Hartlepool parents’ 93% school places success

Councillors Jonathan Brash(left) and Chris Simmons.
Councillors Jonathan Brash(left) and Chris Simmons.

MORE than 90 per cent of pupils were given places in their first choice secondary school in Hartlepool.

Hartlepool Borough Council gave first choice places to 988 primary school pupils as they move up to secondary school in the town.

It accounts for 93 per cent of the 1,061 pupils who applied for places.

Durham County Council, which covers East Durham, saw Durham, 95.8 per cent of people being given their first preference secondary school.

There were 58, pupils who were given places at their second place schools, which accounts for five per cent. Eight pupils, of one per cent, were granted places at their third place choice and seven, one per cent, were not allocated one of their preferences but were offered a place at a school in Hartlepool.

The council received 1,061 applications for entry into Year 7 from September 2015.

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 secondary school in September their first preference which is very positive news indeed.

“Moving on to secondary 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.”

A Department for Education spokesman has said the Government wants to give every family the choice of a good local school.

“Since 2010 the Government has invested more than £5 billion to create more than 445,000 new school places - more than double the amount invested in the previous four years - and last year over 95% of parents got one of their top three choices,” he said.

David Simmonds, of the Local Government Association, said: “Today parents find out which school their child will be attending and those families which applied to oversubscribed schools will know how anxious the wait can be.

“Under our plans, every child would get a place at a good local school, but we need government to address this urgently.

“Our fear is that we will reach a tipping point when councils or schools cannot afford the massive cost of creating places or find the space necessary for new classes.”