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Disappointment for 1,500 parents who miss out on first choice school
THE wait is finally over for thousands of Hampshire parents who found out last week where their child will go to school in September.
However, around 1,500 parents in the county missed out on securing their first choice school, which was 41 per cent more than last year.
Hampshire County Council dealt with almost 15,000 applications for primary school places - a rise of 1,000 from 2013.
Although more than 97 per cent were offered a place for their child at one of their three preferred schools, there was a rise in the number of parents not offered their first choice school, from just over five per cent in 2013 to around 10 per cent this year.
Councillor Keith Mans, executive lead member for children's services, said: “I am pleased to see that we have been able, yet again, to offer a high number of pupils a place at their preferred school. I do understand that there will be some disappointment for a small number of parents who did not secure a place for their child at a school of their choice.
"However, they have the right to appeal in these situations and can put their child's name down on their preferred school's waiting list. Places do become available if parents change their mind, or families move home.”
Around 450 Hampshire parents were not allocated any of their three preferred schools.
Cllr Mans added: “In common with the national picture, demand for school places is growing. We have been working hard to increase capacity at primary schools in areas where demand is highest. Already we have expanded some of our schools.”
The council agreed a budget in January that included a substantial planned investment of around £150 million over the next three years to build new schools and expand existing ones, to create thousands of new school places to meet forecast demand.
The plans include building a new primary school in Rooksdown, Basingstoke.
Cllr Mans said: “We will continue to do all we can to support parents and to plan and build for the future. The high number receiving an offer of a place at one of their preferred schools is an impressive achievement and is due to the combined efforts of the county council's staff and the quality of the schools in the county. I wish the children every success as they make their journey through education.”
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