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Thousands of children set to find out Kent primary school offers


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Thousands of children are set to find out today which Kent primary schools they have been offered a place at this September.

Nine out of 10 youngsters have been offered their first preference - which is a slight increase on last year.

Education law specialist gives advice to parents on primary school offer day

Kent County Council says of the 17,175 Kent applicants, 16,787 (97.74%) will receive one of their three named schools and 15,486 (90.07%) will be offered their first preference.

Shellina Prendergast, KCC’s education cabinet member, said: "I am delighted to see that we have managed to offer first-preference places to 90% of our children, which shows the broad selection of fantastic schools that Kent offers."

She told how the number of children who did not receive any of their preferences is below 2.5%.

And in many of these cases, she said it is because "parents named fewer than three schools, which limited the options KCC could consider before assigning them an alternative".

"We appreciate this will be a disappointing and concerning time for those pupils and their families, but we would urge them not to be discouraged as this is only the first stage in the applications process," she added.

Shellina Prendergast, KCC’s education cabinet member, told how the number of children who did not receive any of their preferences is under 2.5%. Picture: Andy Jones
Shellina Prendergast, KCC’s education cabinet member, told how the number of children who did not receive any of their preferences is under 2.5%. Picture: Andy Jones

"Many pupils will secure places through waiting lists and reallocation, and I would like to reassure parents and guardians that a specialist KCC team is on hand to help them make the most of the options available to them.

"I hope that those in that situation will arrange to visit the school where they have been offered a place and speak to the staff, so they can then make an informed decision about whether or not it is appropriate for their child."

Education lawyer Graham Jones, the director of Whitehead Monckton, says there are only "very limited circumstances" in which parents can mount an appeal.

"That is not to say you shouldn’t try, but I have to advise parents the chances of success at primary level are very low," he added.

"But you shouldn’t panic. The first thing to do when you know today - whether it’s come by email or you’ve logged onto the website - you need to contact the school.

"Certainly do accept the place because you don’t want to find out by September you haven’t got the place.

"The second thing to do is, if there is a school you put on your list, go on that school’s waiting list because it’s quite fluid - places will accept or refuse - so you may get through on the waiting list.

"Look at the school’s Ofsted report. Is it as bad as you were led to believe? Go and visit the school, talk to the teachers and make enquiries.

"Don’t just assume you haven’t got the school you wanted and the one your child is now going to isn’t going to be suitable."

Parents and carers who applied online will receive an email after 4pm today, indicating which school they have been offered.

Nine out of ten youngsters have been offered their first preference - which is a slight increase compared to last year
Nine out of ten youngsters have been offered their first preference - which is a slight increase compared to last year

The timing of the email will depend on the email service provider.

Parents and carers can also log in after 5pm to view the offer online.

Those who did not provide KCC with an email address will be sent notification by first class post today.

Details of what to do if a family is not happy with their allocation can be found in the correspondence from KCC, or for more information click here or email primaryadmissions@kent.gov.uk

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