Third of London's children miss out on first choice secondary school, report finds

Sean Morrison
Pupils in the inner city were far less likely to land a place at their preferred school: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

More than a third of London children missed out on their first-choice secondary school place this year, according to a report.

Some 34 per cent of children in the capital did not receive their first choice, almost double the national average, the analysis showed.

Pupils in the inner city were far less likely to land a place at their preferred school, with 37.3 per cent missing out.

The worst 10 local authorities for children securing a place at their first-preference school are all in London.

The worst performer was Hammersmith and Fulham, followed by the City of London, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Westminster, Wandsworth, Southwark, Merton and Brent.

The report was published by Labour MP Harriet Harman, who represents Camberwell and Peckham in south-east London.

Ms Harman said: "The Government must ensure the right steps are taken to make every school a good school that parents want to choose.

"They cannot continue to cut back on school funding in London and expect schools to be able to continue to improve.”

A copy of the analysis has been sent to Damian Hinds, the Education Secretary, Ms Harman said.

She also proposed that Ofsted’s terms of reference are changed to assess views of parents who do not want to send their child to a particular local school.

"This would enable Government and councils to act on the concerns of local parents,” she said.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: "In London 92 per cent of schools are now good or outstanding and so whilst the first preferences may be lower than the national average, the higher rating of good or outstanding schools means that parents still have access to a high quality education for their child."