Majority of parents get their first pick
More than 80% of Merton parents applying for primary school places in the borough were offered their top choice of school, the council has revealed.
It also says more than 90% of Merton applicants received one of their top three preferences for their child.
Last week local parents received their offer of a primary school place for September this year. As a result of its investment in expanding the borough's schools, the council was able to provide 2,670 reception year places - a 30% increase compared with four years ago - to meet increased demand.
These additional places ensured 80.5% of residents were offered their first choice, which was both an increase from last year and higher than the London average of 78.2%. A second round of offers is planned for late May.
Merton Council cabinet member for children's services and education Councillor Maxi Martin said: "I am delighted that our continuing school expansion programme has enabled us to ensure the overwhelming majority of our parents wanting a primary school place have been given their first choice of school.
"Education is a top priority for us in Merton, and we will always do our best to ensure our residents receive a place for their children in a school of their choice. I urge those parents who have not yet received an offer to ensure they use all their available preferences for schools on their application forms in time for the second round."
Councillor Peter Walker, who was sacked as cabinet member for education last week, pointed out that a report produced by the Pan-London Co-ordinated Admissions Scheme revealed that most South West London boroughs – five out of six – were below the city average of 78.72% for getting a child into a first choice school.
Hammersmith and Fulham, Richmond and Kingston all fell just below this figure but Kensington & Chelsea and Wandsworth had the lowest results in London, scoring 64.90% and 69.37% respectively.
"I am pleased that my policy of expanding good and outstanding local primary schools in Merton appears to be paying off," he said.
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April 25, 2012