Nearly 80% allocated first choice on secondary school offer day but Council refutes national shortfall place figures.

Figures published today (March 1) show more and more young people across Buckinghamshire are getting their first choice secondary school.

National offer day revealed 76.95% of Buckinghamshire’s youngsters were allocated their first choice secondary school, up nearly three per cent on last year’s figures.

In all, there were 5,895 applications from residents for places, compared with 5,813 the year before. As happens every year, a small number were not allocated a preferred school at this stage, but the Council’s Admissions and Transport team will continue to work closely with those families affected.

The news comes on the day some national papers incorrectly reported a 1,983 school place shortfall in Buckinghamshire.

Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, Zahir Mohammed said he was very concerned about the publication of incorrect data.

“These figures result from a misinterpretation of data provided to an FOI request. We have in excess of 6000 secondary school places available in the county this year and fewer than 5900 residents seeking a place. We actually accommodated over 790 non-Buckinghamshire children whilst 563 Buckinghamshire children successfully applied for schools outside Buckinghamshire.

“As decisions from parents are received, any places that are refused will be re-offered to children on the waiting lists in later allocation rounds.

“Applications from out of county hopefuls did increase by about 570, such is the attraction of a Buckinghamshire education. We had to refuse 1361 out-area applications in the first round but would hope over time that more can be offered. However we would of course expect their own borough or county council to find a place for those children if this does not happen.”

Mr Mohammed added, “Overall, this is fantastic news. Not only has the first choice school preference offers increased, but crucially we also have the places available for all our own children.”