A higher proportion of pupils received offers from their first preference school in the North East than any other region.
This week the Government released statistics on primary and secondary school applications and offers for places starting in September 2017.
The figures show that pupils in the North East were the most likely to receive an offer from their preferred school at both primary and secondary level. 94.1% of the 27,949 applicants for primary places were allocated their first preference, compared with 90.0% nationally. This is an increase on last year, where 92.7% of primary starters were offered their first choice.
Redcar and Cleveland had the highest proportion (98.7%) of primary applicants offered their first choice of all local authorities in the country. Hartlepool (97.7%), Northumberland (96.5%), Sunderland (96.4%) and Gateshead (95.8%) are also in the national top 10. Newcastle had the lowest proportion (86.9%) of the North East local authorities.
At secondary level, 90.9% of the 23,925 applicants in the North East received an offer from their first preference school compared to 83.5% nationally. This is a decrease on the figures for last year when 91.8% of applicants were allocated to their first choice of school.
Of all the local authorities in England, Northumberland had the highest proportion (98.2%) of secondary applicants offered a place in their first choice school. This is likely to be because it is a rural, and in parts sparsely populated, county. Darlington had the lowest proportion (83.8%) in the region, closely followed by Middlesbrough (83.9%).
Nationally, this is the lowest proportion of 11-year-olds offered their first choice since 2010. The Department for Education, however, says that the figures show “the number of children going to their preferred choice of school is on the rise”. A spokesperson said, “The vast majority of parents continue to secure a place at their first choice of school for their child, 86.9 per cent this year – with more than 95 per cent having received offers at one of their top three choices”.