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Record number of Reading student get first choice secondary school place

02 March 2020

A record number of students have had an offer of their first preference for secondary school place in Reading this year.

First preference offers stand at 73% this year, compared to 64% in 2019 and 66% in 2018. This means that more than 90% of students got their first (73%), second (12%) or third (6%) choice, which is 91% overall.

The number of students not allocated any of their preferences decreased from 12.28% last year to 7.45% this year.

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

Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC), which delivers education services in Reading on behalf of Reading Borough Council, has made sure all secondary school pupils in the borough have a place for September, despite fierce competition for places.

Last year on National Offer Day, there were no surplus places in Reading schools but this year, BFfC has a surplus of 92 across Reading.

‘We’ve been planning since last year to ensure more school places are available for the start of term in September,’ said Prof Dr Kate Reynolds, Director of Education at Brighter Futures for Children.

‘We have a statutory duty to provide every child who had an on-time application with a school place on National Offer Day. Due to this increased demand, Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School will create an additional class.

‘Based on parental preference, we knew we’d need more because 200 additional residents chose to apply for a Reading school place for their child last year.

‘We’d like to thank all our schools for working so hard with us and for being so accommodating. Reading secondary schools are becoming increasingly popular, which is good news,’ she added.

The surplus spaces will no doubt be taken by late applications, which come in after the closure of the second round. Currently there are 90 late applications, which means the 92 surplus spaces will go very quickly.

The percentage of pupils allocated to schools outside Reading was 29.19% this year, 26.44% 2019 28.52% 2018, 37.39% in 2017 and 34.78% in 2016.

2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Bulmershe 85 81 69 107 78
Oakbank 46 40 58 59 50
Maiden Erlegh 32 30 26 30 28
Little Heath 136 106 117 156 131
Denefield 81 75 74 81 88
Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge 84 101 80 128 118

 

The table above includes the schools in which we place most children out of borough.

ENDS

Note to Editors:
Brighter Futures for Children began operating on December 3, 2018. We are a not-for-profit company, wholly owned but independent of Reading Borough Council. We have responsibility for the delivery of children’s services, early help, education and SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) in the borough.