From Cornwall Council:
Cornwall Council is, once again, one of the best performing councils in the country with 96.9% of year 6 pupils being allocated their first preference secondary school. This may be because many areas don’t have a real choice of schools due to small population and distances between schools.
5,409 (96.9 %) pupils have been allocated a place at their first preference school and 5539 (99.2 %) pupils have been allocated a place in one of their three preferred schools. This remains close to the Council’s high-performing figures of recent years. For September 2017, 97.8% of applicants were allocated a place in their first preference school.
Sally Hawken, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Wellbeing, welcomed the high number of children in Cornwall who would be attending a preferred secondary school and acknowledged the hard work of the School Admissions Team in ensuring that applications received by the national deadline were dealt with efficiently and within published timescales.
“I am delighted that once again the Council is able to offer a very high number of children a place at their preferred school,” she said. “The Council is grateful to its secondary schools for their support in ensuring that as many children as possible can attend a preferred school. The School Admissions Team has also been grateful for schools’ support in reminding parents to apply on-time to reduce the risk of disappointment.
Cornwall Council will continue to plan for the demand on places to ensure that as many children as possible can attend their preferred school now and in the future.”
The Council received over 5,550 applications by the national deadline (5,584 compared to 5,426 in September 2017).
Increased pressure on secondary school places is expected in September 2018 and is likely to continue for the next few years. Six of the 31 secondary schools have had to refuse places in this admissions round compared to four schools at this time last year.
While the Council continues to monitor the demand for primary and secondary school places and works with all schools to mitigate unexpected high demand so that wherever possible pupils can attend their preferred school, Council Leader Adam Paynter said he was concerned that the increasing demand for places signalled fairer funding was need for Cornwall’s schools.
“There are more than 68,000 pupils in Cornwall and each one deserves to reach their full potential. However, it is patently unfair that historical funding formulas means Cornwall receives £1,823 less per mainstream school based pupil than those in inner London. We are urging the Government to provide fairer funding as we believe every child’s education should be equal and not be a lottery based on where you live,” he said.