Families across Bristol will today learn whether their child has been accepted into their choice of primary school, with the city council celebrating record placements.
Some 86% of applicants have been offered their first preference school, compared to 82% in 2010 and 2011, while 95% of offers will be for a place one of their preferred schools, up from 92% last year.
Around 90% of applicants will receive their offer by email today and letters to all applicants are being posted.
The offers come despite the pressure on school places in the city. It is estimated that the city needs an extra 3,000 primary school places by 2015. Over the last four years, there has been a 20% increase in the number of children starting school in the city – one of the biggest increases in school population anywhere in the country.
The city has been given some £60million in total over the last few months to create more new primary places, after pressure from the council and MPs was put on the government.
Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Clare Campion-Smith, said: “This year we’ve been able to offer 95% of families a place at one of their preferred schools. The higher percentage is the result of our continued focus on providing extra places and attracting government funding as demand continues to rise. I am grateful to local schools and communities that have agreed to support expansion in order to ensure as many children as possible can take up a local school place.
“Given the continued pressure on primary places in the city I appreciate that this can be a very tense time for some families. We have put in extra resources to help with enquiries in the evenings and through the weekends so that anyone with immediate concerns can talk to an expert and assess their options quickly.”
Parents now need to consider their offer and let the council know if they are going to accept it by May 4.