Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
First choice primary school for majority in England
An estimated 90 per cent of pupils were offered a place at their first choice of primary school this year, following the creation of 825,000 new school places since 2010.
With 97.2 per cent of pupils offered a place at one of their top three schools last year, the Department for Education said that there are now 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools than in 2010, with nine out of ten schools awarded this rating at their last inspection.
Commenting on the number of children who secured their first choice primary school place, Roy Perry, vice chairman of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said: "Choosing the right school for your child is one of the most important things a parent will do and this time of year can be extremely stressful. Everyone wants their child in a school where they can be happy, safe and reach their full potential.
“Over recent years councils have created an extra 600,000 new places. This is a demonstrable record that they are doing everything they can to rise to the challenge of ensuring no child goes without a place. Every child should have a fair chance of getting into their parents’ preferred school and councils an schools work extremely hard to try and ensure that as many pupils as possible are allocated their first preference.”
Nick Gibb, School Standards Minister, said: “Thanks to our reforms and the hard work of teachers, academic standards in our primary schools are rising across the country. Our young readers are among the best in the world, the proportion of primary school pupils reaching the expected standards in reading, writing and maths standards went up 8 percentage points last year and the attainment gap between children from wealthier and poorer backgrounds has narrowed by 10.5 per cent since 2011.
“A good primary school education lays the foundations for success at secondary school and beyond, so it is right that we help make sure every child reaches their potential from the moment they start their education. That’s why we’re investing £5.8 billion to create even more good schools and good school places – building on the 825,000 we’ve created since 2010 – resulting in 9 out of 10 pupils securing one of their top three choices of schools.”