Sheffield children getting preferred schools

The former Pye Bank School building which is one of the sites beiong considered for a new secondary school
Picture Dean Atkins
The former Pye Bank School building which is one of the sites beiong considered for a new secondary school Picture Dean Atkins
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More than 96 per cent of pupils starting secondary school in September have been given a place in one of their preferred schools – an increase of almost two per cent on last year.

Sheffield Council bosses said they have been able to offer a higher number of places in schools of choice this year by providing some 150 extra places for new Year Seven pupils throughout the city.

In total, 96 per cent of pupils were allocated one of their three preferences, with 5,335 pupils – 87 per cent – being allocated their first choice school.

Last year, 94 per cent of pupils were allocated one of their three choices, with 5,194 – 86.48 per cent – allocated their first choice.

Sheffield Council is also commissioning two new secondary schools – one in the north east and one in the south west – to meet the increased demand for places. They will open in time for the new term in September 2018.

A 750-place school is being proposed on the site of the former Pye Bank school on Woodside, Burngreave, while a 1,200-place school is being planned for the Holt House area.

A steady rise in birth rates over the past decade has meant more children coming through primary schools. More than 4,500 primary school places have already been created across the city, but more are needed, especially for the secondary phase.

Coun Jackie Drayton, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “I hope today’s results are a big relief to the thousands of families across Sheffield who have been waiting to find out if their child has been accepted into their school of choice.

“We’ve been able to meet more preferences this year and are providing more local school places to help us meet the needs of our growing population.

“We all want the best for our children and a huge priority for us is to keep on raising attainment and achievement rates across the city. Getting into your school of choice and having outstanding local schools are key to this.”

Children who were not allocated a place at any of their three preferences have either been referred back to their catchment school or been allocated the nearest school with places available.

Information and advice is available for anyone not satisfied with the school they have been allocated.

Parents also have the right to appeal. Appeals will take place between April and July.