1 March 2018

Secondary school places joy for 84% of city families

More than 84% of families applying for a secondary school place in Brighton & Hove for September 2018 have been offered their first preference school.
A total of 2,569 secondary places were offered this year. Nearly 95% of families applying were offered one of their preferences. The breakdown of preferences compared to last year is as follows:
                                                          2017                                            2018
First preferences offered          2,115 pupils (84%)                 2,161 (84.12%)
Second preferences offered    174 pupils (6.9%)                    197 (7.67%)
Third preferences offered         81 pupils (3.2%)                      74 (2.88%)
No preference offered               147 pupils (5.8%)                    137 (5.33%)
The number of families who weren’t offered one of their preferred schools has reduced this year by 10 to 137. In these instances the families were offered places at the nearest school to their home that had places available.
In most cases the reason these families weren’t offered one of their preferences was either because they had failed to meet the applications deadline, or because they didn’t apply for their catchment area school, or both schools if they were in a dual catchment area.
The council’s prediction for the number of families across the city as a whole applying for places was more than 99% accurate.
The chair of the council’s children, young people and skills committee, Councillor Dan Chapman, said: “Secondary pupil numbers are currently increasing, with demand up by more than 50 places this year.
“I’m delighted that despite this we have managed to offer 46 more families their preferred school, and seen a drop in the number who weren’t offered any of their preferences. 
“Clearly this has been helped by the recent decisions for some schools to admit more pupils as of this September.
“The total number of places available will increase again in September 2019 when Dorothy Stringer will also start taking extra pupils.
“We are acutely aware of the pressures in the Dorothy Stringer / Varndean catchment area, and with this in mind we are helping fund the expansions of both schools to meet the demand for extra places in the next few years.
“This was a big factor in our decision that the benefits of leaving the catchment areas as they are outweighed the possible benefits of the changes that had been proposed.”