Tower Hamlets’ proportion of children getting their first-choice school is among London’s best

More than three-quarters of pupils starting secondary school in September have gained a place at their first-choice school in Tower Hamlets.
The figure, of 77.57 per cent, is the third highest in London and an improvement on last year, when 71.12 per cent received their top choice. The London average this year is 69.21 per cent.
Overall, 97.22 per cent of pupils gained a place at one of their top three choice schools in Tower Hamlets under the Pan-London Co-ordinated Admissions Scheme – up by 6.17 percentage points, from 91.05 per cent last year.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman said: “I am delighted that so many families have been able to secure a school of their choice in the borough.
“Places in Tower Hamlets schools are highly sought after because of the rising pupil population, but also because of the sheer quality of our schools: Tower Hamlets has a reputation for educational excellence and parents rightly want their children to be educated here.”
There is a rising need for school places in Tower Hamlets, as there is across the whole of London. Our total roll of primary and secondary aged children is projected to rise by 40 per cent over the next 10 years – about 14,000 pupils in total.
To cater for this increase, Tower Hamlets Council has been carrying out a co-ordinated programme of school expansion projects across the borough. This series of refurbishments and new builds of secondary schools will continue with the completion of the new Bow School in June. Bow is expanding from a 750-capacity boys’ school to a mixed school with 1,600 students including a sixth form for the first time.
Councillor Oliur Rahman, cabinet member for children, schools and families, said: “We work exceptionally hard to make sure as many children as possible get one of their top three choices of school, so the fact that more than 97 per cent of young people are in this position is very pleasing. We will continue to strive to increase this number even further.”
This is the 10th year that the Pan-London admissions system has been in effect, allowing more parents to be allocated a secondary school of their choice by a fairer distribution of available offers. Parents fill out a single application form which is then shared between different London boroughs.
Parents were sent letters on Monday, March 3 notifying them of the outcome of their application. Those who have not been allocated a place at one of their chosen schools have been invited to visit and then secure a place at one of the Tower Hamlets schools that still have places remaining.

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