Schools and parents are under pressure. The Department for Education published statistics in June this year, which showed that almost 77,000 schoolchildren in England failed to secure places at their first choice of primary school.
Applications for September 2015 reception places in state schools have to be submitted by 15th January 2015. But filling in the forms in time doesn’t guarantee parents the primary school of their choice. Far from it. Take for instance Didsbury, a lovely, family friendly suburb of South Manchester. The head of popular Beaver Road primary school said in his summer tweet, “Figures released today: 346 applications for our 90 place Reception in September. Distance criteria 0.403 mile. New School on MMU (Manchester Metropolitan University) site ASAP!” Five minutes’ walk from Beaver Road there is another primary school, Didsbury CofE. This year they had 205 applications for just 30 places available. It will cheer a lot of parents up to learn that Didsbury CofE is opening a new free school in the area in September next year, but you still have every reason to be worried: demand in the area is much greater than supply.
It’s a well-known fact that parents go to great lengths to find a good primary education for their children – whether it’s by moving into another area, renting or buying a second property, hiring tutors, or even taking up a new religion. On the other side of the coin – there are likely to be parents out there who feel that their children are missing out on places at a primary school in their catchment area due to an influx of people moving into the area in order to be close to a good school.
ITV Tonight is currently conducting research and looking for families interested in taking part in a programme about Primary School Places. They’d like to hear about our readers’ experiences in trying to secure a place for their children in primary schools in Cheshire and Manchester. If you are one of these parents please let us know – the selected stories will be published in the next edition of M&D Magazine (with your permission of course) and if you are interested, we’ll put you in touch with ITV Tonight.
Put your thoughts into the comment box below – you may not only get lucky with the school of your choice next year, but also become a TV star.