Newham children secure primary school places for next year

Eight in ten children in Newham have secured a place at their first choice primary school in September.

The borough has the third highest success rate in London for offering families their desired places behind neighbouring Tower Hamlets and Barking and Dagenham.

A total of 4,852 applications were made in Newham.

But four per cent of prospective pupils have been left without a place next year.

They will be offered placed at schools in neighbouring boroughs or be advised by council education chiefs of their next step.

Places are now allocated by the Pan-London Admissions Board.

Responsibility was switched to the body in an attempt to simplify the process for parents who previously had to apply to every individual London borough.

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The admission process is now shared between the 33 authorities.

Chairman Helen Jenner said: “Co-ordinating school admissions in London has meant a fairer distribution of available offers and has resulted in more parents getting an offer from one of their preferred schools earlier.

“It is important to emphasise that although the system is very efficient, it cannot create places at schools which are already full and not all parents can be offered their first preference.”

Earlier this year, 82 per cent of Newham’s primary school pupils successfully achieved a place at their preferred secondary school - the highest rate in the capital.

Mrs Jenner added: “London local authorities are working hard to try to ensure that they can offer every child a school place but with this surge in demand it is becoming increasingly difficult.”