[Mar 29] Council statement: As demand for primary school places reaches an all time high, 93% of borough applicants have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools, with 80% getting a place at their first choice. Those who have not been offered any of their preferences will have been offered an alternative – or one from the waiting lists in the coming weeks. This year saw 2,325 parents applying to get their children into local schools, up by 7% from 2,238 in 2009. To meet the demand the Council is providing extra places at eight primary schools, including Orleans Infant and Heathfield Infant Schools.

Cllr Malcolm Eady, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Education, said:

“This year the Council received the highest number of applications yet for reception class places; thanks to our advance planning and the schools’ cooperation, we have been successful in meeting this demand. We have already have a £32m investment programme to provide 1050 more permanent school places: the first of these places will be ready in September 2011. We are planning another programme, which will add a further 840 places.

I would like to reassure those parents who have been not yet been allocated a place for their child that places will become available during the next few months; we will do everything we can to shorten their anxious wait. We guarantee places for Richmond children; we have always met this guarantee."

Parents have two weeks in which to accept or decline places.

— sent by Christopher J Squire