Hundreds of children refused secondary school places in Sheffield

Hundreds of pupils have been refused places at their chosen secondary schools.

Wednesday, 8th March 2017, 8:44 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:09 am
Tapton School was the most oversubscribed secondary school in Sheffield

Three secondary schools, Fir Vale, High Storrs and King Ecgbert, have had to refuse youngsters a place in September even though they live in the catchment area.

A further 10 schools in the city were also oversubscribed as Sheffield Council continues to feel the pressure on providing secondary school places following an increase in birth rates.

Other children have been turned away from schools where their brothers or sisters have places or who attend one of the secondaries feeder schools.

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The most oversubscribed school was Tapton School, in Crosspool, where 176 pupils were refused one of the 265 places available - 28 of which had siblings already at the school.

Fir Vale School, in Fir Vale, turned away 73 pupils - including 48 who live in the school's catchment area, while High Storrs, in Bents Green, refused places for 81 children - including 12 in its catchment area.

At King Ecgbert School, in Dore, 67 pupils were refused a place - including 15 who live in the catchment area.

Out of 6,101 pupils, Sheffield Council offered 96 per cent of pupils a place at one of their three preferred secondary schools

A rise in birth rates has put growing pressure on school places in some parts of the city.

In order to ensure families continue to access a local school from September 2018, two new schools are being created in those areas of pressure – one on the Bannerdale site in south west Sheffield, and one on the Woodside site in the north east of the city.

Additional places will also be available at Don Valley Academy from September 2018.

Coun Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children, young people and families at Sheffield Council, said: "Here in Sheffield 96 per cent of children are given a place at a secondary school of their choice, and 88 per cent get their first choice of school. That is something we are proud of, and we work with schools each and every year to ensure that as many families as possible are happy with the school places they are allocated.

“However, we know that the process of secondary school places allocation can be distressing for those children and families who are not, for whatever reason, be given a place at a school of their choice.

“We work hard with families trying to ensure that every child receives an excellent education and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential."As the recent rise in births comes through into our secondary schools we have already started creating extra places. For this September’s intake, we have needed to work together with Sheffield schools to secure a further 90 places, and we are continuing to work with schools to secure further places. This helps us in our ambition to offer a great local school place to every child.

"It’s always worth adding we would encourage families to take the opportunity to visit schools before applying, use all three preferences in their application, and include their local catchment school as one of those preferences.”

Other schools oversubscribed were Bradfield School, Bradfield; Ecclesfield School, Ecclesfield; Forge Valley School, Stannington; King Edward VII School, Broomhill; Meadowhead Academy, Meadowhead; Newfield School, Norton Lees; Parkwood Academy, Shirecliffe; Sheffield Park Academy, Manor and Silverdale School, Bents Green.