Kingston Secondary School Places September 2018
Children and families who are yet to have been offered a secondary school place for the start of term in September 2018 have been reassured that all children resident in Kingston will be allocated a place as quickly as possible and most likely by the end of May.
There are 1935 school places available at secondary schools and only 1758 applications which demonstrates that there are places available and all young people will be placed within the next few weeks.
Recent figures released by Achieving for Children (AfC) have revealed that there are 98 children who are unplaced at present. Of the 98 applicants, 66 expressed only three or fewer preferences (of six) thereby significantly reducing their chances of obtaining a place at a preferred school.
This year, Kingston has anticipated, planned for and seen a 7.1% increase in applicants compared to last year, compared with a London average increase of 4.4%. The increase is attributable mainly to the 2000s baby boom feeding into the secondary school process.
This is the first year for some time in which there have been unplaced children at the initial allocations stage of the Year 7 offers stage. The offers made on 1st March are the start of the process and places will be freed up from waiting-lists in the weeks to come as families either refuse their offer or opt for places in the private sector.
Compared to neighbouring boroughs like Richmond where there has traditionally been a very similar number of unplaced children at the initial allocations stage, all children had been placed in Richmond by Mid-May - historically Kingston has performed extremely well in placing children first time round.
Councillor Richard Hudson, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Social Care & Health said,
Historically Kingston has had a very good record of placing children in secondary schools compared to most other boroughs; in the last two years we have offered places to everyone first time round. That performance was and is exceptional, sadly this high performance is difficult to maintain year on year. This year a more normal state of affairs has happened; a small number (98) have not been made an offer first time round. I am 100% confident that all these Kingston children will have places by mid May.
This situation has happened because of a number of factors; some parents decided to severely restrict their choices with some only selecting one school, that makes giving a place of their preference extremely difficult if not impossible. There has also been a rise in demand, which we did anticipate and plan for.
I have been through the process myself; I completely understand the concern and anxiety that it may cause to parents and children. I have personally spoken to AFC we can reassure parents that all children who are resident in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames whose parents want a state-funded place will be offered one by mid May.
The next stage now that offers have been made; is waiting lists will reduce, and the ‘churn’ of refusals and further offers kick in as well as parents moving to the private sector. The Admissions Team at AfC will continue to monitor the situation and will be in contact with the families and will allocate to all children a place by mid May.