98 per cent of children due to start primary school in London this September have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools, according to figures published on National Primary Offer Day 2021 by the Pan London Admissions Board, the body with overall responsibility for co-ordinating school admissions in the capital.
London primary schools received 90,807 applications in total this year, a 7 per cent decrease compared to last year. The turbulence caused by the Covid-19 pandemic may have led to families missing the application deadline, so they will need to make a late application. There are enough school places for all London’s children but parents should apply as soon as possible.
Application numbers may also be affected by longer-term impacts of the pandemic, such as families moving out of urban areas due to changes in their circumstances and working patterns. Other important factors affecting primary applications include the decreasing birth rate - which is a national trend as well as a London one - and the localised effect of the UK leaving the EU in some areas.
This year, 87 per cent of the total number of London applicants - or 79,343 children - secured a place at their first preference school, a 2 per cent increase compared to last year.
96 percent of the total number of London applicants - 87,409 children - were offered a place at one of their top three preferred schools, a 1 per cent increase on last year.
Overall, 88,852 London children due to start primary school this September received an offer of a school place at one of their preferred schools - 98 per cent of the total number of applicants.
Martin Pratt, spokesperson for the Pan London Admissions Board and Executive Director, Supporting People at Camden Council, said:
“Starting primary school for the first time is an important milestone for every child. This year the admissions process has gone smoothly and nearly 89,000 parents will receive an offer of a preferred school place in the capital - with 79,000 of those being for their first preference school.
“93 per cent of London’s schools are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, making it highly likely that children attending school here will get an excellent education.
“The significant reduction in total applications is due to a range of reasons, including short and long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Boroughs are supporting schools to deal with this challenge and ensure school places continue to be available where there is demand. Clearly it is important that councils have the powers and flexibility to meet the needs of our youngest residents.
“Each London borough has an admissions team and we are ready to help parents if they have any queries.”
In London, families receive their child’s school place offer via email or text during the evening of National Offer Day.
Click here to read a briefing on the admissions process for National Primary Offer Day and to see a breakdown by borough of preference rates.