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Cambridgeshire parents given more time to apply for primary school places for children and warned to name three choices

Applications for primary school places in Cambridgeshire can now be submitted in September after the county council extended the window to give parents more time to apply.

The change from the usual November start date means that both primary and secondary school applications will be accepted from the same date: September 12.

The application period for primary schools will close on January 15, with the secondary school window closing on October 31.

Parents should list three choices when applying for a school place for their child.
Parents should list three choices when applying for a school place for their child.

Parents are reminded to use all three of their preferences when applying for their child’s school and to include their catchment school, which will give them the best chance of securing a place at a school close to their home.

This year, there was an increase in the total number of applications for primary school places with 6,890 applications for reception places at Cambridgeshire schools for September 2019- up from 6,763 last year.

However, the percentage of children offered a place at their parents’ first preference school went down from 95 per cent last year to 92.5 per cent this year because applicants were only naming one school.

Jonathan Lewis, service director for education, said: “I can’t stress enough the importance that parents list all three preferences when applying for a primary school place as this will give them the best opportunity of securing their first preference.

“The extended window for applications will give parents more time to apply and decide which schools they would like their children to attend. It also brings the primary sector into line with the secondary.”

Department for Education data shows 5,859 of the 6,550 secondary school applicants in Cambridgeshire received an offer for their first-choice school for this September – a rate of 89 per cent, meaning hundreds missed out on their number one preference.

And 243 pupils - four per cent - failed to get into any of their three chosen schools.

For more information or to apply, visit https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/schools-&-learning/apply-for-a-school-place/

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