1,196 Bradford pupils miss out on first choice of primary school

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Coun Ralph Berry Coun Ralph Berry

Nearly 1,200 children in the Bradford district have been told they will not be going to their first-choice primary school in September.

More than 8,100 families were informed if their school applications were successful yesterday with 1,196 children missing out on their first choice.

But the figures revealed that of these applications 1,724 went against Bradford Council advice by only listing one school on their applications.

Councillor Ralph Berry, the executive member for children’s services, said the authority needed to get the message across to parents to be more realistic when applying for places – and not put all their eggs in one basket.

Although the number of children getting their first choice was up on last year – 6,928 compared to 6,813 in 2013, the proportion was down – 85.28 per cent compared to 87.22 per cent.

Despite the Council urging parents to list several “back-up” choices on their applications, many chose to only list one.

Coun Berry said: “We have growing numbers of school-age children and the system is getting tighter.

“The whole business of preferences does not seem to have been fully grasped by some people, and that is a problem, especially if parents’ first choices have no likelihood of being accepted. Parents need to let us know ‘this is what we really want, but this is what we’re OK with’.

“This is what makes the whole process very difficult and where parents end up with schools they haven’t chosen. “We are battling with a notion parents have that if they only put one preference this will carry more weight. The number of parents that are only putting one choice is quite shocking.”

He said the authority was working on expanding several schools to meet demand.

The primary school allocations come only weeks after it emerged that a quarter of pupils applying for secondary schools in the district would not get their first choice.

Councillor Roger L’Amie, the Council‘s Tory spokesman for education, said: “Not getting your first choice is always going to be disappointing and a cause for concern for parents. I think this shows parents should at least list a second option.”

Councillor Jeannette Sunderland, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “This is a reason why the Council should not allow more building on urban green space. They need to make sure there are enough school places before they start approving more houses.”

Comments (8)

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8:24am Thu 17 Apr 14

Johsay says...

This is PR, there are significant numbers of people who put 5 choices and got nothing. Unacceptable.

Mind you, one councillor said they were only bothered when someone couldn't get a place at all, the other year 12 couldn't even get a school place.

Still, let's keep building the houses eh? Don't worry about schools.
This is PR, there are significant numbers of people who put 5 choices and got nothing. Unacceptable. Mind you, one councillor said they were only bothered when someone couldn't get a place at all, the other year 12 couldn't even get a school place. Still, let's keep building the houses eh? Don't worry about schools. Johsay
  • Score: 7

8:58am Thu 17 Apr 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

We go through all this next year. We are in 5min walking distance from one school and there is no way there are 50 children of the same age that live closer so serious questions will be asked if we can't get into a school on our doorstep and are forced to drive to the next closest school which is 5 times the distance.
We go through all this next year. We are in 5min walking distance from one school and there is no way there are 50 children of the same age that live closer so serious questions will be asked if we can't get into a school on our doorstep and are forced to drive to the next closest school which is 5 times the distance. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 7

9:39am Thu 17 Apr 14

Freddy Elliot says...

A school near where I live is now 95%+ asian pupils so there is no chance of white parents putting that school down even though it is their nearest choice. Cannot understand why taxi services from other asian districts in Bradford bring kids over here and pick them up again at 3:15.
A school near where I live is now 95%+ asian pupils so there is no chance of white parents putting that school down even though it is their nearest choice. Cannot understand why taxi services from other asian districts in Bradford bring kids over here and pick them up again at 3:15. Freddy Elliot
  • Score: 10

10:53am Thu 17 Apr 14

Beaten-nurse says...

This is a ridiculous situation. More school places are needed urgently in Bradford if we want our children grow up literate and able to compete in the world of work. My daughter named 3 choices for my granddaughter and didn't get any of them. The increased travel time, changes she needs to make to childcare provision and the loss of my granddaughters friends and early relationships will all impact on her learning capacity and ability to settle into her new school. None of these factors are taken in to account in the current system.
This is a ridiculous situation. More school places are needed urgently in Bradford if we want our children grow up literate and able to compete in the world of work. My daughter named 3 choices for my granddaughter and didn't get any of them. The increased travel time, changes she needs to make to childcare provision and the loss of my granddaughters friends and early relationships will all impact on her learning capacity and ability to settle into her new school. None of these factors are taken in to account in the current system. Beaten-nurse
  • Score: 4

3:25pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Yorkshire Lass says...

By the sounds of Councillor Berry he is blaming the parents for "putting all of their eggs in one basket". I think that there are far too many children in Bradford and that would suggest that there is no way on keeping track of the situation. Perhaps Councillor Berry should make sure that as the population here gets ever larger, more school places are available where needed instead of where not needed.,
By the sounds of Councillor Berry he is blaming the parents for "putting all of their eggs in one basket". I think that there are far too many children in Bradford and that would suggest that there is no way on keeping track of the situation. Perhaps Councillor Berry should make sure that as the population here gets ever larger, more school places are available where needed instead of where not needed., Yorkshire Lass
  • Score: 5

6:43pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Colin Allcars says...

there is a new estate on Bolton Road just after the Sikh temple, but on the other side, where are all the children that have moved in there going to go to school?
What is strange about this estate, is that there was no signs up saying they were for sale or rent as they were being built, so how did the occupants know about them? why wasn't the chance to move there more open?
there is a new estate on Bolton Road just after the Sikh temple, but on the other side, where are all the children that have moved in there going to go to school? What is strange about this estate, is that there was no signs up saying they were for sale or rent as they were being built, so how did the occupants know about them? why wasn't the chance to move there more open? Colin Allcars
  • Score: 1

7:32pm Thu 17 Apr 14

NO51GET says...

Colin Allcars wrote:
there is a new estate on Bolton Road just after the Sikh temple, but on the other side, where are all the children that have moved in there going to go to school?
What is strange about this estate, is that there was no signs up saying they were for sale or rent as they were being built, so how did the occupants know about them? why wasn't the chance to move there more open?
They were built specifically for immigrants....!!
[quote][p][bold]Colin Allcars[/bold] wrote: there is a new estate on Bolton Road just after the Sikh temple, but on the other side, where are all the children that have moved in there going to go to school? What is strange about this estate, is that there was no signs up saying they were for sale or rent as they were being built, so how did the occupants know about them? why wasn't the chance to move there more open?[/p][/quote]They were built specifically for immigrants....!! NO51GET
  • Score: 2

9:22pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Random view says...

Fails to mention those who despite putting 5 choices not only didn't get any of them, but didn't even get a place at a school in the same town. Expecting a 4 year old child to travel on 2 buses and then a 20 minute walk there and the same back. Oh and the bus stop is right outside one of the schools they didn't get into......disgracefu
l
Fails to mention those who despite putting 5 choices not only didn't get any of them, but didn't even get a place at a school in the same town. Expecting a 4 year old child to travel on 2 buses and then a 20 minute walk there and the same back. Oh and the bus stop is right outside one of the schools they didn't get into......disgracefu l Random view
  • Score: 2

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