Most primary starters in Chorley have top-choice place

There are plans to increase the number of pupils attending Primrose Hill Primary School in Euxton
There are plans to increase the number of pupils attending Primrose Hill Primary School in Euxton

Worries over a shortfall in primary school places across Chorley have been allayed for this year, as more than 96 per cent of pupils have received an offer for a preferred school in the borough.

As previously reported in the Guardian, council leader Coun Alistair Bradley warned that a baby boom and an increase in house building in the area means there could be more children than there are school places by next year.

“Careful planning means that nearly 97 per cent of parents have been allocated a place at one of the schools they wanted with the majority getting a place at the school they wanted the most.”

Debbie Ormerod, Lancashire County Council’s school admissions manager

Lancashire County Council has announced plans to expand Trinity CE/Methodist Primary School, in Buckshaw Village, and Primrose Hill Primary School, in Euxton.

There could be an extra 30 places at each school from 2016, which would also mean Trinity would need to expand into a second building.

Following an informal consultation over the Primrose Hill plans, which took place in January and February, a formal representation stage is now underway.

During this time – until Monday, May 18 – anyone may submit written comments on the proposals.

A decision is still due on launching a formal representation period for Trinity.

But with the results just published for September 2015, it seems that most parents and youngsters have been allocated a place at a preferred school.

Across the borough, 86 per cent have landed a spot at their first choice school (1,211 children); seven per cent have got their second choice (98 pupils); and 3.2 per cent will go to their third choice school (48 children), meaning that 96.2 per cent have received an offer for a preferred school.

Just 3.8 per cent (53 pupils) were offered a place at a school that was not one of their
preferences.

The figures are similar across Lancashire, with nearly 97 per cent of primary school starters getting a place at one of their preferred schools this September.

More than 88 per cent will get their first preference and nearly eight per cent will go to schools which were their second or third preference.

The remaining three per cent have been allocated places at other schools.

Debbie Ormerod, Lancashire County Council’s school admissions manager, said: “This is an exciting but anxious time of year for parents as they find out where their child will be starting school.

“Careful planning means that nearly 97 per cent of parents have been allocated a place at one of the schools they wanted with the majority getting a place at the school they wanted the most.

“Importantly, once again we’ve been able to offer every child in Lancashire a school place.”

She added: “School places are allocated fairly and objectively and every application is agreed upon using the criteria which has been agreed for that school.

“However, I know it can be very disappointing for parents if they are one of the few who don’t get one of their preferences, and our local admissions teams will be happy to give information and advice.”

Everyone whose initial offer is not for their preferred school will automatically receive a form with information about waiting lists and the appeals process.

Appeals for primary schools will take place during May and June.