Published: 06:00, 01 March 2021
| Updated: 16:47, 01 March 2021
As schools prepare to reopen next week, thousands of children in Kent will find out today which secondary school they have been offered a place at for September.
While 95% of pupils will receive an offer from one of their preferred schools, those being accepted into their first choice will be lower than usual because of the pandemic.
For this year only, the number of schools families could apply to was increased from four to six because of delays to the Kent Test.
It meant parents had to select the schools before knowing their child’s grades and as a result, many children did not get the results they needed.
This means only 69.7% will be selected for their first choice, nearly 8% lower than before.
As well as this, the demand for places has grown as 600 more applications were submitted this year taking the total to 22,264.
Some 14.1% of pupils in Kent will be offered a place at their second choice, up from 11.68% last year.
Richard Long, Kent County Council’s (KCC's) Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “The past year has been extremely tough for most of us with additional pressure for pupils and their families and of course school staff.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank teachers and support staff once again for going above and beyond to continue to educate and support Kent’s children and young people in extremely challenging circumstances.
"I must also praise pupils who have embraced remote learning and parents and carers who have supported their sons and daughters with home-schooling, many while working from home themselves.
“I am delighted to say that in September, when life will hopefully have returned to some semblance of normality, more than 95% of pupils will be starting school at one of the preferred schools their families selected.”
Families who applied online should check their emails from 4pm today where they can log into their accounts from 5pm to view their offer.
Those who submitted their applications on paper will receive their offers by post, which will be sent out by First Class mail today.
Mr Long is also urging families of children not accepted into their preferred choices not to worry as a number of options are still available.
Families should also request to join the waiting list of any school they want to continue to be considered for by Monday, March 15.
KCC will hold a second round of offers on Wednesday, April 21 for any spaces that become available.
Parents and carers can also appeal directly to the admissions authority of any school that could not offer their child a place. The offer email will explain how to make use of these options.
Throughout the remainder of the application process, KCC staff members are ready to speak to parents and carers to answer any questions they may have as well as offer information, advice and support.
For further advice about the admission process please email: email@example.com
For more information on how to join a waiting list and/or appeal go to: www.kent.gov.uk/secondaryadmissions