Vast majority of parents get first choice primary school

CLOSE co-operation between local primary schools and Thurrock Council means that 97 per cent of parents who applied on time successfully received an offer of a place at one of their three reception class preferences.

Each year, the council co-ordinates the borough-wide applications for places in reception classes, following the rules and regulations of the individual schools.

Nearly nine-tenths of the on-time applications – 1,904 of 2,188 – were made on line and three-quarters asked to be informed of the outcome by email rather than letter.

In addition, 1,936 of the applicants received their first preference with seven per cent getting their second and just 31 families – one per cent – their third.

Cllr Oliver Gerrish, the council’s cabinet member for children’s services including schools, said: “In recent years there have been issues around the Chafford Hundred schools, but that doesn’t seem to be so this year.

“We have just five on-time applicants from the estate who will not be offered a place at one of its primary schools – this compares with over 20 at this time last year.”

He added: “There are another five applicants who made applications after the deadline and they will be offered places at the nearest local school outside Chafford Hundred.”

Cllr Gerrish added: “Over the last year we have worked hard to increase capacity for this September – at West Thurrock, Stifford Clays, Little Thurrock and Bonnygate – and also at Quarry Hill where we’ve agreed a bulge year.

“Unfortunately there are limits on what the council can do, but our admissions team works very closely with all of the borough’s schools.

“In the vast majority of cases this work ensures we find ways to accommodate people’s preferences. In the small number where this is not possible, we work equally hard to offer a place nearby.”

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