Harris Chafford top league for school places bids as Grays Convent hit rock bottom

HARRIS Academy continues to be the most popular school in Thurrock, judging by the number of parents who applied for their child to attend their in September 2014.

Harris had 542 more applications than places available. Knowing how competitive the schools are, we will point out that William Edwards had the most applications with 740, 18 more that Harris in Chafford Hundred.

Infact, the list of applications seems to indicate that parents seem to see two tiers of schools in Thurrock. As you can see below, Harris, William Edwards, Gable Hall and St Cleres are very popular.

But there is quite a gap until you come to Hassenbrook Academy, who head the ‘second tier” where 300 applied for 110 places on offer.

Grays Covent seems to have problems with its “brand” as it had the fewest amount of applications of any school in Thurrock. The school only received 153 applications. Only a few years ago, William Edward were bemoaning the number of students walking away from their catchment area and off to the Convent. Now, judging by the 740 applications that William Edwards received, it is a very different picture.

Many will raise an eyebrow at the fact that Ormiston Park Academy is the only school that is undersubscribed however as long as their owners (The Ormiston Trust) are happy and the school retains its brand identity then it should be fine.

You may notice that we use the word brand and couch our article in the language of the market. For many the popularity of Harris Academy is further proof that they should be able to build upon their success and build a second senior school in the west of the borough.

The consequences could be dire for Ockendon Academy, Hathaway Academy and other schools. However, many say that they all decided to rebrand themselves as quasi-businesses and so, knew or should have known the consequences or possible consequences.

The list is as follows

1. Harris Academy: 722 applied for 180 places (542)
2. William Edwards: 740 applied for 240 places (500)
3. Gable Hall: 672 applied for 242 places (430)
4. St Cleres: 630 applied for 201 places (429)

5. Hassenbrook: 300 applied for 110 places (190)
6. Gateway Academy: 357 applied for 210 places (137)
7. Hathaway Academy: 276 applied for 180 places.(96)
8. Ockendon Academy: 310 applied for 245 places. (65)
9. Grays Convent: 153 applied for 124 places. (29)
10. Ormiston Park Academy: 168 applied for 186 places. (-12)

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