Rise in the number of Wigan youngsters offered a place at their first choice primary schools

Thousands of Wigan children and their families have been discovering whether they have been offered places in their first choice schools.

By Charles Graham
Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 3:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 10:25 am

And figures show that there has been a significant increase in the number of borough youngsters who in September will be starting classes at the ones that were on the top of their lists.

Of the 3,451 submissions to Wigan Council for the forthcoming academic year, 3,217 children – or 93.2 per cent – have been offered a place at the school stated as their first preference.

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Cath Pealing, director of education at Wigan Council

That’s up from 91.7 last year, even though the over all number of applicants rose by slightly more than 100 in the last 12 months.

There was a slight fall in the number of children who have been offered their second preference of school – 4.5 per cent of would-be pupils (155) as opposed to 4.9 (173) the previous year.

And those offered places at their third choice stays virtually the same (34 children or one per cent this year compared to 32 children or 0.9 per cent last).

Cath Pealing, Wigan Council’s director for education, said: “We are really pleased that we have been able to offer so many parents at least one of their three preference for their child to start in September.

There has been a significant rise in the number of Wigan children getting into their first choice schools

“We have a strong track record of being able to provide a high percentage of parents with their first-choice of school for their children and we’re pleased to have been able to continue with this trend this year.”

A number of criteria are applied in the selection process and these can vary from one school to another.

In the case of faith schools, whether the applicant is a confirmed member of that faith or not often has the biggest bearing.

Their homes’ proximity to the school and whether siblings are already pupils there are also often key factors in the success or otherwise of an application.

Parents can appeal a school’s decision. The admissions authority for the school must allow at least 20 school days to appeal from when they send a decision letter.

To prepare for a hearing, the admission authority must give a family at least 10 school days’ notice of the hearing and appeals must be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for making an appeal.