Increase in first-choice offers for Oxfordshire’s primary schoolchildren

Solid forward planning has once again ensured the overwhelming majority of Oxfordshire children have been offered a place at their first-choice primary school.

The proportion of children receiving a first-preference offer rose to 93.68 per cent this year, from 91.51 per cent in 2016 and 88.04 per cent in 2015. A further 4.55 per cent of children were offered their second-choice school.

Although there were fewer applications this year (7,312 compared with 7,600 in 2016), it means just 78 children have been offered a place at a school not listed on their application, compared with 148 in 2016 and 320 in 2015.

Schools Organisation and Planning Manager Roy Leach said: “Through our school place planning work we are continuing to ensure that local school places are available for every Oxfordshire child who needs one.

"Oxfordshire has a strong record in this area and we are continuing to work in close partnership with all schools, including academies, to plan for changing demand and to ensure that families can continue to access good schools for their children.”

Additional school places

A recent focus on the delivery of new primary school places in Oxfordshire means the council is on course to have created nearly 3,000 additional primary school places between 2015 and 2018. Recent national figures also show the proportion of pupils in Good or Outstanding primary schools in Oxfordshire rose from 59% in 2012 to 85% in 2015 – in real terms, an increase of 14,600 children.

Mr Leach said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer the vast majority of families their first choice schools and I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all Oxfordshire children preparing to start school for the first time, the very best of luck.”

He added: “For anyone who has not received the news they were hoping for today, there is an option to appeal, and also to remain on ‘continued interest’ lists for their preferred school in the event that spaces become available between now and September. Details explaining this process have been sent to families along with their school place offer.”