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Council secures secondary school place for every child despite ongoing place demand pressures

Published: Monday, 25th March 2024

Council secures secondary school place for every child despite ongoing place demand pressures

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has ensured that children moving from primary to secondary school this September have been offered a school place - with 87 per cent receiving their first preference despite a sharp increase in population thanks to the ‘baby boom’.

All Stoke-on-Trent resident pupils who applied for a Year 7 place have been offered one as the city council has overcome the continued high demand for school places.

Over 3,100 Stoke-on-Trent school places have been allocated – up 2.5% on 2023 – including for those who applied after 31 October 2023 application deadline. Over 87% of pupils received their first-preference place despite the large number of applicants.

School places have been a national issue in recent years but Stoke-on-Trent City Council has successfully offered places to all Year 7 pupils who applied, despite the continued impact of a population bulge.

The increase in numbers of children requiring school places has been caused by a baby boom which started in the early 2000s which has made its way from primary to secondary level.

For the first time, the Co-op Academy Florence MacWilliams has been included in the allocation in advance of its first-year intake in September 2024.

This represents an additional 120 places. The academy is a new Free School (funded by the government but not run by the local authority) and is the first entirely new school in the city for many years.

Work began on the site of the new Free School this month following planning permission in December 2023 and the project team are working closely with the city council.

Once complete, the Free School will consist of a secondary academy, including a sixth form, providing 1,150 places for students aged 11-19 years old.

A Stoke-on-Trent City Council spokesperson said: “It’s fantastic news that we have been able to overcome the considerable pressures of demand for school places and offer a school place to all those requesting one for Year 7 in September 2024.

“This is in no small part thanks to the work that is being done on the new Co-op Academy Florence MacWilliams. It’s great to see that rapid progress is being made and that the new school is already making a real difference to combatting the high demand for school places we continue to see in the city and across the country.”