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Over 2,000 Richmond upon Thames parents who applied for a secondary school place for their children will have received the outcome of their application Monday, 1st March.

This year, the parents/carers of 2,264 children applied for a place - compared with 2,142 in 2020.

60% have been offered a place at their first preference secondary school, compared to last year’s figure of 61%. In addition, 83% have been offered one of their top three preferences which is the same as in 2020, and similarly 90% have received one of their preferences, the same as in 2020.

In London, parents express preferences for secondary schools both inside and outside the borough in which they live, making them far more likely to be oversubscribed than in other parts of England. Nearly all applicants who applied by the deadline have received an offer of a place.

Currently there are 114 children without an offer of a secondary school place, compared with 135 at this time last year. However, as parents accept or decline their offers over the next few weeks and months, it is anticipated that all children without a school place will be offered one from the waiting-lists as quickly as possible. The School Admissions team will be able to reassure and advise parents. They will monitor the progress of applications of children who are without an offer at this initial stage of the admissions process and will do all they can to ensure that parents’ wait for a school place is minimal.

Cllr Penny Frost, Chair of the Education and Children’s Services Committee, said:

“Our schools are deservedly popular owing to the fact that they offer excellent, inclusive education for local children. I am very pleased that in such a difficult year, and with a rise in applications for places at our secondary schools, we have seen that the admissions process has held up well in comparison with previous years.

“I know that this will be an anxious time for families of children who are yet to receive an offer. Parents/carers are advised to read very carefully the notes which explain what to do. We know from experience that enough places will become available to be re-offered from the waiting-lists from 26 March onwards.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our schools for their work over the past year in the fight against COVID-19. They have pulled together to make sure there are enough places for children who are vulnerable or children whose parents are key workers. This has not been an easy time for schools and I know that there has been a huge amount of work that has gone into making sure that places are available.

“I would also like to thank the officers in Achieving for Children’s School Admissions Team, for whom the task of coordinating application and offers for Richmond residents as part of the Pan-London Coordinated Admissions Scheme has been more challenging this year than in any year since the scheme’s inception 15 years ago.”

– from a Richmond Council press release - 2 March 2021