Only 75 per cent of children get first choice of Uttlesford secondary school

Only 75 per cent of children go into their preferred school.

Only 75 per cent of children go into their preferred school. - Credit: © Royalty-Free/CORBIS

One in four children in Uttlesford did not get their first choice of secondary school, Essex County Council have revealed.

In the whole of Essex, 86 per cent of children got into their preferred option for education come September, however in Uttlesford the figure is much lower.

The data, released to the Reporter after the initial disclosure, showed only 76.6 per cent – three in four – of children will go their first choice of school.

Pupils offered their second preference was 13.41 per cent, with 4.23 per cent, 2.72 per cent and 0.67 per cent for third, fourth and fifth preference respectively.

In Saffron Walden, the County High had 368 applications for its 300 places – meaning 14.5 per cent of pupils were disappointed when their school place was revealed last week.

The majority of those missing out will head to Joyce Frankland Academy, in Newport, which will have 171 new pupils in September. In total, 108 children had the school as their preferred choice.

Much criticism has been made as

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Forest Hall School in Stansted will welcome 112 students in the new academical year, 65 of which listed it as their preferred choice.

In Dunmow, 240 students will start in Year 7, 171 of which listed the school as their preferred choice.

Councillor Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for education and lifelong learning, said: “Applications for places must, by law, be considered against the admission criteria for schools.

“In the case of Saffron Walden County High, decisions on applications are made by the school. We understand that parents who sought a place at the school will be disappointed if they have been refused a place and we have therefore offered an alternative school place in such cases. Parents have the right to appeal to an independent panel against the refusal of a place at the school.”