Bolton: More high school entry-level students are getting a place at a first-choice school

More Bolton children are heading to their first choice secondary school in September than any year since 2016.

Official figures released by the Department for Education this week show there were 3,988 applicants to secondary schools in Bolton this year.

Among them, 82.3% secured a place in their first choice for the 2022-2023 school year, up from 80.1% the previous year and the highest proportion since 2016-2017.

Parents can list their top three preferences for a public school of their choice. Schools are ranked in order of preference, with students assigned to the highest school on the list for which they meet the eligibility criteria.

A total of 95.4% of Bolton pupils were assigned to one of the schools on their list – also up from the previous year, when the same figure was 94.4%.

Cllr Anne Galloway, cabinet member for children’s services, said the council has made it a priority to increase the number and variety of places in Bolton secondary schools.

This means opening new schools in recent years where they are needed and expanding existing capacity.

She added: “That’s why, despite high demand, we were able to offer more students their first choice of secondary school than any year since 2016.

“By giving children and families more choice, we were able to match over 95% of applicants with one of their favorite schools.”

When it comes to primary schools, figures show that 91.6% of children in Bolton received the first primary school of their choice, an increase from 88.7% year-on-year and the most large proportion since 2014.

Almost all the children were assigned a place in primary school on their list, with 98% of them assigned to one of their preferences.

In the North West as a whole, 92.9% were assigned their first choice elementary school and 85% of incoming high school students were awarded their first choice.

Nationally, 83.3% of more than 600,000 applicants are heading to their first choice of high school in September, up from 81.1% last year.

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