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National offer day for primary school children

Parents of children that are due to start school in September, for the first time, have been discovering which school their child has been allocated, with the majority being offered their first preference in Cornwall.

Cornwall Council received 5430 applications for reception places for September 2020. Of those, 5110 have been offered a place at their first preference school, which is over 94% of the total applicants.

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In total just over 98% of applicants have been offered a place at a school they named as one of their three preferences, which is the same as 2019.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Wellbeing, Sally Hawken, said: “Competition for school places is growing, particularly in some areas of Cornwall and we are pleased so many children and families have received the news they wanted on National Offer Day.   

“We work in partnership with schools in Cornwall to ensure as many children as possible can attend their preferred school and I would like to thank them for their support.”

Cornwall Council recognises, however, that some families may be disappointed by their allocation for this September; they are being reminded of the new appeals process which has been put in place by the Department for Education.  More information on this can be found on our website.

Service Director for Education in Cornwall, Kate Evan-Hughes, added: “Education officers and planners work closely together to develop sustainable plans for the future of education in Cornwall.  Taking into consideration current numbers on roll, population data, migration and housing developments, enables our teams to direct investment into areas that need it the most.

“This year we are investing twenty-six million pounds into schools in Cornwall to help increase the number of pupil places available in both primary and secondary. Two primary school projects have been given the go ahead already under this scheme and they include an extension to Shortlanesend Primary and expansion at Stratton Primary. 

“There are more projects to follow once the feasibility studies have been completed.  We have to follow strict funding guidance and ensure the money is only being spent in areas that need it the most.”

The number of oversubscribed schools is expected to increase slightly as late applications for places are processed over the next few weeks.  Late applications are always a concern for the Council as they reduce the chance of families getting a preferred school.

The School Admissions Team, in partnership with the Family Information Service, works hard each year to get the message out to families through various channels including social media and early years settings, but they have still received more than 80 late applications so far this year.

Sally Hawken concluded: “I am delighted that we are able to continue the schools application process during these unprecedented times.  It is important for parents that we ensure that places can be allocated and families hear the news as planned on National Offer Day.”