School places success: 95% of families get children first choice spot

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THE majority of city youngsters have gained their first choice school place.

Up to now across Sunderland, a huge 95 per cent of 11-year-olds have clinched a place at their first choice secondary school.

A further three per cent got their second choice and a 0.3 per cent their third, with the remaining youngsters are still to be allocated their place.

Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for Children’s Services, Councillor Pat Smith, said: “We always work hard with schools and parents to provide admission to their first choice of secondary school, with help and support available to the small number of families who can’t be and have to take up their alternative choices instead.

“Our city provides the best possible education that it can to all our young people and we wish all those going onto secondary school the best of luck in this next stage of their school careers.”

Nationally, figures show that school places have become a postcode lottery with almost half of pupils in some parts of the country missing out on their first choice of secondary schools as competition for places reached record levels.

Councils across England reported that fewer 11-year-olds gained places at their preferred secondary schools, with many being forced to make do with their second, third or even sixth choice.

However, a Department for Education spokesman said the Government wants to give every family the choice of a good local school.

He said: “Since 2010 the Government has invested more than £5billion to create more than 445,000 new school places - more than double the amount invested in the previous four years.”