Improvement in St Helens children getting place at preferred school but first choices fall

More children in St Helens have been allocated a place at one of their parents’ or carers’ preferred primary schools this year although the number going to their first choice has fallen.

Figures from St Helens Council show 98.42 per cent of applicants were given either their first, second or third choice primary school for September 2019 compared to 98.24 per cent the previous year.

Pupils have found out which primary schools they will attend

Pupils have found out which primary schools they will attend

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DfE data for 2018 shows St Helens was higher than both the national and regional average for first preferences; 92.7 per cent compared to 91.0 per cent nationally and 91.5 per cent regionally.

However, the figure of 92.58 per cent going to their first choice school is slightly down on last year's 92.74 per cent.

There will also be 92 children, or 4.67 per cent of the intake, going to their second choice while 1.17 per cent are in their third choice and 1.58 per cent offered alternative provision after none of their parents or carers' first three choices were available.

That last figure is also a slight fall on the 2018 figure of 1.76 per cent.

Jo Davies, senior assistant director for education and children's health at St Helens Council said: "Every year we work exceptionally hard to offer families one of their preferred school places primary schools and while we have seen a very slight fall in the number gaining their first place we have managed to reduce the number of children not offered a place in one of their three preferred choice from 1.76 per cent to 1.58 per cent this year.

“This year we also saw more parents choosing to apply for their child's school place online with 88.67 per cent this year compared to 83.62 per cent in 2018."

Parents or guardians who have any questions about their application are encouraged to contact the council's School Admissions Team on 01744 671030.