More kids get first choice of Tower Hamlets secondary school places

Bow School's new site nearing completion, catering for increased population

Bow School's new site nearing completion, catering for increased population - Credit: TH Labour Pty

More than seven-out-of-10 pupils starting secondary school in London’s East End in September have gained a place at their first-choice.

It is the third-highest ratio in London at 77.5 per cent and an improvement by six per cent on last year, according to latest figures released today by Tower Hamlets council. This year’s London average is just over 69 per cent.

Pupils getting a place at one of their top three choices in Tower Hamlets hit 97 per cent, under the Pan-London Coordinated Admissions scheme, which was six per cent better than 2013.

Pressure on school places results from the East End’s rising population, the education authority points out. Total number of children at both primary and secondary age is projected to rise by 14,000 over the next 10 years.

The increase has led to a programme of expansion and refurbishments of secondary schools, such as the new Bow School being completed in June. Bow is expanding from 750 boys only to a mixed school with 1,600 pupils, including a sixth-form for the first time.

This is the 10th year that the Pan-London admissions system has been running, allowing more parents to be allocated a secondary school of choice by a wider distribution of available offers. Parents fill out a single application which is shared between different London boroughs.

Parents were sent letters on Monday with their application results. Those who have not been allocated a place at one of their selected schools are being offered remaining vacancies.