94 per cent of parents receive first choice of secondary school on national offer day

01 March 2023

Cheshire East Council has contacted thousands of parents and carers on national secondary school offer day (1 March), with 94 per cent receiving their first preference choice.

More than 4,900 applications were received from parents and carers whose children will be moving up to secondary school in September 2024.

94 per cent of Cheshire East residents have received an offer of their preferred school this year, with around 98 per cent receiving an offer from their three preferences. 

Cheshire East has a good track record in providing school places. Last year, across England, 94.4 per cent of applicants for a secondary school place received an offer from one of their top three choices, while 83.3 per cent were offered their first-choice secondary school.

Cheshire East Council, like all councils, has a statutory duty to make sure there are enough school places available to local children and young people. The council follows the government’s school admissions code, which ensures that all school places for maintained schools and academies are allocated and offered in an open and fair way.

The council has advised that when parents and carers receive their offer – they do have a number of options:

  • Accept the school place – the deadline for this is 15 March
  • If their child has not been offered a place at a preferred school, they can ask to go on one or more school waiting lists – parents are encouraged to do this by 15 March
  • If they are unhappy with the offer they have received, they can make an appeal before the deadline of 29 March

Parents are advised to accept their child’s offer even if they would prefer a different school until they have confirmed alternative plans for their child’s education.

Parents are also advised to apply for home to school travel assistance, if eligible, before the end of April, so arrangements and travel passes can be confirmed in August before the start of the new term.

Councillor Carol Bulman, lead member for children and families at Cheshire East Council, said: “Moving up to secondary school is a special time for children and their families and our team have been working hard with schools to meet parental preferences.

“We have an ambitious programme of school expansions that aims to meet the increasing demand for places. We know that more and more families are choosing to live and work here, with 91 per cent of our secondary schools rated good or outstanding.

“Children who have an education, health and care plan do follow a slightly different timetable. I know that significant work has gone into providing additional places in our special schools or specialist provision in mainstream schools, which is great, but I know we have more to do.

“We will continue to work hard to ensure all children have the right education to meet their needs, adapting support as children and young people progress and their requirements change.

“I’d like to wish all pupils the very best for the next academic year, that they enjoy their new schools and take full advantage of all the opportunities to learn and develop.”

For help and advice, parents can visit, the website of their preferred school, e-mail or call 0300 123 5012 (option 1).