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More Notts parents get their child into their preferred school.

27 April 2018

Councillor Philip Owen is the Committee Chairman for Children and Young People’s Services, at Nottinghamshire County Council Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s children and young people’s committee, Councillor Philip Owen says there’s still scope to further improve the number of parents who secure a school place at one of their preferred schools

Last week over 93% of Nottinghamshire parents who applied for a primary school place for this September woke up delighted at the news that their child had got into one of the schools they applied for – that is, one of their four ‘preferred schools’.

This was great news for 8,679 of the total 8,789 parents. We have done all we possibly can to ensure that parents can send their child to a school they’re happy with, but I’m keen for us to improve on this success rate even further in future years.

For the remaining 110 parents who didn’t get a school they want their child to attend, we had no alternative but to offer them a place at a school they didn’t include in their application.  

In the majority of these cases however, this situation could have been avoided because over two-thirds of these parents only included one school –  or made a ‘single preference’ - on their application when they had the opportunity, and were strongly advised, to use all four preferences.

Using all four preferences might not get you the school you most want as school popularity changes and cohorts go up as well as down, but it reduces the chance of the council allocating a school that you don’t want.  

Parents of course have a right to appeal if their child has been refused a place at one of their preferred schools and all appeals are wholly independent. 

Where a parent gets offered their second, third or fourth preferred school – whether they are on-time or late applicants or have changed their preferences - they will automatically be placed on a waiting list for their higher preference school(s).  And in the event that a place becomes available, it will be offered to the child with the highest priority on the waiting list at that time.

So far this year, we’ve only received a small number of late applications and changes to applications which will be processed from 3 May 2018.  If you haven’t yet applied for a school place, we’d urge you to please contact us as soon as possible. 

For information about appeals and school places parents can visit or contact 0300 500 80 80 for more advice.

Councillor Philip Owen is the Committee Chairman for Children and Young People’s Services, at Nottinghamshire County Council

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