Over 90 percent of parents receive first choice of secondary school on national offer day
2 March 2023
Cheshire East Council has contacted thousands of parents and carers on national secondary school offer day (1 March), with more than 90 percent receiving their first preference choice.
Around 5,200 applications were received this year, an increase from just over 5,000 in 2022, and all from parents whose children will be moving up to secondary school in September 2023.
90.5 percent of Cheshire East residents have received an offer of their preferred school this year, with 96 percent receiving an offer from their three preferences. Historically, Cheshire East has a great track record in providing school places. Last year, the average across local authorities in England for a place at a preferred school was 83.3 percent.
The council has advised that these percentages may improve further before pupils start in September 2023, as some parents will decline places as their circumstances have changed and places will become available to other children.
Since 2019 the council has delivered an additional 650 secondary school places, and as part of an ongoing expansion programme across the borough, a further 1,050 secondary places are planned over the next 18 months to two years. These schemes are being funded from a combination of capital from a government grant and secured developer contributions.
Cheshire East Council, as with all councils, has a statutory duty to make sure there are enough school places available to local children and young people – following 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.
When the 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 – deadline 29 March
Important: 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.
Any parents who submitted a late application for a school place will be informed after 15 March and more information on late applications can be found on the late school application pages on the council’s website.
Councillor Kathryn Flavell, lead member for children and families, 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.
“Many schools across the borough have helped us by offering additional places, over their published admission numbers, to meet local need. So, it’s been a huge team effort and I’d like to thank everyone involved.
“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, attracted by all that Cheshire East has to offer and the fact that, currently, 90 percent of our secondary schools are rated good or outstanding.
“We recognise that some parents will be disappointed with the offer they have received, and our advice is, please don’t panic. Remember, there are options, and we will contact you if we are able to offer a place at a higher preference school.
“Finally, I’d like to wish all pupils the very best as they move to secondary school in September, that they enjoy their education and are supported to achieve their full potential.”
For help and advice, parents can visit www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/schooladmissions, the website of their preferred school, e-mail email@example.com or call 0300 123 5012 (option 1).
Parents can also follow the Cheshire East Family Information Service on social media for tips and advice.