Mixed results over school places

More than 16,000 families in Kent find out today which primary schools their children will go to from September.

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School places: Mum's 100 miles on school run

by Christine Alsford

More than sixteen thousand families will find out within the next few hours if their children have got places at the primary schools of their choice in Kent.

The statistics show that 96% will be given one of the three schools they selected in the shortlisting phase. However, more than 650 children will lose out and not achieve any of the three options they preferred.

Our Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford spoke to mother-of-two Katie Smith, who faces a 100-mile a week school run after her four-year-old daughter missed out on a place at any of their local schools at Bearsted in Kent.

Parents angry over 'missing out' on schools

More than 650 children in Kent have missed out on places at the primary schools of their choice. They haven't been given spaces for September at any of the schools they chose. This is despite the fact that 450 new places have been created and overall across the county there is spare capacity.

There are nearly 1,500 spaces at less popular schools that are undersubscribed. Overall the results are described as "excellent" by Kent County Council with 86 per cent of four-year-olds being given places at their number one choice of school.

But for those who lose out, the news will be devastating. Many will end up in the same position as Katie Smith from Bearsted. She failed to win a place this time last year at any of the local schools for daughter Isabelle. So she's been travelling 100 miles a week for the past seven months.

Katie says she's frustrated that there wasn't better planning in the area for primary provision. Click video to hear what Katie has to say.

Families told today if children can attend 'chosen schools'

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Mixed news for children in Kent Credit: Meridian

More than 16,000 families in Kent find out today which primary schools their children will go to from September. Most - some 86 per cent - will get their number one choice of school. And an impressive 96 per cent will get one of their three choices.

But more than 650 boys and girls failed to win a place at any of the primary schools parents wanted. They face disappointment and long journeys. Most oversubscribed school in the county is Madginford Park in Bearsted where there were more than three applications for every one of its 90 places.

In contrast, Aylesham Primary near Dover is just over half full with 29 of its 60 spaces going spare. Parents who are unhappy with the schools they have been allocated for their sons and daughter can go through an appeals process.