Official figures show that 4 in 10 Croydon children have been denied their first-choice secondary school place next September, one of the poorest allocations in the whole of London.
Across the capital’s 32 boroughs and the City of London, an average of 66 per cent of families were given their first choice of secondary school this year.
Hammersmith and Fulham had the lowest proportion of children receiving their top choice, at 57.5 per cent, while in Greenwich, 59.9 per cent secured their first preference.
Croydon’s 60.47 per cent figure comes at a time when the borough has closed or is closing long-established church secondaries – St Andrew’s and Virgo Fidelis – and has an over-supply of secondary school places.
According to figures from the pan-capital London Councils organisation, a slight fall in the number of those children getting their first preference school “is caused partly by delays to selective school tests due to disruption caused by the impact of covid-19 in the autumn term”.
London Councils said, “Usually families are informed of their child’s test score for a selective school before the admissions deadline and can take this into account in making their application. However, this year many selective schools could not confirm places until after the deadline.”
In London, parents of children going to secondary schools in September were sent their place offers by email or text yesterday evening.
The Pan London Admissions Scheme aims to ensure that parents receive a school place offer for their child at the school which is highest in their list of preferences for which they are eligible under the admissions criteria.
Figures from London Councils show that 60.47 per cent of Croydon children were given their first choice of secondary school, 15.51 per cent their second choice and 7.86 per cent third third choice. More than 8 per cent of Croydon children have been offered places at schools outside their first three choices.
In neighbouring Sutton, which has selective grammar schools, 66.23 per cent of children got their first-choice school. Bromley, which also has state grammars, 68.68 per cent of pupils were allocated their first-choice of secondary.
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Can we now say that ”Delivering for Croydon” is false representation and should be reported to the advertising standards authority?
No seriously there are a lot of Council employee’s working under great pressure with limited resource and fear of losing their jobs etc. and they deserve recognition and support. From education to parking there have been cuts for years – Covid just accelerated the impact of those cuts. One could say that last year it should have been recognised that this would happen and that local government implement mitigation of this impact by altering the dates or process for parents to cater for this. But I suspect that overall – successive political policies from all parties towards religious, grammer,and independant schools without putting in adequate/good replacements plays a large part of those figures. We need good educational facilities equally for all our children.