More than 93 per cent get their first choice of primary school for 2019

More than nine out of ten parents whose children are set to enter the classroom for the first time this September have been offered their first choice of primary school in Oxfordshire.

A total of 93.39 per cent of the 7,125 applicants have received their first choice – above all recent national averages across the UK.

The consistent high number of first choices achieved in Oxfordshire is due to the county council’s careful forward planning to make sure the right numbers of school places exist – since 2010 the council has created more than 10,000 new primary school places.

That means that since 2010 the number of primary school places in Oxfordshire has risen by 22 per cent. About a fifth of that has been achieved via the building and opening of new schools and the rest through expansions of existing schools – new buildings, making better use of existing accommodation, or marginal increases in admission numbers.

This year’s figure of 93.39 per cent for first preference offers compares with the 2018 figure of 92.77 per cent. Although the national average for 2019 will not be published for some time, Oxfordshire remains ahead of the averages for 2018 (91 per cent) and 2017 (90 per cent).

Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Children’s Services Lucy Butler said: “Once again we’re delighted to be able to offer the overwhelming majority of families their first preference school, and wish all the children the very best for the coming school years. We constantly monitor demand for places and work closely with all schools to ensure there is sufficient capacity both across the county as a whole and within local areas.

“Oxfordshire compares very favourably with other parts of the country on school places and our strong track record on first-preference offers is down to that effective forward planning. We aim to give every Oxfordshire child a good start in life and this is part of that work”


An appeal process is available to families wishing to challenge the outcome of their application, and details of how to do this have been sent to parents. Children's names can also be placed on ‘continued interest’ lists in case places become available at schools at a later date.

Late applications

Anyone who has yet to apply for a primary school place for their child for September 2019, should print out and complete an application form from the council’s website and submit it to the council’s admissions team as soon as possible and no later than May 3.