First preference primary school places offered to 89% of Reading families

Almost 90% of Reading parents have been offered their first preference of primary school for their child this year.

Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC), which delivers education services in Reading, has ensured all primary school pupils in the borough have a place for September.

Ninety-eight per cent of Reading parents have been offered one of their top three preferences and 89% were offered their first, compared to 90% last year. Only two per cent of parents were not offered one of their preferences, the same as last year.

BFfC received 1,844 applications for primary school places this year compared with 1800 in 2021. However, the number of applications received after the deadline has brought the figure close to the forecast number of 1,978. Late applications have still to be processed.

There were 148 pupils who needed an infant to junior school transfer this year. Reading has only two schools for which this transfer is necessary and 100% of on-time applicants received their first preference.

Deborah Glassbrook, Executive Director of Children’s Services at BFfC, said: “We are pleased to be able to offer so many Reading families a place for their child in one of their three preferred primary schools this year. And almost 90% have been offered their first preference.

“It is such an exciting time for families when their children start primary school and we send our very best wishes to them for their big day in September.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank our wonderful primary schools in Reading for all their amazing hard work over the last two challenging years.”

Reading primary school place offers 2022/2021






(pupil numbers)


(pupil numbers)

1st preference offers 88.85 89.73 1641 1625
2nd preference offers 6.5 5.36 120 97
3rd preference offers 1.95 1.66 36 30
4th preference offers 0.49 0.5 9 9
Pupils offered divert 2.11 2.15 38 39


New Director of Education appointed

A new permanent Director of Education for Reading has been appointed by Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC).

Brian Grady, whose hometown is Reading, will bring with him 20 years of public service experience when he joins BFfC from the London Borough of Brent on 1 May.

Mr Grady has held leadership roles with responsibility for improving educational outcomes across early years, primary and secondary schools in a county, unitary authority and London borough. Most recently he has been Operational Director for Safeguarding, Partnerships and Strategy in Brent.

Achievements include delivering 32 children’s centres across a county, establishing new primary and secondary provision rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted and overseeing programmes to improve attainment for disadvantaged groups.

Mr Grady said: “Reading is a special place. We have all the ingredients for every Reading child and young person to thrive and succeed.

“As a local resident I see excellence in our local education system, but I also know that not every Reading child benefits from all of the opportunities we have on offer.

“I am looking forward to working with schools and partners across the borough, with the aim of creating a truly outstanding education system that benefits all children and young people in Reading.”

Di Smith, Board Chair of Brighter Futures for Children, said: “I am delighted to be welcoming Brian to Brighter Futures for Children as our permanent Director of Education.

“He comes with an impressive record of achievements and a vast amount of experience which I know will be a huge benefit to Reading.

“Brian has high ambitions for education in Reading and is passionate about giving all children and young people in the town the chance to flourish and enjoy a bright future.”

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Sue Imbriano for her work as Interim Director of Education over the last six months.”