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Thursday, 14 June, 2001, 19:26 GMT 20:26 UK
More parents lose school place appeals
playground
Choosing and getting into a school can be tough
Parents in England have been increasingly likely to lose appeals against refusals by primary schools to give their children places.

Official figures just published show that the percentage of successful appeals to local education authority panels fell from 48% in 1995/96 to 39% in 1999/00.

The total number of appeals over primary school admissions has risen from 48.2 per thousand admissions to 52.4 over the same period, but was down year-on-year from 56.5.

In secondary schools, the number of appeals has risen from just under 60 per thousand to just over 96.

Successful appeals over secondary school places has remained fairly constant, at 32% over the three most recent years.

Total
appeals
Per 1,000
admissions
% won by
parents
Primary
schools
1995/96 27,996 48.2 48
1996/97 32,643 57.0 48
1997/98 30,868 54.8 47
1998/99 32,194 56.5 44
1999/00 28,728 52.4 39
2000/01 27,106 47.4 35
Secondary
schools
1995/96 34,860 59.9 31
1996/97 40,021 66.5 31
1997/98 46,103 76.3 32
1998/99 53,739 87.0 32
1999/00 60,454 96.2 32
2000/01 63,611 102.9 32
Source: DfES Analytical Services

Research shows parents happy

The Department for Education has published research which suggested that more parents were getting a secondary school of their choice, and that a growing proportion were satisfied with the results of the admission system to secondary schools.

Nearly 3,000 parents of secondary school pupils were interviewed for the report by Sheffield Hallam University and the Office for National Statistics.

  • 91% of parents said they were satisfied with the outcome of the application process
  • 96% received an offer of a place at a school for which they had expressed a preference
  • 92% were offered a place at either the school they ranked first on their application form or one they applied to direct
  • 85% were offered a place at the school "they most wanted their child to go to".
The Education Secretary, Estelle Morris, said: "The right to an appeal is a central plank in the government's determination to maximise parental preference.

"The rise in the number of appeals is a clear sign that parents are aware of their rights and are exercising them to try to secure a place at their favourite school," she said.

This was "a clear improvement" on the Audit Commission's 1996 report, Trading Places, which found that 90% of parents got their first preference.

As 9% of these had not put their favourite school as their first preference, only 81% got the school they wanted for their child.

"The improved proportion of parents securing school places with which they are happy follows the introduction of the new admissions framework in 1999, which encourages local admission authorities to work more closely together and requires the publication of clear information for parents."

See also:

24 Apr 01 | UK Education
02 Aug 00 | UK Education
23 Apr 01 | UK Education
14 Jul 00 | UK Education
18 Apr 00 | UK Education
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