164 East End kids offered no Tower Hamlets school place for September

PUBLISHED: 15:51 14 March 2013 | UPDATED: 18:34 14 March 2013

Six out of every 100 children in London’s East End have so far failed to get secondary school places for September, it has emerged.

Now Tower Hamlets councillors are calling on Mayor Lutfur Rahman to abandon plans for a new Town Hall and, instead, get cracking on new schools to solve the “growing crisis” of lack of places.

The Pan-London Coordinated Admissions scheme shows a third of all pupils in Tower Hamlets have been denied their first choice for secondary school—71 per cent getting their top preference, just above the London average, 14 per cent their second preference and six per cent their third.

But another six per cent, 164 pupils out of the 2,740 youngsters applying for a place in September, were offered nothing and will have to be allocated any place left over.

“The Mayor must start facing up to the shortage of school places,” urged Cllr Bill Turner, Labour’s Lead Member for Children and Schools.

“We need new schools—not a new vanity Town Hall for the Mayor.

“We’ve been warning about this challenge for a year and the problem is getting worse.”

However, nine out of 10 youngsters got a place at one of their top three choices, the council points out. Parents were sent letters on March 1 with their offers.

There were 137 more pupils applying for places this year compared to 2012. Tower Hamlets schools were “more popular than ever” with six receiving more first preference applications than available places.

A Town Hall spokesman said: “Those who have not been allocated a place at one of their chosen schools have been advised of the schools where there are still places.”

Some 77,000 youngsters across London applied for secondary places this year through the Coordinated Admissions scheme, with 70 per cent getting ‘first choice’ offers.

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