More local children will start at their chosen Secondary School in September, as Rotherham Council continues to outperform most of the UK by providing pupils with their preferred place.
Last week (Tuesday 1 March) was National Offer Day, when families with year six children discover which secondary school their child will be attending from September.
In total, over 3,500 school place offers have been made to pupils in Rotherham – 3,258 (93%) of which were for their first preference school. This is an improvement from the 91% achieved in 2021.
In all, 97.5% of pupils in Rotherham have been offered a place at one of their three preferred schools this year, which is up from 96% last year.
Nationally, just 81.1% of pupils were offered their first choice secondary school place last year and the proportion of pupils offered one of their preferences was 95.5% (source: Department for Education)
The 87 (2.5%) of pupils in Rotherham who were not offered one of their three preferences have all been allocated either their catchment area school or nearest school to home with a place available. No schools refused catchment or sibling category applications.
The Council works hard, with the support of local schools to ensure places are keeping pace with demand in line with birth rates, residential developments and other factors.
In recent years additional secondary school places have been created at Wickersley (200 through school places), St Bernard’s (75), Wales (150), Wath (150) and Rawmarsh (150).
Work is in progress now to add 150 additional places at Aston Academy and the Council’s Cabinet recently approved an additional 150 place expansion to Brinsworth Academy from 2023 onwards, aligned to catchment area demand in the future.
Councillor Victoria Cusworth, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services at Rotherham Council said: “National Offer Day can be a stressful time for parents, carers and pupils, as they wait anxiously to see if they have been allocated their preferred place, so I am really pleased that we’ve been able to build on what was already exceptionally good performance by securing more first choice and top three preference places for local children this year.
“Our success doesn’t happen by accident. It is the culmination of a huge amount of hard work by our school place planners, who closely monitor the latest population statistics and demand. And our excellent working relationship with school and academy leaders across the borough has helped to ensure we have the right school places in the right locations at the right time.”
Any parents or carers who are not happy with the allocation for their child has the right to appeal any decision which will be heard by an independent panel.
Images: Oakwood High School