How South Tyneside families fared with primary school places for September 2020

Around 88% of youngsters in South Tyneside have been accepted into their first choice primary school.

Thursday, 16th April 2020, 6:04 pm
Updated Friday, 17th April 2020, 2:24 pm
Picture c/o PA

The borough council has announced that the vast majority of parents have gained their chosen preference on ‘National Offers Day’ for September 2020.

According to council figures, 1,728 pupils have been handed a spot at their first preference option.

A further 90 (5%) received their second choice of school and 29 youngsters (1%) were given their third choice.

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The number of those not receiving one of their chosen preferences was 108 this year (6%) compared to 41 (2%) in 2019.

Figures are based on the applications which were made on time to South Tyneside Council and this year, 1,955 applications were received.

This marks an 11% spike in applications compared to 1,760 the previous year.

Coun Moira Smith, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families on the council, said the rise in the number of applications had “increased competition” for places.

She added: “Our School Admissions Team makes every effort to offer children a place at their first choice of school, but this depends on the number of places available and how closely each pupil meets the over subscription criteria when a school has more applicants than places available.

“Parents are entitled to appeal the decision.”

Hundreds of children across England have been allocated school places on April 16, National Offers Day.

In South Tyneside, the deadline to accept or decline a place, request to go on a waiting list, or to request an appeal form, is 4.30pm on Friday, April 24.

For more information on primary, infant and junior school admissions visit: www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/36365/Primary-infant-and-junior-school-admissions

Alternatively, contact the School Admissions Team on 0191 424 7767 or 0191 424 7706

England's school system has been put under pressure in recent years due to a rise in the school-age population.

This has been fuelled by a spike in the birth rate in the early 2000s that has now made its way through primary schools and is moving into secondary schools.

Official data shows that, last year, 90.6% of pupils were offered their first choice of primary school.

The Department for Education has changed its rules this year amid the coronavirus pandemic so that parents unhappy with their school place will not have to make an appeal in person.

Appeal panel hearings will be able to take place "in person, by telephone, video conference or through a paper-based appeal".

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT, said feelings of anxiety among families waiting to find out whether their child has secured their first choice of school will be "heightened by the confusion and uncertainty caused by coronavirus".

School admissions data comparisons

First choice.

2019: 1,640 (94%)

2020: 1,728 (88%)

Second Choice.

2019: 66 (4%)

2020: 90 (5%)

Third Choice.

2019: 13 (1%)

2020:29 (1%)

Children not receiving one of their chosen preferences.

2019: 41 (2%)

2020: 108 (6%)

Total number of applications

2019: 1,760

2020: 1,955

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