National Primary Offer Day Sees 90 Per Cent Of Children Offered First Preference

It’s National Offer Day for primary school places today, with parents across the country nervously refreshing email inboxes.

According to the Department for Education, there’s a good chance that the worry is for nothing. They have said this morning that 90 per cent of children are set to be offered their first preference.

Bristol families will be especially nervous though. Despite the creation of 825,000 new primary school places created across the country since 2010, Facebook community pages are already beginning to register discontent over local allocations.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: “This morning, thousands of pupils and their parents will find out which primary school they will be going to this September. Thanks to our reforms and the hard work of teachers, academic standards in our primary schools are rising across the country. Our young readers are among the best in the world, the proportion of primary school pupils reaching the expected standards in reading, writing and maths standards went up 8 percentage points last year and the attainment gap between children from wealthier and poorer backgrounds has narrowed by 10.5 per cent since 2011.

A good primary school education lays the foundations for success at secondary school and beyond, so it is right that we help make sure every child reaches their potential from the moment they start their education. That’s why we’re investing £5.8 billion to create even more good schools and good school places – building on the 825,000 we’ve created since 2010 – resulting in 9 out of 10 pupils securing one of their top three choices of schools.”

The joy about school places is unlikely to be shared by parents whose children have special educational needs.

According to research released by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers section of the National Education Union this month, a 24 per cent of children with Send are not even in school.

Their poll of over 440 parents found that 51.8 per cent were not in a school with the correct provision and 74.10 stated that they were not even being adequately supported in the school they were attending.

 Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), said: “It is appalling that so many children with special needs are not getting school places and are not getting the help they need. Parents of children with special needs have enough of a struggle without having to fight to get a diagnosis for their child or to get a school place. We know that 8,000 SEND children round the UK don’t currently have a school place – this simply is not good enough. The Government needs to get its act together and make sure these children receive the help and support they need.”


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