Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Primary School Place offers in Reading - Demand Continues to Grow

Like many parents I've had today in my diary for months as it's the date months about school places for primary schools go out. 
For those with concerns or questions the council has a dedicated phone number as explained in the press release below:

MORE families than ever have been offered their first choice of primary school in this year’s allocation of places in Reading.

A record number of 1,673 families were offered a place at their first choice school, however the predicted increase in the number of applications means the percentage rate for first choice allocations is slightly down year on year. This year saw a total of 2,210 applications for primary school places in Reading, which is up on last year’s figure of 2,138.

Despite the on-going and significant increase in the population of primary school age children in Reading since 2012, once again every family who applied for a primary school place starting September this year has been offered a place.

Latest Census figures show a population explosion of 34% in Reading of children aged 0-4 years old - the second highest rise in the whole of the South-East since 2001.

The Council is meeting this increased demand with a £64 million investment in 13 primary schools across Reading. The expansion programme is creating an additional 2,520 school places over the next seven years across the seven primary age year groups. The first new places are available from this September, along with some one-off additional classes and the new Heights Primary School in Caversham. The Council is supporting the Heights school to move into a temporary home at the old Caversham Nursery site.

Any parent who received an offer this week and has any concerns, or wants to discuss the offer further, should phone Reading Borough Council’s dedicated Schools Admissions Team on 0118 937 3777 in the first instance. The Council is running a waiting list on behalf of all community schools and parents who wish to discuss any alternative options are being asked to contact the Council from Tuesday 22nd April, when the full list will be available. Lines are open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays.

Kevin McDaniel, Head of Education, said:

“It has once again been a challenging year to cater for the continuing increased demand for school places in Reading. The increase in applications this year was widely predicted and justifies the significant investment the Council is making in expanding primary schools across Reading. This is the first year where some of those permanent expansions have fed directly into the primary school application process and it is reassuring that the investment programme is beginning to have a positive effect.

“Reading is an attractive place to live, find work and go to school, and increases in the birth rate and families moving to this and neighbouring boroughs are adding to school place pressures. We know that we will face similar pressures in the coming years but we are working hard to provide the best possible quality primary school education for every family that needs it, regardless of where in the town they live.”

ENDS

Notes for Editors:
The following tables have the numbers and percentages of allocated primary school places in Reading for the last three years.


Cohort 1st Pref 2nd Pref 3rd Pref 4th Pref Divert No initial offer
2012 2144 1632 220 84 35 173 3.6%
2013 2138 1655 247 97 45 94 0%
2014 2210 1673 239 110 64 124 0%


Cohort 1st Pref 2nd Pref 3rd Pref 4th Pref Divert No initial offer
2012 2144 76.1% 10.3% 3.9% 1.6% 8.1% 3.6%
2013 2138 77.4% 11.6% 4.5% 2.1% 4.4% 0%
2014 2210 75.7% 10.8% 5.0% 2.9% 5.6% 0%