More London children secure top choice of primary school

More children in London have secured a place at their first choice of primary school amid a drop in demand for places across the capital.

Overall, 89.1% of pupils who applied to start at a London primary school this autumn received an offer from their first preference, compared with 88.5% last year, figures show.

The number of applications for places at primary schools in the capital has fallen again this year – and councils said families moving out of the city due to changes in their working patterns have played a part.

Across London, 85,336 pupils applied for a primary school place – a 2.2% decrease on last year.

Families are also moving away “due to changes in their circumstances and working patterns”, it added.

A breakdown by London borough shows significant differences in the proportion of families securing their top choice, with around a quarter of youngsters missing out in one borough.

Kensington and Chelsea had the lowest proportion of children getting their top choice at 75.4%, and in the City of London 80.8% secured their first preference.

Hillingdon had the highest proportion of first preferences at 95.7%, followed by Barking and Dagenham where 94.2% secured their preferred school.

Jon Abbey, chair of the Pan-London Admissions Board, said: “This year the admissions process has gone smoothly and over 85,000 parents will receive an offer of a preferred school place in the capital – with over 76,000 of those being for their first preference school.

“Challenges such as falling birth rates and family migration from London have led to a continued decrease in demand for school places and resulted in a reduction in total applications this year.

“Boroughs are supporting schools to deal with this challenge, meet the needs of our youngest residents and ensure school places continue to be available where there is demand.

“Each London borough has an admissions team and we are ready to help and support parents with any queries.”

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