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Joy for parents as majority get top school place

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 16, 2014

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THE vast majority of youngsters have been granted a place in their first choice primary school, despite growing pressure on places.

In Derbyshrie, 93.1 per cent of parents were granted their preferred school, while in Staffordshire 92 per cent of families handed their top choice.

The announcements came as Staffordshire County Council revealed it would receive £81million to ease pressure on packed schools after a rise in birth rates.

Ben Adams (pictured), the county council’s cabinet member for learning, said: “A large number of parents have very good reason to be pleased as their child starts their school life.”

Staffordshire education bosses have predicted they have to provide an extra 1,000 school places in Burton over the next decade.

This has led to plans to rebuild St Modwen’s Catholic Primary School, extend Christchurch Infants’ School and to build the 420-pupil capacity Scientia Academy.

Mr Adams added: “This pressure on school places makes the fact that we have given over 92 per cent of parents their first choice school all the more remarkable.

“Our work isn’t finished yet. We are drawing up more plans to ensure schools in Staffordshire have enough capacity to cope with increasing demand, and parents still have a choice when it comes to their child’s education.”

A total of 8,867 places were allocated in Staffordshire.

Of these, 8,167 received their first choice, and 8,674 – or 97 per cent – one of their top three.

In Derbyshire, 11,134 children were offered a primary school place, of which 98.2 per cent were granted a choice in their top three places.

Kevin Gillott, the county’s children and young people’s boss, said: “We’re pleased the majority of parents have got their child into one of their preferred schools - even through the number of applications has increased slightly this year.

“We want children to have the best start to their education and will continue to work with parents and carers throughout their child’s school life.”

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