1,200 children in Leeds DON’T get first choice primary school

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More than 1,200 children did not get into their first choice of primary school in Leeds, with 284 missing out on any of their chosen schools.

Leeds City Council has allocated reception places to 9,683 children today, which is 371 less than last year when there was a 15-year peak in the number of applications.

The authority said 87 per cent of applicants have been given a place at their first choice, which is the same as 2016, whilst overall 97 per cent have been offered one of their five preferences.

However, 1,225 applicants missed out on their first option and three per cent, or 284 pupils, did not get into any of their five preferences and have been offered places elsewhere. This compares with 301 last year, which was also three per cent.

Leeds was engulfed in controversy over the number of parents missing out in the North of the city in 2015. The city council said its school place planning team had worked hard to ensure there were “enough places in the right areas” this September – including creating an additional 90 ‘bulge’ places at Moor Allerton Hall and Allerton C of E primary schools in the North Leeds area.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive member for children and families, said: “For parents and carers, choosing a school for their children is one of the most important decisions they will make. I am pleased we have been able to offer 97 per cent of families one of their preferences.

“However, we do understand how disappointing and distressing it is when people aren’t allocated their preferred school, which is why we encourage parents to make sure they include their nearest school and use all five preferences to increase their chances of obtaining a place at a local school.”

Places will begin to be offered from waiting lists in May.