Big increase in the number of pupils offered at Kent’s first-choice secondary school from September

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The number of pupils heading to their first choice secondary school in Kent from September has increased by almost 2,000 compared to last year.

Almost eight in 10 young people will now find they will start Year 7 according to their preferred choice, Kent County Council (KCC) has revealed.

Today, thousands of students will know in which secondary schools they have been offered a place. Archival photo

A total of 14,574 children, or almost 80%, will be offered a place in their number one school – up from 12,736, or 69.7%, in 2021, when the process was hit by the pandemic.

KCC reports that more than 95% of students will receive an offer from one of their four preferred schools.

Meanwhile, the number of children who have not been offered a place in any of their preferred options has increased by five this year to 850. They will be given a place by KCC in an alternative school.

Of these, only five applicants indicated the total number of eligible preferred schools on their forms, while 65 did not choose a school for which their child was eligible.

A spokesperson added: “This makes it very difficult for officers to identify local schools as the law requires that all named preferences be met before allocations can be made, often leaving local schools full.”

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More children will be offered places in the school of their first choice

A total of 21,889 applications for places – 18,311 from families in Kent – were received, down 375 from the previous year.

Just over 2,000 children will be offered a place in their second-choice school, while 604 will receive an offer for their third-choice.

And 194 students will get their fourth preference.

This year, 98.66% of applications were made online, and anyone who has done so is encouraged to check their emails from 4 p.m. today and can log into their account to view their offer at from 5 p.m.

If you’re not sure what to do next, click here to read our full guide.

Clr Shellina Prendergast.  Photo: Andy Jones
Clr Shellina Prendergast. Photo: Andy Jones

Cllr Shellina Prendergast (Con), KCC Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “I am delighted to say that over 95% of pupils will start school in September at one of the selected preferred schools by their families.

“Unfortunately, there will inevitably be a small percentage of students for whom it has proven impossible to offer any of their choices, but I want to assure their families that today is only the first step in the allocation process.

“Those who have been assigned a school they did not choose are advised to speak to the staff at that school before making a decision as they may very well find the school suitable for their child.

“During the remainder of the application process, KCC staff members are ready to speak with parents and guardians to answer any questions they may have, as well as to offer information, advice and support. I therefore urge all person concerned to contact them.”

Cllr Prendergast congratulated school and board staff.

“The past year has once again been extremely difficult for students and their families and of course for school staff,” she said.

“I would like to pay tribute to all the teachers and support staff for their efforts to educate our children under very difficult circumstances.

“I would also like to thank the KCC staff who each year face the demanding task of trying to allocate the most appropriate places in our secondary schools for almost 20,000 students.”

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