Children in Hackney face the prospect of missing out on schools
PUBLISHED: 11:00 14 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:28 14 January 2016
One in five children in Hackney missed out on their primary school of choice with thousands more nationally failing to gain places too.
In 2015, there were more than 100 UK primary schools where you would not have got a place if you lived more than 300 metres from the school – five of them being in Hackney - according to the new serivce FindASchool.
Kingsmead Primary School in Lower Clapton, Grasmere Primary School in Stoke Newington, Berger Primary School in Homerton, Parkwood Primary School in Finsbury Park and Rushmore Primary School in Lower Clapton all had cut off distances below 300m for pupils gaining entry to the school.
FindASchool by 192.com is the first service to show previous successful applicant areas, enabling parents to see exactly where they would have had to live to get a place at the school of their choice.
With the deadline for primary school applications tomorrow, FindASchool and 192.com are urging parents to use their school-checking service and submit their applications by the deadline.
Admissions experts Ed Rushton and Dominic Blackburn, who launched the service, predict that due to the baby boom and a lack of available primary school places, these numbers will increase again this year.
Mr Rushton said: “It’s not just living too far from the school that sees parents missing out on a place - the complexity of the admissions system can also cause problems.
“We found a bewildering array of different approaches to allocating places at oversubscribed schools. These range from the very simple, through to the incomprehensibly complex.”
The new service provided by 192.com also provides parents with information about a school’s exam results, class sizes and Ofsted scores.
More worryingly for the borough, data provided by FindASchool shows that 6.7 per cent of children in Hackney were left without any offers from schools in 2015.
Grasmere Primary School headteacher Mark Derrington believes schools in Hackney have become a victim of their own success.
He said: “Birth rates have rocketed and demand for places in Stoke Newington is extremely high.
“But the high demand for children to come to our school is testament to our teaching and lively curriculum which we approach very differently to many other schools.
“Hackney is bucking trends and is a fantastic success story for the level of schooling.”
Mr Derrington is also very proud of how inclusive Grasmere Primary School is.
He added: “We are a very inclusive school and pride ourselves on educating children with complex medical or special educational needs as a priority.
“Irrespective of our school, Hackney has changed drastically during the last 10 years and has become far more popular, lots of schools in the borough are feeling the pressures to cope with the demand.”