95% of pupils offered place at first choice primary school in Hartlepool and 92% in County Durham

Councillors Chris Simmons
Councillors Chris Simmons

MORE than 95 per cent of pupils have been offered a place at their first choice primary school in Hartlepool.

Hartlepool Borough Council received 1,134 applications for a primary school place from September.

Of these 1,084, which accounts for 95.6 per cent, were allocated their first preference, 25, which is 2.2 perc cent, were allocated their second preference and nine, which is 0.8 per cent, were allocated their third preference.

There was also 16 pupils, which is 1.4 per cent, who were not allocated a preference but will be offered a place at a school in Hartlepool.

Councillor Chris Simmons, chairman of the council’s children’s services committee, said: “Once again we have been able to offer the large majority of parents who have children entering primary school in September their first preference which is very positive news indeed.

“Starting primary school is a key time in the life of children and their parents and it is very reassuring that such a high percentage of applications will be offered their preferred choice of school.”

Durham County Council offered 92 per cent of pupils a place in their first choice school, down from 94 per cent last year.

The allocation scheme saw 97.5 per cent of youngsters get one of their top three choices of primary school places in 2014, down from 98.1 per cent last year.

This week saw the first ever primary National Offer Day, where parents were told which school places had been given to their children on the same day nationwide.

A nationwide survey, based on responses from more than 50 councils, found that 86.99 per cent of four-year-olds have won a place at their first preference school this year.

But this means that 13.01 per cent - almost one in seven youngsters - have missed out.

The Department for Education said it has given councils more than £5billion to establish new school places, with more than 260,000 created already. Individual council figures suggests that many have received more applications this year from parents for primary school places compared to last year.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “We have also more than doubled to £5billion the funding available to councils to create new school places, and are allowing good schools to expand without the restrictions and bureaucracy they faced in the past.”