Eight out of 10 pupils in Havering get first school choice

More than 80 per cent of Havering children will go to their preferred school. Picture: David Davis/P

More than 80 per cent of Havering children will go to their preferred school. Picture: David Davis/PA Images - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

More than 80 per cent of pupils were told they would attend their first choice of secondary school this week.

Across Havering 94 per cent of pupils were accepted into one of their top three preferences – more than any other London borough.

School admission decisions were announced on Tuesday, but an email blunder by The London Grid for Learning Trust, which distributes news on behalf of London councils, meant some parents were not alerted until later.

Just 2.54pc of applicants were placed in their fourth, fifth or sixth preference school while 3.13pc were allocated schools having not expressed preferences.

Deputy leader of the council Cllr Damian White praised the school admissions team who had visited primary and junior schools to speak to parents about the application process.

Only Waltham Forest awarded a higher percentage of parents their first preference.

Last year, the Recorder reported that in a sample of 100, nine secondary school applications were found to be fraudulent and a quarter deemed suspicious.

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This year, out of all the applications 42 were deemed suspicious and investigated, with six withdrawn from the allocation process.

There were no prosecutions.

The most popular schools with parents were The Coopers’ Company and Coborn School, St Mary’s Lane, Upminster; Hall Mead School, Marlborough Gardens, Upminster and Emerson Park School, Wingletye Lane, Hornchurch, which together received 3,259 applications for 591 places.

Coopers’ received 1,191 applications – 300 of which were from outside the borough – for only 189 places.

Headteacher Dr David Parry said parents were attracted by its broad education and large number of extra curricular activities.

He praised the council for having tackled fraud “head-on” and made this year’s process much smoother.

“When we have our open night in September, there are loads of fantastic kids and parents, but you know that a significant number are not going to be able to join us and that is sad,” he said.

Have you encountered difficulties with the admission results? Email chloe.farand@archant.co.uk