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26th of Ocbober, 2016

Forget Halloween, the 31st of October is the deadline for Secondary School applications and that should frighten parents

  • Over 50% of Secondary Schools are over-subscribed (66% in London).
  • In the West Midlands 96% of Grade One Schools are oversubscribed.
  • The ongoing bulge in Primary Schools will continue to strain the secondary school places.
  • 87% of OFSTED grade 1 schools are currently oversubscribed.
  • One secondary school had a successful admission distance of just 392 meters.

Parents looking to get their little monsters into a good secondary school are face a daunting few months, as the 31st of October marks the deadline day for application submissions for secondary school places. Parents won't find out their secondary school place allocations until early next year, however it could be a nervous wait for some as school admission experts FindASchool have revealed that 2016 was the most competitive year for school places ever, and they are predicting this year will be even tougher.

Having compiled and analysed the admissions data from last year they have discovered that over 50% (66% in London) of secondary schools are now oversubscribed. The large bulge in primary school numbers over the past few years is likely to see this trend continue unless more school places are added where they are most needed.

FindASchool by 192.com has predicted that within the next 10 years hundreds more secondary schools will need to be built to accommodate the rise in the number of pupils and offer a choice to parents. Birmingham city council this year had over 2,000 more applications for primary school places than it currently has secondary school places available, meaning that within 5 years an additional 2,000 at least will need to be found. Last year pupils who applied to one secondary school in Birmingham pupils had to live closer than 392 meters to the school gates to secure a place under distance criteria, further highlighting the pressure the lack of places is putting on secondary school admissions.

Spokesperson for FindASchool and product director for 192.com Dominic Blackburn commented: "We offer FindASchool as a free resource for parents so they can easily see and understand the complex admissions criteria set by schools. The data we collected shows an alarming trend that secondary schools are becoming increasingly difficult to secure a place at with not enough being done to increase the number of school places and educate parents on school options. The days of assuming you can just send your children to the best local school where they will get a place are over. FindAschool lets parents easily see what schools they can secure a place for their child by checking their home address against nearby schools and detailing the criteria needed to get in, meaning that parents are not wasting their application preferences on schools they are unlikely to secure a place at."

Whilst securing a secondary school place is hard, if you are looking for a place at an Ofsted Grade One (Outstanding) school it can be even harder as FindASchool has discovered that 87% of all Grade One secondary schools are oversubscribed and in the West Midlands it is as high as 96%.

Notes to Editors:

About FindASchool by 192.com

FindASchool is the latest service from 192.com, the UK's leading online directory. www.192.com/schools

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 information released by FindASchool by 192.com:

  • 63% of Ofsted good or outstanding (grade 1 & 2) schools were oversubscribed in England in 2016.
Ofsted grade
Oversubscribed percentage
East Midlands
East of England
North East
North West
South East
South West
West Midlands
Yorkshire and the Humber