15th June 2023

EPI comments on the latest school applications and offers data

Louis Hodge, Associate Director at the Education Policy Institute, said: “Today’s data on school applications and offers highlights a number of developing trends across the English education system. There has been a decline in the number of primary applications, falling to 568,600 (a 1.3% decrease on last year), whilst secondary applications increased to 620,000 (a 1% increase on last year). This follows what had been a surge in primary pupils over recent years, with many of these pupils now transitioning through to secondary education. As a result, excess places within primary schools have now roughly doubled since 2014, whilst they have more than halved in secondary schools.

While the vast majority of primary and secondary pupils do receive their first preference, today’s data makes clear that secondary pupils are facing increased competition for places, with 82.6% receiving their first preference school, as opposed to 83.3% last year. Significant regional variations exist however, with areas in London featuring the lowest first preference rates for secondary pupils in the country; Lambeth (61.6%), Redbridge (63.3%) and Wandsworth (64%). Conversely, Rutland (98%) featured the highest. For parents that have not been offered their first preference, many will consider utilising the appeals and waiting lists system. Our own research has shown that navigating these can be difficult, with pupils from more affluent backgrounds being more likely to succeed via these routes.”


You can find the Department for Education’s latest school applications and offers data here.