Quarter of Bradford pupils miss out on first choice secondary school

Councillor Ralph Berry

Councillor Ralph Berry

First published in News
Last updated
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

Almost one in four children across Bradford did not get a place at their first choice of secondary school, it has been revealed.

Figures released by Bradford Council last night show that 76.02 per cent – 5,383 – of applicants got their preferred option, with the rest left disappointed.

Last year, the figure was about 77 per cent.

Councillor Ralph Berry, the Council’s executive member for children and young people’s services, said there were three key issues for Bradford: growing numbers of children; the number of people filling out applications with only one school preference on; and a delay on a new school for the city.

Coun Berry said the figure would improve as 115 places were likely to become available when a new Dixons Academy opens later this year.

“We will be working really, really hard to ease this situation,” said Coun Berry, who added that there were seven applications for every place at some schools.

“The people in admissions are doing nothing short of an amazing job. A system this tight, to get to this level of figure, I think it is remarkable.”

He added: “There have been 250 additional kids in the high school system with the last year.

“Numbers are rising. Capacity is not keeping up with demand. The system is under a lot of pressure. We get more kids appearing every week.”

Coun Berry urged parents to always put more than one school down when applying for places.

“About 70 who have received a school that they did not apply for had only put one preference on the form – we ask for five,” he said. “At the end of the day we are having to allocate places to where they are available. I am up for ideas for improvement.”

Nationally, figures show that there are other pockets of the country where almost one in four 11-year-olds missed out on a spot at their preferred secondary school while in others virtually all youngsters got a place at their top pick.

Last year, almost 66,500 youngsters (13.3 per cent) nationally were not offered a place at their first choice of secondary, according to the statistics.

Comments (21)

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6:58am Tue 4 Mar 14

Storck says...

Surely some of the figure must be down to parents applying for schools that they realistically know they will not get into.

Strangely I have not seen one complaint on Facebook this year about friends kids not getting into their first choice, suppose my friends must just be luckier than average.
Surely some of the figure must be down to parents applying for schools that they realistically know they will not get into. Strangely I have not seen one complaint on Facebook this year about friends kids not getting into their first choice, suppose my friends must just be luckier than average. Storck
  • Score: 1

8:05am Tue 4 Mar 14

collos25 says...

Too many children that's the real reason,
Too many children that's the real reason, collos25
  • Score: 1

8:57am Tue 4 Mar 14

Cooperlane2 says...

Quite hard to put 5 choices if you don't want your child to catch two buses every morning and afternoon.
Realistically you know catchment areas, feeder school policies, and other admission criteria. No problem putting an outside chance first.
Quite hard to put 5 choices if you don't want your child to catch two buses every morning and afternoon. Realistically you know catchment areas, feeder school policies, and other admission criteria. No problem putting an outside chance first. Cooperlane2
  • Score: 5

10:09am Tue 4 Mar 14

sorrow&anger says...

Does it matter? All the surveys show that Bradford's schools are as bad as one another and bottom of the national league table. They're just part of the cycle of failure that keeps Bradford the dump that it is.
Does it matter? All the surveys show that Bradford's schools are as bad as one another and bottom of the national league table. They're just part of the cycle of failure that keeps Bradford the dump that it is. sorrow&anger
  • Score: 4

10:30am Tue 4 Mar 14

Andy2010 says...

sorrow&anger wrote:
Does it matter? All the surveys show that Bradford's schools are as bad as one another and bottom of the national league table. They're just part of the cycle of failure that keeps Bradford the dump that it is.
Of course it matters. They are vast differences with not only the quality of teaching but also the make up of students
[quote][p][bold]sorrow&anger[/bold] wrote: Does it matter? All the surveys show that Bradford's schools are as bad as one another and bottom of the national league table. They're just part of the cycle of failure that keeps Bradford the dump that it is.[/p][/quote]Of course it matters. They are vast differences with not only the quality of teaching but also the make up of students Andy2010
  • Score: 5

11:25am Tue 4 Mar 14

collos25 says...

Bradford GS maybe but the rest are very second rate and getting worse no matter what gloss the council wish to put on it.
Bradford GS maybe but the rest are very second rate and getting worse no matter what gloss the council wish to put on it. collos25
  • Score: -2

11:37am Tue 4 Mar 14

brian jones says...

It's actually more than a quarter, because some parents will pick a school that is not their first choice, but just good enough, because they know if they pick the one they really want, they won't get it, and will be allocated a place at a school that they definitely don't want to send their child to.
It's actually more than a quarter, because some parents will pick a school that is not their first choice, but just good enough, because they know if they pick the one they really want, they won't get it, and will be allocated a place at a school that they definitely don't want to send their child to. brian jones
  • Score: 5

11:53am Tue 4 Mar 14

modman61 says...

Do the council actually check addresses of applicants as it is common practice for relatives addresses to be submitted on applicatioin forms as they live nearer the preferred choice of school.
Do the council actually check addresses of applicants as it is common practice for relatives addresses to be submitted on applicatioin forms as they live nearer the preferred choice of school. modman61
  • Score: 6

1:07pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Michael Manus says...

modman61 wrote:
Do the council actually check addresses of applicants as it is common practice for relatives addresses to be submitted on applicatioin forms as they live nearer the preferred choice of school.
All applications should be screened against the Electoral Roll if the family are not registered as being at that address then they shouldn't be allocated a place at their preferred choice of school. Too many applicants use family members addresses.
[quote][p][bold]modman61[/bold] wrote: Do the council actually check addresses of applicants as it is common practice for relatives addresses to be submitted on applicatioin forms as they live nearer the preferred choice of school.[/p][/quote]All applications should be screened against the Electoral Roll if the family are not registered as being at that address then they shouldn't be allocated a place at their preferred choice of school. Too many applicants use family members addresses. Michael Manus
  • Score: 3

2:19pm Tue 4 Mar 14

eccythump says...

I believe (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that if a child has a sibling at their school of choice, they have a better chance of gaining entry to said school. Therefore, those who shell out a child a year, pretty much have it sown up.
I believe (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that if a child has a sibling at their school of choice, they have a better chance of gaining entry to said school. Therefore, those who shell out a child a year, pretty much have it sown up. eccythump
  • Score: 2

4:00pm Tue 4 Mar 14

modman61 says...

eccythump wrote:
I believe (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that if a child has a sibling at their school of choice, they have a better chance of gaining entry to said school. Therefore, those who shell out a child a year, pretty much have it sown up.
The sibling rule is a grey area. I know as I used to sit on the schiools appeals panel for a few years. I gave it up in the end as the council kept moving the goal posts every yaer. Glad my child is not of school age anymore. It's a nightmare for parents.
[quote][p][bold]eccythump[/bold] wrote: I believe (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that if a child has a sibling at their school of choice, they have a better chance of gaining entry to said school. Therefore, those who shell out a child a year, pretty much have it sown up.[/p][/quote]The sibling rule is a grey area. I know as I used to sit on the schiools appeals panel for a few years. I gave it up in the end as the council kept moving the goal posts every yaer. Glad my child is not of school age anymore. It's a nightmare for parents. modman61
  • Score: 7

4:03pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Cooperlane2 says...

Also consider that someone may be postioned 350-450 on the 11+ grammar school test for Halfiax Grammar/Crossley Heath. If so, they have a fighting chance of getting into a grammar school and would list them as first choices.
Also consider that someone may be postioned 350-450 on the 11+ grammar school test for Halfiax Grammar/Crossley Heath. If so, they have a fighting chance of getting into a grammar school and would list them as first choices. Cooperlane2
  • Score: 3

4:42pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Apollo says...

Hmmmm.......and in Bradford you could always end up at an Academy run by people allegedly involved in misuse of public funds - or embezzlement as it used to be known.
Hmmmm.......and in Bradford you could always end up at an Academy run by people allegedly involved in misuse of public funds - or embezzlement as it used to be known. Apollo
  • Score: 9

5:28pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Bone_idle18 says...

And the council wonder why there's opposition to big new housing developments - it's hard enough to get into your local school as it is, without adding another 100 plus kids into the mix
And the council wonder why there's opposition to big new housing developments - it's hard enough to get into your local school as it is, without adding another 100 plus kids into the mix Bone_idle18
  • Score: 5

5:38pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Freddy Elliot says...

eccythump wrote:
I believe (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that if a child has a sibling at their school of choice, they have a better chance of gaining entry to said school. Therefore, those who shell out a child a year, pretty much have it sown up.
I wish those who do shell out a child a year would get it sewn up.
[quote][p][bold]eccythump[/bold] wrote: I believe (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that if a child has a sibling at their school of choice, they have a better chance of gaining entry to said school. Therefore, those who shell out a child a year, pretty much have it sown up.[/p][/quote]I wish those who do shell out a child a year would get it sewn up. Freddy Elliot
  • Score: 9

6:37pm Tue 4 Mar 14

The Hoffster says...

Apollo wrote:
Hmmmm.......and in Bradford you could always end up at an Academy run by people allegedly involved in misuse of public funds - or embezzlement as it used to be known.
Lol ! :D
[quote][p][bold]Apollo[/bold] wrote: Hmmmm.......and in Bradford you could always end up at an Academy run by people allegedly involved in misuse of public funds - or embezzlement as it used to be known.[/p][/quote]Lol ! :D The Hoffster
  • Score: 2

6:45pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Grumpygirl says...

Andy2010 wrote:
sorrow&anger wrote:
Does it matter? All the surveys show that Bradford's schools are as bad as one another and bottom of the national league table. They're just part of the cycle of failure that keeps Bradford the dump that it is.
Of course it matters. They are vast differences with not only the quality of teaching but also the make up of students
You mean you don't want your kids to go to a school where the girls wear headscarves or one where the management embezzles funds for the benefit of its family.
[quote][p][bold]Andy2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sorrow&anger[/bold] wrote: Does it matter? All the surveys show that Bradford's schools are as bad as one another and bottom of the national league table. They're just part of the cycle of failure that keeps Bradford the dump that it is.[/p][/quote]Of course it matters. They are vast differences with not only the quality of teaching but also the make up of students[/p][/quote]You mean you don't want your kids to go to a school where the girls wear headscarves or one where the management embezzles funds for the benefit of its family. Grumpygirl
  • Score: 5

9:58pm Tue 4 Mar 14

ShineyDave says...

We put three choices and didn't get any of them even though we were in the catchment area for all three.
We put three choices and didn't get any of them even though we were in the catchment area for all three. ShineyDave
  • Score: 2

10:42pm Tue 4 Mar 14

jcesmith says...

My nephews who live further away from one particular school got into their 3rd choice whilst my friend who already has one daughter at that school and lives on the doorstep didn't get a place. How do you justify that??? None of it makes any sense and it needs addressing quickly. Middle schools should be re-introduced again as sending an 11 year old miles away to a school is very daunting, not to mention the cost. Why should parents have to fork out a load of money when their child should be able to go to their local school??? If it was me, then they would personally be staying at home to be taught as there are too many idiots out there today!! Get it sorted and quick I say!!!!
My nephews who live further away from one particular school got into their 3rd choice whilst my friend who already has one daughter at that school and lives on the doorstep didn't get a place. How do you justify that??? None of it makes any sense and it needs addressing quickly. Middle schools should be re-introduced again as sending an 11 year old miles away to a school is very daunting, not to mention the cost. Why should parents have to fork out a load of money when their child should be able to go to their local school??? If it was me, then they would personally be staying at home to be taught as there are too many idiots out there today!! Get it sorted and quick I say!!!! jcesmith
  • Score: 4

11:29pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Storck says...

jcesmith wrote:
My nephews who live further away from one particular school got into their 3rd choice whilst my friend who already has one daughter at that school and lives on the doorstep didn't get a place. How do you justify that??? None of it makes any sense and it needs addressing quickly. Middle schools should be re-introduced again as sending an 11 year old miles away to a school is very daunting, not to mention the cost. Why should parents have to fork out a load of money when their child should be able to go to their local school??? If it was me, then they would personally be staying at home to be taught as there are too many idiots out there today!! Get it sorted and quick I say!!!!
They should have put it further up their list then
[quote][p][bold]jcesmith[/bold] wrote: My nephews who live further away from one particular school got into their 3rd choice whilst my friend who already has one daughter at that school and lives on the doorstep didn't get a place. How do you justify that??? None of it makes any sense and it needs addressing quickly. Middle schools should be re-introduced again as sending an 11 year old miles away to a school is very daunting, not to mention the cost. Why should parents have to fork out a load of money when their child should be able to go to their local school??? If it was me, then they would personally be staying at home to be taught as there are too many idiots out there today!! Get it sorted and quick I say!!!![/p][/quote]They should have put it further up their list then Storck
  • Score: 1

9:08am Wed 5 Mar 14

Apollo says...

And with at least one school being run like Narkover it is a wonder anyone wants their children to attend it.
And with at least one school being run like Narkover it is a wonder anyone wants their children to attend it. Apollo
  • Score: 0

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