This week, the Department for Education (DfE) released data on secondary and primary school applications and offers for 2016. The key points were as follows:
an increase of 2.6% of secondary school applications compared to 2016, but the number of primary school applications decreased by 3.3% from 2016
83.5% of secondary school applicants were offered their first choice, a slight drop from 2016 where 84.1% were offered their first choice
90% of primary school applicants were offered their first choice compared to 88.4% last year
London continues to offer the lowest first preference rates for both primary and secondary school applicants, although London local authorities’ first preference rates for primary school applicants is considerably better than their first preference rates for secondary school applicants
In light of these statistics, the Local Government Association has called for councils to be given more powers to require schools to expand, particularly in relation to academies. This is to meet local demand.