Squeeze on Leeds school places continues

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almost 1,000 pupils in Leeds missed out on their first choice of secondary school as the city continues to battle a squeeze on places amid a soaring population.

Around half a million families across the country found out which school they had been allocated from this September on National Offer Day.

A total of 7,178 youngsters in Leeds managed to secure their first choice, however 998 pupils missed out on their first preference and 279 were allocated schools which they had not chosen.

This year there were 8,455 applications for secondary school places in the city, compared to 8,301 in 2016.

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Despite the growing demand, the city council has seen an increase from 82 per cent to 85 per cent of children getting into their first choice school.

And the number of children not getting a place at any of their five preferred schools was just 3.3 per cent, down from 4.6 per cent last year.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive member for children and families, said: “For parents and carers, choosing a secondary school for their children is an incredibly important decision and I am pleased that we have been able to offer the majority of young people their first preference school.”

Councils in Yorkshire have reported a sharp increase in the number of children coming through secondary schools as a rise in births since 2002 filters through from primary schools.

A concerted push to try to open up new schools and increase school places across the region is now being made to tackle the surge.

Leeds City Council said families are recommended to always include their nearest school as one of their preferences.

A spokesperson said: “Parents can request to be added to the waiting lists at schools where they have not been offered a place and should do this by March 17 to be included in the first allocation.”

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