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14th of April, 2016

Exclusive data from 192.com reveals

Even underperforming primaries schools have become harder to get into in the last 5 years.


This Monday thousands of parents will find out if their children have secured their preferred place at primary school. However it is thought that competition for places will be even tougher as new research has revealed that catchment areas are shrinking regardless of performance.

New analysis of data collected by 192.com's FindASchool service has revealed over the past 5 years in London it has become harder to get into primary schools, regardless of the Ofsted rating. The figures collected exclusively by 192.com, reveal that since 2010, the difference in average catchment areas across the capital between schools with "outstanding" and "requires improvement" Ofsted ratings has more than halved.

Ed Rushton, founder of FindASchool, commented: "Over the past 5 years it has become harder to get into all schools regardless of their Ofsted grade. The cut-off distances of Ofsted grade 3 schools end up getting smaller, when that used to be just the case for the outstanding schools. This has occurred because of the demand for places in all schools has risen and the availability has not increased at the same rate."

The research shows that it is now as difficult to get a child into an Ofsted grade 2 (Good) school as one in category 3 (requires improvement), whereas in 2010 schools that had Ofsted grade 3 ratings were much easier to get a place in and had longer cut-off distances.

Last year, the average catchment area for outstanding primary schools was 869m - just 308m smaller than schools requiring improvement. 192.com's research shows that cut-off distance for oversubscribed primary schools with a Grade 3 from Ofsted has shrunk by 754m, from 1931m in 2010 to 1177m last year.


Notes to Editors:


About FindASchool

FindASchool is the latest service from 192.com, the UK's leading online directory. Launched in November 2015, FindASchool is a tool to help parents research and understand their chances of getting a place at the school of their choice - the definitive guide to school admissions and more. It is designed to help parents make decisions on school applications by presenting all the information they need in one place, and by showing where they would have needed to live to get in to a school in previous years.


Additional data for editors:

Graph showing falling cut-off distances across London:



Over the past 5 years the smallest cut-off distances have stayed roughly the same. It has always been difficult / almost impossible to get into the most popular schools. These shortest distances don't vary too much by Ofsted grade (see chart below).

Year
Ofsted 1
Ofsted 2
Ofsted 3
2010
170
177
177
2011
125
137
173
2012
86
149
251
2013
60
154
277
2014
107
87
248
2015
109
120
323

All schools are increasingly oversubscribed, and can only offer places to children living ever closer to the school - even for schools which are underperforming. (See chart below)

Overall figures for London:

Year
Average cut off distance in metres
2010
1,552
2011
1,543
2012
1,433
2013
1,402
2014
1,245
2015
1,168