Schools praised for top admission process

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Education bosses in St Helens are the best in region at securing first choice schools for the borough’s secondary pupils.

New data from the Department of Education shows 95.6 per cent of youngsters got their top pick.

That’s way above the national average of 84.2 per cent and places the borough as the 12th best in the country.

Coun Jeanette Banks (pictured), cabinet member for education and lifelong learning, said: “It’s a performance we can all take pride in particularly parents and guardians, who can be reassured that in the overwhelming majority of cases they will get a place at their first choice school.”

The picture is also positive in the borough’s primaries, where 90.5 per cent get their first preference, well above the national average of 87.8 per cent.

Andy Dempsey, St Helens Council’s director of children and young people’s services, said: “This high level of performance has been achieved by a

combination of maintaining sufficient diversity of places in our primary and secondary schools, and providing parents with clear guidance and easily accessible advice on the admission process – helping them to make more informed choices when selecting their preferred schools.”

St Helens schools remain a mixed picture, with its primaries among the best in the country, while secondaries were last year ranked among the worst by school inspectors Ofsted.