94% of children due to start secondary school in London this September have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools, data published on National Secondary Offer Day 2023 by the Pan London Admissions Board reveals.
Almost 70% (69.78%) of children applying to London schools got into their first preference school, a slight decrease of 0.1% (0.17%) from last year, equivalent to 64,648 children. 89% of London pupils - 82,687 children - were offered a place at one of their top three preferences of secondary school.
The total number of applications made for secondary school places in London this year was 92,641. This figure has remained relatively stable, having decreased by 0.03% compared to last year.
Application numbers are affected by a number of reasons including varying pressures on different schools and local authority areas. Other important factors include migration changes, such as families moving due to changes in their circumstances and working patterns, along with the localised effect of the UK leaving the EU in some areas.
The Pan London Admissions Scheme ensures that parents receive a school place offer for their child at the school which is highest in their list of preferences for which they are eligible under the admissions criteria. In London, offers will be sent out by email during the evening of Wednesday 1 March 2023.
Cllr Ian Edwards, London Councils Executive Member for Children and Young People, said:
“It is vital that all children in London have access to a high-quality education. We want to ensure the best possible outcome for applicants to both mainstream schools and for pupils with special education needs and disabilities (SEND).
“It is positive that once again the overwhelming majority of children have an offer from one of their preferred schools. Boroughs have worked diligently with schools to ensure there are sufficient places to meet the high demand for school places across the capital.
“London is an incredibly high-performing region at GCSE level with 90% of schools rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted, which means local families can be confident that their child will receive an excellent education.
“We remain keen to work with Government to respond to pressures surrounding secondary school places and to support the growing demand for development of specialist SEND provision at a local level, ensuring that that all London pupils have the best start in life.”
Jon Abbey, Chair of the Pan-London Admissions Board, said:
“Each year the Pan-London Admissions Scheme is a crucial process to ensure school places are distributed by local authorities in both an impartial, and vitally, a transparent way.
“Today’s admissions figures show a small increase in the proportion of children getting a place at their first choice or one of their preferred schools, showing admission figures have remained relatively stable.
“Parents should be reassured that there are sufficient places in London schools to meet the overall demand for pupil spaces. The scheme ensures that parents receive an offer for the school which is highest in their list of preferences for which they are eligible under the admissions criteria.
“With the density of the population in London, it is a huge task for the Admissions team to take into account both the number of places available at each school and the eligibility criteria to ensure the best outcome for London’s children. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all their work in ensuring the process of allocating school places to London’s children continues to go smoothly.
“We advise parents to read the details of their child’s offer carefully and consider their options fully before making a decision. Each London borough has an admissions team and staff are happy to help if they have any queries.”