School places Sheffield: Most oversubscribed schools - including Mercia and Silverdale - issue message to parents
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This week, The Star revealed how some schools in Sheffield have had to place more than 100 students on their waiting list due to parents applying for places.
The most in-demand academy – Mercia School, in Millhouses – received 156 more applications than it has capacity for.
Data shows 128 of these turned-down applications came from within Mercia’s catchment area.
That’s in contrast to the second and third most popular academies – Silverdale School in Bents Green and Tapton School in Crosspool – where the majority of applications now on the waiting list came from parents outside their catchment area, who did not have a child already at the school and did not come from a feeder school.
Joshua Fisher, deputy headteacher at Mercia School, said: “We are thankful to all families who expressed a preference for our school.
"We are delighted to be Sheffield's most oversubscribed secondary school this year. Parents and carers pick our school because they feel confident that their child will receive a first-class education – superb behaviour, excellent teaching, exciting enrichment, and high aspirations for all pupils.
"The traditional, academically rigorous curriculum on offer here is very popular with local families. They know their child will gain strong knowledge and understanding in a range of subjects. In addition, they trust us to keep their child safe and support them when required.
Mercia sixth form
“In 2023, the Mercia Collegiate Sixth Form will open to its first pupils. The prospect of an elite, academically rigorous sixth form has appealed to many parents. They want their children to thrive in their academic studies and be part of a scholarly community.
"We are ambitious for pupils, we want them to attend the very best universities in the country and beyond, if they wish. Our ambitious goals marry neatly with the high aspirations parents and carers have for their children.”
Sarah Sims, headteacher at Silverdale School, which with 138 pupils on its waiting list is Sheffield’s second most oversubscribed school, said: “We are delighted that, again at Silverdale, we will be welcoming a full cohort of year 7 students to our school in September.
"Our consistently strong exam results, together with our focus on providing support and challenge in equal measure, has led to being the school of choice for many Sheffield parents and their children for several years.
"We are proud to have been placed in the top 10 state schools in The Sunday Times Good School Guide for several years running – we were named the North School of the Decade in 2021 – and I’m sure this gives parents confidence that their children will flourish at Silverdale.
“We are looking forward to meeting our new students and involving them in the Silverdale family.
Hope Valley College
"We are sorry that we do not have sufficient places to meet the needs of the population in our area; this situation is not reflected in surrounding areas, for instance our sister Chorus Trust school, Hope Valley College, continues to welcome admissions enquiries. We wish all year 6 pupils success and happiness in their new schools.”
How to appeal if your child doesn’t get first choice
If your child did not get into their first-preference school, parents have until March 29 to submit their appeal to the council’s schools admissions team.
You can appeal for any school you have been refused admission for, up to a maximum of three.
Appeals are not dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis, so as long as you submit an appeal by this date it will make no difference to your chance of success.
For more information about the appeals process for oversubscribed schools in Sheffield, visit: www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/schools-childcare/catchment-areas-over-subscribed-schools.