School Places in Bristol for 2019/20:
More than nine out of 10 parents in England were given one of their top three choices of primary or secondary school for the academic year 2019/20, according to stats published by the Department for Education in the week.
Nationally, 97.5 per cent of primary and 93 per cent of secondary school children managed to get one of their top three preferences.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said of the result: “Wherever they live and whatever their background, children deserve the best in education. Since 2010 we have created more school places and seen school standards rise, meaning there is a greater opportunity for pupils across the country to go to a good or outstanding school.
This means that, despite rising pupil numbers and the highest number of applications at secondary level for twelve years, the vast majority of parents sending their children to school this September received one of their top three preferences of either primary or secondary school.”
But how do those statistics compare for Bristol City Council?
The Local Authority (LA) fell short on the statistic for secondary offers, though just met this with primary school places.
Bristol offers families three preferences as part of an equal preference system. There were 4,069 available places in all Bristol secondary schools for the forthcoming academic year, with Bristol City Council receiving 4,618 applications from home applicants.
Home applicants are those living within the Local Authority of Bristol. This shows there is a lack of secondary school places within the city, with more growth needed for Bristol residents within the LA boundary.
Just 71.3 per cent were offered their first preference, 13.0 received their second preference and 6.2 per cent received their third preference. In all, 90.5 per cent received one of their three preferences.
A 9.3 per cent were offered a school which was not one of their three preferences, with 0.2 receiving no offer.
When it came to primary schools, there were 5,918 available places with just 5,213 applications received from Bristol families. Based on Bristol applicants, this is leaving over 700 empty spaces in schools despite a deficit in the number of places available at both secondary and for specialist education.
A total of 87.6 received their first preference, 7.8 their second preference and 2.4 their third preference, meaning 97.9 received one of their preferred schools.
A 2 per cent received a school that they had not asked for and 0.1 per cent received no offer at all. In these cases, the Local Authority may provide parents with a list of schools where there are places available for them to choose.
Of all offers, 96.5 were for a school within Bristol and 3.5 per cent were for a school in another LA.
For secondary school places, there was movement between South West Local Authorities when it came to offering places in a different LAs.
North Somerset offered 2.1 per cent of school places to children who were going to schools in another LA. Bath and North East Somerset offered 1.6 per cent and South Gloucestershire offered a staggering 14.7 per cent of school places to children going to schools in a different LA.
South Gloucestershire is comprised of areas that include Kingswood, Warmly, Filton and Patchway. They are not part of Bristol, but blend into the continuous fabric of the city.
With a deficit of secondary school places, a selection of schools offering random allocation places such as Bristol Cathedral and Colston’s Girls’ School and additionally schools and colleges including St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School and St Bede’s Catholic College which prioritises faith, school admissions for secondary places continues to be a Hobson’s Choice scramble for a local school in a system which can see swathes of the city unable to access local education opportunities.
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