Central Bedfordshire Council drop in first preference middle school choice Image By Speedfighter AdobeStock_7621612

Yesterday, (Thursday, 16 April) children across Central Bedfordshire discovered where they will be starting school or transferring to middle school in September.

Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) said that 95% of applications for a primary or lower school received their first preference (the same as 2019).

However, this year only 89% of applicants got their first preference for transferring to a middle school. Last year 93% of the pupils transferring to middle school were offered their first preference.

Central Bedfordshire Council was unable to explain the percentage drop for middle school first preference placements at the time of going to press. It also didn’t supply any first preference figures for those with SEND requirements.

Cllr Sue Clark, Central Bedfordshire Council executive member for Families, Education and Children, said:

“Our School Admissions team works tremendously hard to ensure as many children as possible are allocated their first preference of school, so we’re delighted that a high percentage families have received this welcome piece of good news.

“We also recognise that there will be a small percentage of children that didn’t get the offer they’d hoped for and I’d urge them to look on our website which has information on possible next steps.”

More than 94% of applications for school starters were made online, an increase from the “more than 90%” reported last year. Applications for middle schools increased to 96% online (up from 95% in 2019).

Online applicants should have received an email with their offer yesterday. Offline applications will receive their offer letters from today (17 April 2020).

Parents that wish to change the place their child has been offered should submit a change of preference form by Thursday, 30 April.

CBC said that these will then be considered – along with any late applications – on Thursday, 21 May, for middle schools, and Monday, 1 June, for starting school.

These forms can be found here:

Starting school:

Middle school: