Nine out of 10 Sunderland kids get first-choice school places

PRIMARY PLACES ... Nine out of 10 children will go to their parents' first-choice school.

PRIMARY PLACES ... Nine out of 10 children will go to their parents' first-choice school.

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THE vast majority of Sunderland parents are celebrating getting first choice school places for their children.

Yesterday was D-day for mums and dads who had applied for primary, infant, and junior school places.

The vast majority of parents and carers in Sunderland all get their first primary school choice.

Sunderland Council

On Wearside, 93.9 per cent of parents, equating to 2,686 children, secured their first choice of school for their child, starting in September.

A further 3.7 per cent, 106, got their second choice school and 0.6 per cent, 18, gained their third choice.

A remaining 50 children are still to be allocated a place.

A spokesman for Sunderland City Council, said: “The vast majority of parents and carers in Sunderland all get their first primary school choice. If it has not been possible to do this, then information about the appeals process is within their notification letter.

“Parents and carers have a legal right of appeal to an independent appeals panel, who will consider their individual reasons and make a decision on whether to uphold the appeal or not.”

In Durham, 93.05 per cent of the children clinched their first choice of school, in Middlesbrough it was 92.9 per cent, Hartlepool, 91.2 per cent and South Tyneside, 90 per cent.

South Tyneside Council said 95 per cent of children got one of their three choices of school.

Across the country the squeeze on school places has continued with up to one-in-six children missing out on their first places in some areas.

It comes days after council leaders said two in five local authorities would have too few places for primary children by 2016, particularly in schools on London’s fringes and in cities such as Leicester, Nottingham and Bristol.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said it was a challenging time for both families and schools.

He said: “Until some agency at the local or regional level has the information and the authority to prioritise school places where they are most needed, parents and children will always be unsure that the system will give them what they want.”