St Albans and Harpenden families learn school places fate

CHILDREN across St Albans learned this week where they would be going to secondary school next year with 95 per cent allocated a place at one of their three preferred schools.

A large majority of parents and carers across Hertfordshire were informed on Tuesday evening (March 1) about the results of their application and 75 per cent of those were told they had been allocated to their first-ranked school.

But 26 children were not allocated to any of their preferred schools.

The Lib Dems criticised the gulf between those receiving their first ranked choice and those getting the lower. Their education spokesperson, Mark Watkin, said: “This feels like d�j� vu. The county council needs to remember that this is about children, children that have been in their education system for the last seven years. The county fails on this year after year.”

And with one in four St Albans children discovering that they didn’t get their first preference, the Lib Dems say it is a clear sign that more needs to be done.

Cllr Chris White said: “County are spinning this as a good news story. For many St Albans families it is a day of disappointment – further demonstrating the lack of suitable school places in the city.”

In Harpenden, 90 per cent of children were allocated their first preference and only two children failed to get any.

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Applications for Francis Bacon increased this year, despite the fact that the school as it is known today will close and reopen as an all-through academy next September.

Cllr Chris Brazier said he was pleased with the results for families in Colney Heath – 31 children from Colney Heath JMI had all got one of their preferred choices and just one child had not been offered a place but he was confident this would not remain so for long.