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64% of Reading students get first choice school on National Offer Day

01 March 2019

This year, Reading schools have been more popular than ever, with a greater number of residents choosing schools in the Borough than schools outside it.

Reading Girls has increased in popularity this year and the WREN School, Highdown School and Maiden Erlegh, Reading all continue to be popular choices.

Reading’s new children’s company, Brighter Futures for Children, has made sure all secondary school pupils in the borough have a place for September, despite fierce competition for places.

First preference offers stand at 64% this year, compared to 66% in 2018. The number of students not allocated any of their preferences decreased slightly from 12.58% last year to 12.28% this year.

On National Offer Day there were no surplus places in Reading schools this year, compared to 85 on offer day in 2018, 221 in 2017 and 274 in 2016.

After National Offer Day this is likely to change, as there is always movement of pupils and places become available, parents need to be aware that this could impact on the number of school transport applications being submitted and approved.

Brighter Futures for Children, which is owned by, but independent of, Reading Borough Council, identified the need for Reading schools to take additional children this year, compared to previous years. This was because more than 200 additional residents chose to apply for a Reading school place for their child.

A shortage of spaces and our statutory duty to provide every child who had an on-time application with a school place on National Offer Day meant we had to ask a number of schools to either to take an additional class or additional children per class.

Extra classes have gone in at Highdown School, The Wren School and Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School. Maiden Erlegh in Reading has taken an additional 12 students.

At the end of the admissions rounds last year (31 August each year) we had almost 80 additional places available as children were – by choice – allocated out of borough.

The percentage of pupils allocated to schools outside Reading was 26.44% this year, 28.52% 2017, 37.39% in 2017 and 34.78% in 2016.