transition to secondary or upper school education is an important stage for young people and their families, so the county council recognises how vital it is that we make the application process as straightforward and smooth as possible. This year 99 per cent of applications were made online, enabling applicant’s immediate access their account information with an email function for direct updates.

“Hertfordshire is fortunate in that it has many excellent schools that perform well above the national average, which means we can be confident that our allocations process can offer the best possible education for children in the county.”

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Most parents and carers will find out where their child has been allocated this afternoon, with emails sent out after 4pm. Letters will be sent to those who applied on paper or online without confirming an email address.

Applicants who have not been offered their first-choice school will automatically be put on the continuing interest list for any Herts schools named higher on the application form than the school offered.

School places must be accepted by Thursday, March 15, which is also the last date to opt out of continuing interest. The deadline to submit an appeal is at 4pm on Thursday, March 29.

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