Pupils joy at Doncaster school offers

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Thousands of Doncaster families are celebrating today after almost all the borough’s youngsters received a place at one of their chosen secondary schools.

Official figures announced yesterday revealed virtually all children in Doncaster have been offered one of their preferred options for where they continue their education after leaving primary school this summer.

In total, 98 per cent of children across Doncaster who applied on time have been offered a place at one of their three preferred schools.

And 92.5 per cent have received a place at their first preferred school.

The figures are a slight fall from last year’s figure, and come at a time when more applications were submitted.

Last year, 99 per cent were given a place in one of their three preferred schools, and 96 per cent received a place in their first choice school.

But last year saw fewer applications, with 2,900. This year there were more than 3,000.

Of those 3,000 applications just 70 children did not receive one of their preferred schools.

The majority of these children have been offered a place at a local school, say education bosses.

Parents who have been refused places have been offered the right to an independent appeal.

The council says it is also happy to work with families to identify where alternative places are available.

Parents were again encouraged to apply online, part of Doncaster’s move to a digital platform, leading to an increase in the percentage of applications from last year to 89 per cent, rising from 87 per cent.

Coun Nuala Fennelly Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said: “I am extremely pleased with today’s statistics which show that the majority of secondary school pupils have been offered a place in the school they wanted.

“This is a testament to our ongoing commitment in trying to ensure as many children as possible start the next academic year at one of their preferred schools.”

Decision letters are posted to parents on 1 March 2017.

Parents who applied online are emailed decisions on 1 March 2017.

National figures are due to be released later this month.

In 2016 96 per cent of pupils in Doncaster secured their first choice place, well above the national average of 84 per cent, placing Doncaster in the top 10 per cent of authorities nationally.

A rise in birth rates has led to pressure for places in some parts of South Yorkshire.

Nationally many towns and cities are seeing a fall in the number of pupils getting into their first choice school.