Dozens of Sheffield primary schools are oversubscribed

Ecclesall Infant School, High Storrs, Road. Picture: Andrew Roe

Ecclesall Infant School, High Storrs, Road. Picture: Andrew Roe

5
Have your say

Almost 50 primary schools in Sheffield were oversubscribed despite education bosses introducing new measures to cope with growing demand.

Four primary schools have been unable to find places for 48 children living in their catchment area - Ecclesall Infants, Netherthorpe Primary, Totley Primary and Wybourn Community Primary and Nursery.

A further 44 were unable to find spaces for children who live outside the catchment area or who do not have a sibling at the school, bringing the total of oversubscribed primaries to 48.

Ballifield Primary, in Handsworth, was oversubscribed by 47 pupils, while Monteney Primary in Parson Cross could not find places for 38 children.

Despite some children missing out, measures introduced by Sheffield Council have seen a rise in the number of pupils being offered places at one of their three preferred primary schools, compared to last year.

The authority has created more than 4,500 places by expanding existing primary schools and commissioning new schools, following an unprecedented baby boom in the last few years.

A total of 6,225 four-year-olds are seeking school places for the next academic year.

Figures show 97 per cent of children were offered places at one of their three preferred primary schools - an increase of almost two per cent on last year.

The number of children refused places at their one of their three preferences has fallen from 764 in 2014 to 601 this year.

Jayne Ludlam, executive director of children, young people and families at Sheffield Council, said: “All our children should have a great start to life – that is their entitlement, and a significant way of achieving this is to make sure they have access to the best possible education.

“This includes having the chance to attend good or outstanding schools in their local area. As a council we are committed to supporting every school to be a great school which give our children, young people and families learning for life. Over the last few years we have been dealing with an unprecedented baby boom here in the city, which has placed enormous pressure on our local school places. However, we are aware of the issues and have been working hard with schools to address this pressure and we will continue to do so in coming years.

“Parents told us this is what they wanted after pupils missed out on catchment places last year. We have listened and acted on this.

“We hope more parents than ever before will this year be left satisfied with the choices they have been given.”

A further 17 Catholic and Church of England Schools were oversubscribed in Sheffield, but they operate different admission criteria.

In Rotherham, more than 98 per cent of children were offered places at one of their three preferred schools.