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### Over 70% of Year 6 Students in London Secure Their Top School Preference

imagePA Media File photo dated 12/09/18 of a teacher and students in a classroom.PA Media

Approximately 70% of Year 6 students, totaling 63,757 pupils, secured placements in their top choice schools in London for the upcoming September term.

A recent report has unveiled that over 70% of London’s young applicants for secondary school admission in September have successfully obtained their preferred school placements.

The Pan London Admissions Scheme (PLAS) disclosed a total of 90,348 applications for secondary school positions, indicating a 2.48% decline compared to the previous year.

Expressing concern, PLAS highlighted the potential financial implications for schools due to the decrease in applications, which may necessitate challenging budgetary decisions.

The distribution of offers took place via email on Friday evening.

According to the report, 81,324 students, constituting 90% of all applicants, received offers from one of their top three secondary school choices.

Out of these, 63,757 Year 6 pupils, representing around 70% of the total, secured placements in their first-choice schools.

Jon Abbey, Chairman of the Pan-London Admissions Board, emphasized the significant effort involved in aligning eligibility criteria and school capacities to ensure favorable outcomes for London’s youth.

Despite London’s exceptional performance in GCSE outcomes, with 90% of schools rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted, there was a notable decline in admissions compared to the previous year.

The report cautioned that the diminishing number of school placements could have financial repercussions, leading schools to confront “additional challenging decisions in balancing their financial resources.”

It further stated: “This may involve streamlining the curriculum, reducing extracurricular activities, or cutting down on teaching and support staff.”

PLAS attributed the fluctuation in application numbers to various factors, including the declining birth rate across London and migration trends, particularly influenced by the localized impact of the UK’s departure from the EU.

imagePA Media A person in uniform writing in a text book next to textbooksPA Media

PLAS raised concerns that the decrease in application numbers might have financial implications for schools, prompting them to face tough budgetary decisions.

Councillor Ian Edwards, Executive Member for Children and Young People at London Councils, viewed the outcomes positively.

Mr. Edwards remarked, “London’s population has historically experienced fluctuations, suggesting a potential rise in the birth rate in the foreseeable future.”

He emphasized the importance of local authorities collaborating closely with communities, schools, and other local services to safeguard essential resources.

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