More East End kids get first choice primary school than London average

More children in east London are getting their first choice primary school in September than the average for the rest of the metropolis, it has emerged.

Nine out of 10 kids in Newham alone have been offered places at their parents’ chosen school—almost 90 per cent compared to the 81 per cent average.

Youngsters in neighbouring Tower Hamlets and Hackney have also done better than average, just under 84 per cent getting their top choice, according to the Pan London Admissions Board figures released last night.

Most kids who didn’t get their top choice have managed to get into their next two selections—six per cent ‘second’ and 1.7 per cent ‘third’ in Newham, and 6.5 per cent ‘second’ and three per cent ‘third’ in Tower Hamlets.

Overall, more than nine-out-of-10 five-year-olds across London have got their first three choices, or 95 per cent one of their six preferences—leaving just one-in-20 without their choice.

“Local authorities are trying to ensure they offer every child a place for the start of the new school year,” said Admissions Board chair Helen Jenner.

“But it’s becoming increasingly difficult, given the scale of demand—our arrangements cannot create extra places at schools already full up.”

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Parents not offered their choice have either been allocated an alternative or will shortly be given options by the local authority.

Nearly 100,000 children applied for places—but the number is likely to treble over the next 20 years as London’s population tops 10 million, the London Assembly has heard.

There will be 300,000 more youngsters aged four to 15 by 2031 than there are today, demographic consultant John Hollis told the Assembly’s planning committee yesterday.

London’s population will rise by a million over the next decade alone, and by another million by the 2030s, with 300,000 more school places needed by then.