More get to first choice secondary schools

More pupils in Sunderland will be starting at their first-choice secondary school this September, new figures show.

First choice school figures.
First choice school figures.

New data from the Department for Education show there were 2,981 applicants to secondary schools in the city this year – with 91.8% being given a place at their first choice for the 2022-23 school year.

This is up from 90.2% the year before.

The figures also show 97.2% of children in Sunderland were given a place at their first choice primary school - up from 94.1% in 2021-22.

Across the North East, 96.1% were allocated their first-choice primary school, and 89.2% their preferred secondary.

In England, 83.3% of more than 600,000 applicants are heading to their first choice secondary – up from 81.1% last year.

Emily Hunt, associate director at the Education Policy Institute think-tank, said these statistics only tell "part of the story".

She said: "First choice offer rates vary considerably across the country, as does the availability of high performing schools to apply to.

"The criteria used to determine whether a pupil is offered a place can also make it difficult for pupils who are unable to live nearby.”

She added: “For those parents that have not been offered their first choice, many will consider the use of the appeals system.”

School standards minister Robin Walker said: “It’s fantastic to see the overwhelming majority receive offers from their preferred schools.

“We are continuing to level up the quality of education across the country, and parents can be confident that. wherever they live, their child will get the education they deserve.”