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Kent secondary school admissions day: Emails go out from around 4pm TODAY - 80% of pupils have got their first choice

PUBLISHED: 09:22 01 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:34 01 March 2017

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But the strain on the county’s schools remains clear with sharp rise in number of children needing places

More than 80 per cent of children have been given their first choice secondary school, as a higher number than ever before discover their fate this week.

Parents will learn which school their child will be starting in September at around 5.30pm today, Wednesday, March 1, by email - or by post the following day if the application was not made online.

Again this year, more children than ever have applied for a place in a Kent secondary school, with 19,442 applications received, an increase of 645 since 2016.

And 80.53 per cent were given their first choice. That’s in line with 2015’s figures, but a dip on last year’s when more than 81 per cent got their first choice.

In total, more than 91 per cent got either their first or second choice.

Roger Gough, Kent County Council’s cabinet member for education and health reform, said: “As we predicted, this has proved Kent’s most challenging year due to record numbers of applicants. In spite of the significant increase, 13,446 families will receive their first preference and 1,857 their second preference school.

“As is the case each year, a large number of applications have been made for Kent schools from outside of Kent and although this is a credit to our schools and their growing popularity, it makes meeting parental preferences ever more challenging. Out of the 19,442 applications received, 2,745 of these were from parents who do not live in Kent, and about a third of this number secured an offer of a Kent school.

“Unfortunately it is not always possible to offer parents one of their preferred schools. School allocations can only be made by KCC after all other preferences have been satisfied. Again we have seen many of those in need of an allocation, failing to name more than one preference. This limits the opportunity to access local schools at the outset and may mean we must offer an available school outside the immediate area if local schools have filled with named preferences.

“For those who have not secured a preferred school, I would like to reassure parents that this is the very first stage of the school allocation process and that a specialist Kent County Council team is on hand to help with any queries they may have. There will be considerable movement through waiting lists and the appeals process between now and September.”

Over 91 per cent of all applications were made online which means from 4pm on Wednesday thousands of Kent families will be logging on to view their accounts or receiving an email to find out which secondary school their child has been offered for this September. For families who applied on paper forms, offers will be going out by first class post on March 1 and letters should arrive over the next few days.

Despite the increase in numbers, more than 250 more children than last year will get their first preference secondary school and over 96 per cent will receive an offer from one of the four schools they named.

Parents will have until March 16 to accept or refuse their offer and return waiting list forms. Parents must also lodge any appeals for their named schools by March 29.

Kent County Council will reallocate places from schools waiting lists sending out a second round of offers on April 28.

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