COLUMN: Steve Gamble, school admissions manager at Lincolnshire County Council

Opinion
Opinion

It’s great news that the vast majority of children in Lincolnshire, 93 per cent, have been given a place at their primary school of choice through the admissions system this year, despite an increase in the number of requests for the more popular schools.

Looking at Sleaford as an example, it has experienced particularly large numbers for the September 2015 reception intake which has required additional places to meet local demand - there have been 277 applications for 281 places, not taking into account late applications, inward migration, housing, mid-year applications etc.

Using birth data and pupil projections we have anticipated this spike in pupil numbers to ensure that there are sufficient places available not just for offer day, but also to accommodate late applications between now and September and the ongoing demands from mid-year admissions.

Without the additional places all schools across Sleaford and in surrounding villages would be full with no spare capacity by the beginning of term.

We would have been at 
risk of not meeting our statutory duty, or required to transport reception aged children in the next nearest school outside of their local community.

There are some places available across Sleaford to meet local demand thanks to the co-operation of all schools in the town which provides additional capacity.

So we can use this to accommodate late applications, including from soldiers posted to Grantham from Germany but quartered at Greylees.

Remember if you haven’t already, parents can pick up their offer using the online system – go to http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/schooladmissions. The vast majority apply online.

Parents have until Friday, May 15 to lodge an appeal with the council if they are unhappy with the refusal of a school place.

If they return the appeal form by the deadline, it will be heard before the end of term.

If it is received late it will still be heard but this may be in September.