On-time applications for schools on the rise


- Credit: Archant

THE number of children in North Somerset who will go to one of their top choices of secondary school in September is 99.1 per cent – prompting praise for the ‘high standards’ of the district’s schools.

School capacity in North Somerset is being ‘closely monitored’ by the council after it received more on-time applications this year than it did in 2014.

In September last year 98.3 per cent of the 2,078 students who applied on time were placed in one of their top three choices of schools, but this year that figure has risen, with 99.1 per cent of 2,192 pupils attending one of their top three choices.

While some parents and children may be ‘disappointed’ after not being accepted to their top choice of school, one headteacher has highlighted there are ‘so many’ great schools in the area.

Backwell School had 271 places available for this round of applications but had 348 first-choice applications.

Its headteacher, Julian Baldwin, said: “I think Backwell is a very popular school because we offer a really great all-round learning experience in and out of the classroom and particularly in the past two years we have had amazing exam results.

“There are a lot of disappointed children and parents out there. Some of them will get places because there’s a second round of applications, but I always say to people in North Somerset that they are really lucky because there are so many great schools in the area.”

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The council’s executive member for children and young people’s services Jeremy Blatchford said: “Secondary school capacity is being closely monitored, especially with the house building programmes. New academies will need to be built, paid for by developers, and existing academies grown. Families need to read inspection reports carefully and visit possible schools because each one is quite different from another.

“Some have expertise in certain subjects and may vary in teaching style. However, the standards are all high.”