National Offer Day: 4 in 5 get first school choice in Kent

As pupils around the UK find out if they have secured a secondary school place at their top choice, four in five pupils in Kent are celebrating, despite a surge in applications.

National Offer Day: 4 in 5 get first school choice in Kent
National Offer Day marks the day when over half a million families around the UK find out which secondary school their child will be attending in September.According to The Telegraph, 100,000 pupils across the UK are set to miss out on their first choice of secondary school this year due to increased competition for places. This is a rise of seven per cent on last year. However, despite a rise in applications in Kent, the council has reported that 445 more children have been offered their first choice compared to last year.

An increase in school applications 

With an increase of 1,320 applications compared to last year – many of which were outside the county – the council have processed 20,731 applications this year but a total of 91 per cent of Kent pupils received their first or second choice.
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“The growth in demand for Kent school places is an ongoing challenge [but] I continue to be encouraged, that despite the growing challenges year on year, children of Kent families are being offered a record number of first preference school places, up to 13,891, and that in addition to this, a further 1,937 children received their second preference offer,” said Roger Gough, Kent County Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and education.“Securing such high numbers of parental preference shows families have confidence in their local schools and it is testament to the great work delivered by the excellent staff in Kent schools in raising education standards.”

Options for those who do not secure their first choice 

However, despite 16,677 pupils receiving their first or second school choice, the remainder will be allocated a school place by the local authority – a disappointing outcome for many if the school is not one that the family would have chosen.
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In this situation, parents need to decide whether to appeal or to accept the decision. The appeals process can be quite lengthy and with no guarantee of success, it should therefore not be entered into lightly. You can find out more about the appeals process here.

Keeping an open mind 

Mr Gough cousels, “I would encourage parents to visit the schools with an open mind before forming any views about their suitability and would strongly recommend meeting with teachers and staff before any final decision is taken.“This is the very first stage of the school allocation process. Between now and September there will be considerable movement through waiting lists and the appeals process so do not be too disheartened if you have been unable to secure your preferred school through this first phase of the process.”For related news and features, visit our Education & Schools section. Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory