More than nine out of 10 families get first-preference secondary school

It means more families got the school they wanted this year compared with 2015 (92.13 per cent compared with 90.98) even though the council received applications from an additional 183 children transferring from primary school.

In total 98.44 per cent of applicants have been allocated a place at one of their preferred schools.

The figures confirm the council’s strong track-record of being able to offer the vast majority of families a place at the school of their choice.

Good news for vast majority

The council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families Melinda Tilley said: “I’m delighted that once again we’re in the position of being able to provide the news families want to hear in more than nine out of 10 cases. There has been much in the national media about local authorities increasingly struggling to offer families first-preference schools but that is not the story in Oxfordshire.

“We are working closely with all our secondary schools to plan ahead for additional school places and identify where there is the greatest need for more capacity. Where there is significant housing development, the council seeks to secure developer contributions towards the capital cost of expanding secondary schools, or building new ones.

“That work will need to continue in the coming years to ensure sufficient local school places are available for every Oxfordshire child who needs one.”

Appeal process

Cllr Tilley added: “Unfortunately, where applications for particular schools exceed available spaces, we can’t offer everyone a place. In such circumstances 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.”

Late applications

Anyone who has yet to apply for either a primary or secondary school place for their child for September 2016, should print out and complete a copy of the relevant application form (using the relevant link below) and submit it to the council’s admissions team as soon as possible.