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Decision day for school threatened with closure

A decision is due today on whether to close a secondary school in Basingstoke which is seen as underperforming - and merge it with another 3 miles away.

Pupil numbers at the Fort Hill Community School in the Winklebury area have dropped - with just 38 applications for 145 places for the next academic year starting in September.

There were more than 900 responses to a public consultation earlier this year over the proposals for the closure and a potential merger with the Cranbourne Business and Enterprise College (CBEC). Parents say closing the Fort Hill site would mean there is no local secondary for the children in their immediate area.

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One in five Reading pupils fails to win place at secondary school they wanted

How many pupils secured places at the secondary schools they wanted? Credit: itv meridian

The number of pupils in Reading who have secured places at the secondary schools they wanted for September has fallen to less than 80 per cent.

In total, 78.4 per cent of applicants were given their first choice - down by nearly four per cent on last year.

But the total number of applications is up - from 1,702 last year to 1,805 this. It comes against a backdrop of a rising number of 11 year olds in the system.

The number of pupils given none of their choices who have been allocated schools by the local authority is also up.

The full figures for the Borough are below.

First preference: 78.4 per cent (82.3 per cent in 2016)

Second preference: 12.7 per cent (12.2 per cent in 2016)

Third preference: 4.2 per cent (2.6 per cent in 2016)

Fourth preference: 1 per cent (1.3 per cent in 2016)

Divert (where no preference options are offered): 3.7 per cent (1.7 per cent in 2016)

Education expert says parents who missed out may well get schools they want before term starts

Education expert Peter Read has urged parents to be patient, join waiting lists and consider launching an appeal if their child hasn't been given the secondary school place they wanted for September.

In Kent one in five pupils has missed out on their number one choice of secondary.

One in five pupils in Kent fails to secure place at the school they wanted

One in five pupils from Kent applying for secondary school in September has failed to secure a place at the school they wanted.

Figures released today show 80 per cent of the 16,697 applicants were allocated to their number one choice of school.

That left more than 3,500 having to settle for second best. It comes at a time when school places are under increasing pressure as a population bulge that was affecting primary schools starts to move through to the secondary years.

Kent alone has created an additional 800 places for this coming school year.

Education boss Cllr Roger Gough says it's "regrettable" that not every pupil receives a place at the school they would like, but the council is doing its best.

'Parents moving in to attend good quality Hampshire schools' says education boss

Cllr Peter Edgar, Cabinet Member for Education at Hampshire County Council, says more and more people are moving into the county to take advantage of the top quality schools there.

This year more than 13,500 applications were received - only seven per cent failed to win places at their number one choice of school.

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Parents find it harder to get children into preferred schools

It is more difficult to get into a preferred school Credit: ITV

Parents in many areas of England are finding it tougher to get their child into a favoured secondary school than they were a year ago.

In just 12 months, more than half of the nation's towns and counties have seen a fall in the proportion of 11-year-olds winning a place at their first choice, according to a Press Association analysis of government data.

The situation has also become tougher over the past five years, with two-thirds of local authorities witnessing a drop in the percentages of pupils gaining any of their preferred schools.

New school building on target for new term

New sixth form centre should be complete for next term in September

A brand new state-of-the-art sixth form centre is on schedule to open in Berkshire for the start of the new school year in September. T

The project to construct the building at Garth Hill College in Bracknell has cost more than £6 million. It will have capacity for 400 students. Education officials are hoping it will help to ease the pressure on school places in the local area.

Police help prepare children for secondary school

An event to equip primary school pupils across Thanet for life at secondary school - and beyond - has been held by Kent Police.

Get Safe for Secondary was a two-day fair held at Margate Winter Gardens, and was open to all year six pupils in Thanet mainstream schools.

It was a multi-agency event, with local organisations on hand to offer advice and support to the 10 and 11-year olds about keeping safe.

Officers offered advice to school children on keeping safe Credit: Kent Police

Issues such as road safety, basic first aid, internet safety and the risks of drugs and smoking were covered during the event, with pupils taking part in exercises and scenarios to encourage their awareness of how to deal with certain situations.

They were also given the opportunity to find out more about youth groups in the area.

Officers offered advice to school children on keeping safe Credit: Kent Police

"The aim of the event was to raise awareness of some of the challenges that will be facing these pupils as they get older, and provide them with good solid information which in turn will build their confidence to make informed choices. It gave them a chance to consider how their own behaviour can have an effect on the community they live in. It was a great day to see so many organisations coming together to build towards the future of Thanet."

– Inspector Pete Swan of the Thanet Community Safety Unit

Among the other agencies attending to support the event were Kent Fire and Rescue Service promoting fire safety; the RNLI promoting beach and water safety; the KCA (Kent Council on Alcohol) charity promoting drugs and alcohol awareness issues; and local sixth form students who gave advice on e-safety and stranger danger.

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