Leeds has Yorkshire’s lowest level of parents getting children into first choice primary

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LEEDS had the lowest number of parents getting into their first choice of primary school in Yorkshire for the next academic year, official figures have confirmed.

The proportion of applicants who were placed in their first choice of primary increased compared with last year and there was no repeat of the controversy in the North of the city where parents had claimed they faced a places blackhole in 2015.

However the latest tables published by the Department for Education (DfE) show Leeds still had more applicants missing out on their first choice primary than in any other local education authority area in the region.

Of the 9,956 who applied, 87.3 per cent got into their first choice, according to the DfE.

This was up on last year’s figure of 85 per cent. However it means around one-in-seven missed out on their first choice.

The percentage of applications getting into one of their choice of primaries was also higher compared with last year. DfE tables show 2.9 per cent of applicants were given a place at a school they did not choose compared with five per cent last year.

School places are decided by the council.

Parents find out in March and April which secondary and primary school their children are being allocated to.

In April Leeds City Council’s then executive member for children and families Coun Lucinda Yeadon said she was pleased that the council had been able to offer places they had chosen to 97 per cent of parents applying. She added: “This year was particularly challenging because demand for primary places is the highest it has been for 15 years”

The new figures for secondary school show around one-in-six pupils missed out on their first choice in the city.

There were 8,060 applications for 8,615 places. Of these 83.7 per cent were given a place at their first choice of secondary school.

Today’s figures give a full breakdown of how many applicants were successful in each education authority in the country.

The new tables show that parents in Yorkshire face a postcode lottery with their chance of success varying depending on where they live.

Parents and children in Bradford were the least likely in the region to get their first choice secondary school.

The figures from the Department for Education show that more than a quarter - 28 per cent - did not got their top choice.

And 6.5 per cent of the 7,400 who applied for secondary places in the district did not get into any of their chosen secondary schools.

Elsewhere around one-in-five applicants missed out on their first choice secondary in both Hull and Calderdale.

In Hull 81 per cent of pupils got into their first choice and 95 per cent were allocated a place at one of their choices of school.

In Calderdale 80.8 per cent were given their top choice secondary and 96 per cent got a place at one of the schools they had opted for.

However in other parts of Yorkshire, almost all applicants were successful in securing a place at their first choice school.

In the East Riding 96.8 per cent of people were given their first choice while in Rotherham the figure was 96.3 per cent. Parents in Barnsley and Doncaster were also highly likely to get their first choice - with just over 95 per cent being successful in both education authority areas.

The figures also show that parents have a better chance of getting into their first choice school in Yorkshire than the national average.

87.1 per cent of applicants in Yorkshire got into their first choice secondary compared with 84.1 per cent nationally and 90.7 per cent got into their first choice primary in Yorkshire compared with 88.4 per cent nationally.

Nationally around one-in-six children in England missed out on a place at their top choice of secondary school this year.

In total, 84.1 per cent of 11-year-olds across the country were given a spot at their first preference, compared with 84.2 per cent in 2015.

The latest Department for Education statistics also show that 88.4 per cent of youngsters seeking primary school places were offered their first choice, up from 87.8 per cent last year.

This means that almost one in eight did not receive their top preference.


Tables show (L-R) number of school places, applicants and percentage getting their first choice school


Barnsley 2,520 2,308 95.1

Bradford 7,400 7,371 72.0

Calderdale 2,837 2,395 80.8

Doncaster 3,763 2,891 95.5

East Riding 4,167 3,219 96.8

Hull, 2,810 2,849 81.0

Kirklees 4,780 4,589 85.7

Leeds 8,615 8,060 83.7

North East Lincs 2,003 1,734 91.6

North Lincs 2,232 1,848 91.5

North Yorkshire 7,604 5,626 93.0

Rotherham 3,480 2,901 96.3

Sheffield 5,727 5,877 87.2

Wakefield 4,199 3,281 93.9

York 1,933 1,799 90.9


Barnsley 3,089 2,790 89.6

Bradford 8,322 7,724 88.6

Calderdale 2,983 2,566 89.2

Doncaster 4,274 3,237 96.3

East Riding 4,077 3,388 95.9

Hull 3,650 3,666 87.5

Kirklees 5,909 5,316 89.9

Leeds 10,549 9,956 87.3

North East Lincs 2,154 1,829 92.1

North Lincs 2,174 1,922 94.4

North Yorkshire 7,348 5,961 93.6

Rotherham 3,689 3,238 90.5

Sheffield 6,778 6,392 90.1

Wakefield 4,376 3,773 93.1

York 2,131 1,958 94.6