Failing Medway Schools are improving too slowly, according to a new report by the schools inspectorate, Ofsted. Last year almost half of all pupils were at schools rated as needing some kind of improvement. Now a follow-up inspection has found nine and a half thousand children remain in schools that are either inadequate or need improvement. Tom Savvides talks to headteacher Christine Easton, students and councillor Mike O'Brien.
Medway's primary schools are the worst in England. The education authority remains languishing at the bottom of the tables after the release of today's primary school performance figures. Just 73% of schools in the area met targets for reading, writing and maths. Kent, East Sussex and Brighton and Hove all fared better - meeting or beating the national average. Sarah Saunders report begins with a table topper in Faversham.
Find out how your local school performed. Find out here
Thousands of families are finding out today if their children have been given places at the primary schools they want.
Councils are struggling to cater for rising pupil numbers. Many schools are being enlarged to cope with demand. They include Kings Furlong Infants in Basingstoke. We speak to Head teacher Libby Wyatt:
Today marked the first time that every primary school across the UK decided on their intake on the same day.
Although most youngsters ended up exactly where their parents wanted them to go, it meant that thousands in the south east missed out on their top choice. And well over a thousand children did not get any _of the schools they wanted.
As Sarah Saunders reports, the real problem was too few schools and too many children.
Around one in seven children have missed out on their parents' first choice of primary school amid a continuing squeeze on places.
Hundreds of thousands of families across the country have been learning which school their child will be attending from this September, in the first ever primary National Offer Day
Early figures indicate that a child's chances of getting their top choice depend heavily on where they live, with almost all getting their first preference in some places, and more than a third missing out in others.
A survey conducted by the Press Association, based on responses from more than 50 councils, found that nationally, 86.99% of four-year-olds have won a place at their first preference school this year.
But this means that 13.01% - almost one in seven youngsters - have missed out.
Tens of thousands of primary school places have been handed out amid growing pressure on places.Read the full story ›
Almost 90% of parents have been allocated a place at their first place school across Hampshire.
More than 97% have been offered a place at one of their top three schools, according to Hampshire County Council.
In total, Hampshire County Council’s Admissions Service has processed almost 15,000 applications for primary school places.
The news comes after the council agreed a new budget that included investment of £150 million to expand and build new schools, creating thousands of school places to meet forecast demand.
I am pleased to see that we have been able, yet again, to offer a high number of pupils a place at their preferred school. I do understand that there will be some disappointment for a small number of parents who did not secure a place for their child at a school of their choice.
I am pleased to see that we have been able, yet again, to offer a high number of pupils a place at their preferred school. I do understand that there will be some disappointment for a small number of parents who did not secure a place for their child at a school of their choice."
More families than ever have been offered their first choice of primary school in Reading.
A total of 1,673 families were offered their first choice place for primary schools, but an increase in applications means the allocations is slightly down from last year.
There has been an on-going and significant increase in the population of primary school children in Reading since 2012 and every family who applied has been offered a place.
The Council is meeting this increased demand with a £64 million investment in 13 primary schools across Reading.
The first new places are available from this September, along with some one-off additional classes and the new Heights Primary School in Caversham.
It has once again been a challenging year to cater for the continuing increased demand for school places in Reading. The increase in applications this year was widely predicted and justifies the significant investment the Council is making in expanding primary schools across Reading. This is the first year where some of those permanent expansions have fed directly into the primary school application process and it is reassuring that the investment programme is beginning to have a positive effect."
More than 94% of schoolchildren have been offered their preferred schools in this year's primary schools admission.
The number of applications received by Brighton and Hove City Council for a primary school places has gone up by 170 since last academic year.
The council have said that where preferred choices have not been met, parents have been offered a place at the nearest school that has places.
I’m pleased that we have been able to offer such a high proportion of parents one of their preferred schools, particularly given that the number of applications is up by 170 this year.”
Nearly 90% of children of children in Oxford have been offered a place at their first choice of school.
This is despite a large increase in the number of applications received by the council - with an extra 209 children attaining first preference places compared with 2013.
Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families Melinda Tilley said: “We are pleased to be able to offer first-preference places to the overwhelming majority of children.
"Oxfordshire has a strong record in this respect and compares favourably with other parts of the country, but like many other areas we are expecting the school age population to continue to rise in the coming years."