Children in Westminster find out today what secondary school they will attend
- Credit: Archant
Children across Westminster are learning what secondary school they will be attending from this autumn.
While for many the day will bring excitement, scores of youngsters in the borough are likely to miss out on a coveted place at their first choice of school.
Last year, around one in six in the country did not get a spot at their first choice.
Primary schools in England have been struggling to keep up with demand in recent years due to a rising population, and this is now moving through into secondary schools.
Town hall bosses have warned that children could be left without school places if councils are not given more powers to deal with increasing demand.
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The Local Government Association has issued a fresh call for authorities to be handed the ability to open new secondary schools, or force academies - which are not under council control - to expand, arguing that without these powers, councils will not be able to meet their legal duty to ensure every child has a school place.
Last year, there were 54,600 appeals against school allocations - 3.7 per cent of the total number of admissions to state schools. Just over a fifth (22.8pc) of the appeals actually heard by a panel were decided in favour of the parents.
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The Government has said it pumped £5billion into creating half a million new places over the last parliament and has committed a further £7b over the next six years.
Schools minister Nick Gibb said: “We want every parent to be able to send their children to a good local school. Despite rising pupil numbers the vast majority of parents are able to do so.
“The Government is investing billions of pounds creating new schools and new school places and through our free schools programme we want to open 500 more new schools during the five years of this parliament.”