On National Offer day today (1 March 2018), 92.8% of new year 7 pupils have been allocated a place at one of their preferred secondary schools in Bath and North East Somerset for September 2018.
This year we introduced a 5 preference system (replacing the previous 3 preferences) and encouraged parents to name 5 schools, particularly if they wanted to guarantee a place in a B&NES school, as we recognised that the competition for places was going to be high. This was due to a combination of increased demand, the popularity of our good and outstanding local schools, and some reduction in the availability of places.
Despite this and although there are enough school places for all the local pupils, the pattern of applications we received has meant that it has been particularly challenging to ensure we are able to allocate a place in a Bath secondary school for every pupil living in the city of Bath this year – but we have achieved that.
The offers made today will take every Bath school up to or above their original planned numbers of admissions for September.
Some schools continue to receive significant numbers of applications from outside Bath and these have to be dealt with in line with the statutory admissions process, meaning that where they already have a sibling in the school, or where more local parents haven’t named that school on their application, these applications have to be accepted.
Cllr Paul May, Cabinet Member for Children & Young People, said: “We have been working with local schools to see how additional capacity can be identified and we are grateful to Oldfield, Hayesfield and St Mark’s School, who have all agreed to make additional places available to ensure that every Bath pupil can have a Bath school place, rather than having to travel to a more distant school.
We found that a lot of parents did not take full advantage of the opportunity to list 5 preferred schools in their local area – with many listing only 1 or 2. Therefore, we appeal for parents in future to make full use of the 5 preferences on the application form – this will not reduce your chances of achieving your top choice school or schools, but will help to guarantee a local place is allocated for your child if you are not successful with your higher preferences (see https://www.theschoolrun.com/equal-preference-system-explained).