Fewer Islington pupils received first secondary school choice than almost anywhere else in England

Fewer pupils in Islington were admitted to their first-choice secondary school than almost anywhere else in England, new figures show.

By Andrew Dowdeswell, Data Reporter

School pupils walk away from the camera
Photo: RADAR

Fewer pupils in Islington were admitted to their first-choice secondary school than almost anywhere else in England, new figures show.

The Association of School and College Leaders said the rising number of secondary school pupils is putting pressure on applications, especially in more affluent areas that have schools with good or outstanding Ofsted ratings.

Department for Education figures show 1,709 children applied for a place at a secondary school in Islington for the 2023-24 academic year.

Of them, 1,139 (66.6%) were admitted to their first choice, while 1,601 (93.7%) received a place from at least one school in their top six choices.

It means fewer pupils in Islington were offered a place at their preferred school than almost anywhere else in the country.

Areas that allow children to select more than three preferred schools generally have a lower first-choice acceptance rate as parents tend to be a little more speculative with their applications.

Nationally, 82.6% of secondary school applicants received an offer from their first choice for 2023-24 – down from 83.3% the year before – while the proportion securing a place from any of their favoured schools fell slightly from 95.8% in 2022-23 to 95.6%.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the ASCL, said the slight fall in pupils receiving their first offer could be due to the rising number of applications – some 619,991 pupils applied for a secondary school place for 2023-24, the highest number since records began in 2014-15.

But in Islington, the total number of applications fell. Meanwhile, the proportion of children receiving their first choice increased, as would be expected.

Mr Barton said: “The rising number of secondary-age pupils is putting additional pressure on places, particularly in schools located within affluent areas that have an outstanding or good Ofsted rating.

“Conversely, there are other schools in more challenging circumstances in other areas that are stigmatised by negative Ofsted ratings and are struggling to recruit pupils to fill their place numbers.

“It is an absolutely ridiculous situation, and the Government should focus more on investing the money and support that is needed to ensure every community has good school places on their doorstep.”

Meanwhile, a record number of primary-aged pupils across the country received a place at their preferred school for 2023-24 – some 92.5% were offered their first choice, up from 92.2% in 2022-23 and the highest figure since 2014-15.

However, there was also a record low number of applications, with just 568,560 children fighting for the school places.

In Islington, 1,440 of 1,723 children (83.6%) secured a place at their first preference.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said: “It is great to know that up and down the country families are able to make the right choice for their child, enrolling them in a school and environment that they feel will best support their child to learn and develop.

“Today’s figures attest to the Government’s priority in providing good quality school places, which will ensure every child has the opportunity to meet their potential.”


AdBlocker Message

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

About EC1 Echo

EC1 Echo is your free local independent community news website. We publish stories to the web across the week and offer a platform for local people to highlight what matters to them. EC1 Echo is a not-for-profit project in partnership with the Peel Institute. Please consider becoming a subscriber supporter from £3.00 per month.
We need your help

Submit your listing here