The percentage of parents securing their first-choice primary school in Nottingham has risen above 90% for the first time.
With City schools more popular than ever, a total of 92% of parents were offered a reception place at their preferred school. The number who received either their first or second choice was close to 97%, and every child in Nottingham has been offered a place for the next academic year.
Meanwhile, the figure for those who received a mandatory offer – given to children who were unsuccessful with any of their choices – was down below 2%. This predominantly affects parents who only make one preference on their application, and the figure stood at 6% in 2013.
Nottingham City Council has been planning since 2009 to increase school places and has invested more than £40m in expansion projects to boost capacity at Good and Outstanding-rated schools and academies.
This began with a 60-place expansion of Berridge Primary in 2013/14 and most recently has seen 210 additional places created at Mellers Primary, in Radford, which was officially recognised by local sports stars Jermaine Jenas, Jawaid Khaliq and Ellie Downie in November last year.
By the time all year groups are full, a total of 4,778 places will have been created at 25 schools and academies in Nottingham. Further expansion projects are currently under way in Bilborough, Bestwood and Wollaton.
Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Business, Education and Skills at Nottingham City Council, said: “I’m really pleased to see that every child in Nottingham has been offered a reception place for September and, especially, to see that figures are the highest they’ve been for first and second-choice preferences.
“This is key because we understand that choosing a school for their child is one of the most important decisions that parents have to make. Through our £40m investment and our careful planning since 2009, we are ensuring that more than ever have access to good schools, close to home.
“I’m proud that Nottingham has the highest proportion of Outstanding-rated schools in the East Midlands, and it’s no surprise that our schools are becoming more and more popular – particularly with parents from outside the City boundary.
“Demand continues to increase in Nottingham but we’ve been working for almost a decade to provide additional places. The fact that more pupils than ever are getting their first-choice school shows that this action was necessary and is working.”