Hundreds of children refused secondary school places in Sheffield

Fir Vale School, Heathcote Street. Picture: Andrew Roe
Fir Vale School, Heathcote Street. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Hundreds of children have been refused places from their chosen secondary schools as Sheffield continues to struggle with a big boom in pupils.

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

A further 10 secondaries are oversubscribed, figures just released reveal.

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

Fir Vale School turned away 91 children – including 55 who live in the school’s catchment area – while King Ecgbert refused 114 – including 39 in the catchment area.

The most oversubscribed school was Ecclesfield which was forced to turn away 151 pupils, while High Storrs could not find places for 114 children. Sheffield Council said 6,006 applications were received for 11-year-olds wanting a place at a secondary school in September – a six per cent rise on last year’s numbers.

The authority offered 94.32 per cent of pupils a place at one of their three preferred schools.

A total of 86.48 per cent received a place at their first-choice school, compared with 89.95 per cent last year.

More than six per cent got a place at their second choice school – a rise compared to five per cent in 2014, while nearly 1.5 per cent got into their third choice, the same as last year’s percentage.

Other schools which were oversubscribed are Birley, Bradfield, Handsworth Grange, High Storrs, King Edward VII, Meadowhead, Silverdale, Tapton and Westfield.

Jayne Ludlam, executive director of children, young people and families, said: “This year there has been a six per cent increase in the number of secondary school pupils starting this September, compared to last year.

“This is in line with what is happening nationally. It is something we have been planning for and something we expect to continue over the coming years.

“We are committed to making sure that every child in Sheffield has a place at a good local school.

“We have increased the number of places in recent years and continue to do so and plan for future growth.

“Unfortunately, whilst we will do our very best to allocate places to someone’s preferred school, this isn’t always possible.

“I am sympathetic to families affected by this and want to inform them that there are waiting lists and an appeals process for parents unhappy with how the decision was made.”